Sunday, March 01, 2009

Whirlpool worker says she was punished for befriending blacks

[does Whirlpool's culture of racism extend to all of it's work environments?] Rutherford County, Tennessee
(entire article)

A white employee who claimed she was blocked from promotions at a Whirlpool plant in La Vergne earlier this decade because she stood up for African-American co-workers will get a new trial on her discrimination complaint, a federal appeals court ruled this week.

Treva Nickens, who worked at the Whirlpool plant for more than 20 years before going on medical leave in October 2005 said that from 2001 until 2005 a number of co-workers routinely made racist remarks around her and that she was criticized for "hanging around with blacks."

Nickens said in court filings that she applied for a higher paying "quality tech" job in early 2005, but was blocked from getting it by a supervisor who thought she spent too much time with a black friend and co-worker.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Nickens deserves a trial at the lower court level to have a chance to prove her claim that the now-closed Whirlpool plant was a hostile work environment.