Amazon has been slapped with five new discrimination and retaliation lawsuits from employees who say they have faced both gender and racial bias at the company.
Five former and current employees, all of them women, have filed lawsuits in jurisdictions across the US accusing the retail giant of systematically favouring men over women for career growth, allowing supervisors to denigrate them racially and sexually and retaliating when they complained.
One plaintiff Pearl Thomas, a 64-year-old Black human resources manager from Washington State, has accused Amazon of placing her on a performance improvement plan after she complained her direct supervisor called her the “n-word” on a call after thinking she had hung up.
Another 40-year-old Latinx plaintiff Diana Cuervo says she was fired after complaining about being racially abused by her supervisor, who allegedly said “Latins suck” and asked her “how is a Latin like you working here?”.
Other have complained of being passed over for promotions numerous times in favour of white males, being openly called a “bitch” and an “idiot” by management, and routinely being punished for filing complaints.
“The pattern that you see in these lawsuits is that Amazon’s management, even when they run amok, are protected by the organization,” the plaintiff’s attorney Lawrence Pearson said.
“The employee who raises the concern is more often than not treated as the problem.”
Amazon has said in response to the claims: “We have found no evidence to support the allegations. Amazon works hard to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form, and employees are encouraged to raise concerns to any member of management or through an anonymous ethics hotline with no risk of retaliation.”
The plaintiffs are being represented by the Wigdor law firm, which represented women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.