NASHVILLE (CN) – A race discrimination class action claims Bruister & Associates, cable TV installers, allows white employees to threaten to lynch black co-workers, call them “niggers” and “boys” and otherwise discriminate against them.
The eight named plaintiffs say managers for the Meridian, Miss.-based company condone and join in this behavior.
Bruister does $87.5 million in annual business, according to the company Web site. Much or all of this business is done on contracts with DirecTV, according to the Yezbak Law Offices, which represents the plaintiffs in this case. DirecTV is not a party to this action.
Yezbak also represents Bruister employees in a previous, certified class action alleging overtime violations.
The federal complaint states: “Defendant, and its managers and supervisors, continually subjected plaintiffs to highly offensive, derogatory and unwelcome racial insults, slurs, comments, statements and other inappropriate conduct of a racial nature because they are black. These comments include, without limitation: use of the words ‘nigger’ and ‘boy’ to refer to black workers; numerous racial jokes; references to racial stereotypes; reference and threats of lynching of blacks in rural Tennessee; a trainer telling black employees that he did not want to work with blacks. Many of these racially offensive comments were made by or in the presence of managers of defendant. Many other comments were reported to managers. Defendants took no corrective action.”
Plaintiffs seek lost wages and punitive damages. They are represented by Charles Yezbak III. In the previous class action, Yezbak represents Bruister employees who claim they were forced to work off the clock.