Labor & Employment

Racial Bias Suit Claims Comcast Used Roach-Infested and Substandard Equipment for Black Customers

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A racial discrimination suit claims Comcast discriminated against African-American employees by forcing them to work in a roach- and rat-infested facility on Chicago’s South Side and giving them inadequate equipment to do their jobs.

The suit by 10 current employees and one fired worker says they were forced to install infested and substandard equipment into homes in the surrounding, primarily black neighborhoods, report the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. Some employees say they were not given drills and were told to run wires through windows. The suit was filed late Monday in federal court in Chicago.

The employees allege they found cockroaches crawling in and out of equipment and cockroach eggs in cable boxes to be installed in customer homes, the stories report. When workers complained, the suit says, supervisors told them to install the boxes, since the customers would likely quit paying their bills or steal the equipment.

The complaint says workers were called derogatory names such as “ghetto techs” and were given inadequate training and unequal pay. Noelle Brennan, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, told the Tribune that bad equipment installed in consumers’ homes resulted in longer outages and service calls, affecting the employees’ pay and promotions.

Comcast spokeswoman Angelynne Amores told the publications that the company “adamantly denies the allegations and will vigorously defend itself in court.”

Hat tip to ISBA Legal Daily News.

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