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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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No, You Suck It Up, Fired Worker Says

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - White co-workers urinated on a black employee's equipment and the boss told him to (metaphorically) "suck it up," the man claims in court.

Demetrius Taylor sued St. Louis Brick and Stone Co. and two of its managers, in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Taylor claims defendant manager DePaul Langston fired him in July 2012 to retaliate for his filing a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

Taylor's 14-page complaint outlines a litany of racial harassment.

"Specifically, Caucasian co-workers would place things in his hardhat, urinate on his equipment, and make racial jokes and comments; on one occasion, then-manager Steve Kuhn told the plaintiff that everyday is 'Black Friday' for plaintiff when he looks in the mirror," the complaint states.

Kuhn is not a party to the complaint. Manager Clark Plumb is named as a defendant.

Taylor claims he was laid off for a week for complaining of the harassment.

Taylor claims he told Langston he was considering hiring a lawyer about the harassment, and that "Mr. Langston told plaintiff that if plaintiff gets a lawyer, that plaintiff needs to find a new job, and that if plaintiff comes back to work, he needs to 'suck it up.'"

Taylor says he filed a harassment complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights on July 3, 2012, and was fired shortly afterward.

He seeks actual and punitive damages for racial discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment. He is represented by Bret C. Kleefuss of Gab in St. Louis.

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