Former employee sues Concord company for discrimination

Credit: Via Van Kampen Law Firm

Former employee sues Concord company for discrimination

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 14 at 7:02 PM

CONCORD, N.C. -- A Lexington man is suing a Concord company over racial discrimination. He says a coworker at Overcash Gravel & Grading Company put KKK on his shirt and a noose around his neck. Now he's claiming he was fired for taking pictures of the racial incident.

"Knowing I'm the only black in there, because if there were other blacks in the work place he wouldn’t have done that," said Haywood Brown.
 
Haywood Brown says he was discriminated against while working at Overcash Gravel & Grading Company, and the worst of it was the picture he took with his cell phone of his coworker, Dell Bailey. It shows Bailey with KKK written in masking tape on his shirt, a towel wrapped like a white hood and a rope draped over like a noose.
 
"When I came back in there, all the other white guys in there—they laughed at it, and thought it was so funny, and by me feeling humiliated and degraded upon," said Brown.
 
The incident happened in June of last year. Two months later, Brown was let go but the president of the company says Brown was friends with Bailey and says the two staged the picture as a joke.
 
"This was a joke that went haywire. We never heard anything about it. I had been in the shop two or three times a week since I’ve been here and this was never mentioned to me,” said Brown.
 
In fact, Gordon says Brown took part in it.
 
"The hat and all you see on Dell's head, well Haywood made it for him and put it on him and snapped the pictures,” said Gordon.
 
Brown says that's crazy.
 
“This was no joke at all. Maybe it was a joke to him, maybe a joke to the other coworkers because they were laughing," said Brown.
 
After filing a complaint with the EEOC and getting no ruling, Brown has hired Van Kampen Law Firm to sue for racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
 
"There's a lot of discrimination that goes on inside of the workplace and it's hard to go by hearsay especially when you are the only black in there, so on that particular day I did thank God I had my phone in my pocket," said Brown.
 
The president of the company says Brown was a temporary employee so his job was ending in September. Brown says he was fired because they knew he took the pictures.

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