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Minnesota school bus driver alleges employment discrimination

Despite the strides that we as a nation have made in the area of civil rights, discrimination still occurs. For example, a Minnesota school bus driver has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, stating that the company refused to take action after he informed them that other workers harassed, discriminated against and retaliated against him due to his African American spouse's color and race. He alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. He is requesting $75,000 in damages and a jury trial.

The 64-year-old man began working for First Student Inc. in 2011. While working at the Rochester location, his job was to spend about 28 hours weekly operating the school bus and 20 hours weekly performing video security.

According to the man, an assistant manager used the "n-word" and other workers made other racially charged comments. In addition, while the man's bus was undergoing repairs, the man asked for details on the repairs so he could file the appropriate paperwork per company policy. The shop manager refused to give him this information. Other workers in the workshop used swear words angrily at him and drove their vehicles so close to him that the man was afraid he would be hurt. When the man reported these incidents, he was told he was being paranoid and his claims were never investigated.

In addition, the man claims several employees discussed forcing him out of the company. Powder was left on the seat of his bus, his bus's battery was purposely left to die, his bus keys were taken and he was ultimately not let into the bus lot. When he reported these incidents, he was told they were his fault.

Moreover, when instances of discrimination were reportedly found on video, the man's work on video formatting was taken away from him, leading to a reduction of approximately one-third of the man's work hours. His time card was also tampered with. The company has denied the man's allegations.

While it remains to be seen what the outcome of this case will be, it is important to keep in mind that one need not put up with employment discrimination. If reporting the discrimination to the proper authorities does not remedy the situation, it may be possible to take legal action.

Source: Postbulliten.com, "Former driver sues school bus company," Kay Fate, Nov. 5, 2016

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