AT&T Loses Workplace Racial Discrimination Case

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A Dallas County jury awarded $411,339 to an AT&T call center employee after finding that race was a motivating factor in the company's repeated failure to promote her (Cause No. CC-07-04814-D, In The County Court At Law No. 4 Dallas County, Texas). Additionally, the jury agreed that AT&T had created a hostile work environment and retaliated against her when she complained.

Ms. Edwards and her coworkers suffered pervasive discrimination and did everything they could to work within AT&T's system

The Drinnon Law Firm announces $411,339 jury verdict following nine internal racial discrimination complaints. The lawsuit filed by AT&T sales representative Lakecious Edwards is one of nine complaints by employees at an AT&T office located 20 miles west of Dallas (Cause No. CC-07-04814-D, In The County Court At Law No. 4 Dallas County, Texas). Attorney Stephen Drinnon of The Drinnon Law Firm represents some of the employees and says one lawsuit stemming from the complaints has settled, and one remains active.

According to court testimony, Ms. Edwards, an eight-year veteran AT&T employee, was passed over on three separate occasions for promotions that went to Caucasian employees, two of whom were under disciplinary review. When another job opening was posted, the manager intentionally told other AT&T managers that Ms. Edwards wasn't interested in the job. The unfair treatment grew worse after she filed an internal complaint about her treatment.

Mr. Drinnon presented evidence showing that AT&T encouraged employees to quietly file complaints internally rather than to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Center but performed little, if any, investigation. In Ms. Edwards' case, the manager named in the complaint was not interviewed by investigators or reprimanded for her actions. AT&T ultimately ruled "no finding of discrimination" for all 9 complaints and closed them without notifying the employees.

"Ms. Edwards and her coworkers suffered pervasive discrimination and did everything they could to work within AT&T's system," Mr. Drinnon says. "Because of the company's refusal to take these complaints seriously, these loyal employees were forced to seek justice through the courts."

Mr. Drinnon also presented evidence that despite AT&T's publicity campaigns touting its commitment to a diverse workplace, employees and managers received little or no training in workplace diversity policies. Evidence also showed that the same procedures to respond to internal complaints of racial discrimination that failed in Arlington are followed throughout the AT&T organization.

"We're pleased that independent jurors saw this company's reprehensible conduct for what it was," Mr. Drinnon says. "We hope that this verdict sends a message to AT&T and all other companies that these complaints need to be taken seriously, and their diversity commitment needs to be more than window dressing."

About The Drinnon Law Firm:
The Drinnon Law Firm, PLLC., serves individuals and small businesses to provide exceptional legal representation. It has expertise and significant experience in a broad range of cases, including personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, products liability negligence, commercial disputes, trademark infringement and employment discrimination.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of, among other things, race, color, and national origin. Title VII also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who has either complained of such discrimination or engaged in other protected activity. If you believe you have been genuinely discriminated against on the basis of race or religion at your workplace and would like to file a formal complaint, please Contact Stephen Drinnon on 972-445-6080.


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