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Vernell Coles Alleges Carilion Clinic Allowed Noose, Shackle Display

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A maintenance worker is suing his employer, claiming he was subject to harassment that included displays of shackles and a noose at work.

Vernell Coles claims that Carilion Clinic, where Coles worked for 15 years, passed him up for a promotion in a work environment that was “racially hostile and offensive,” the Roanoke Times reports. Terry Grimes, Coles’ lawyer, alleged that Carilion is “all white, all the time.”

A spokesman for Carilion declined to comment to the Roanoke Times on the case, saying “we believe the regrettable accusations are without merit.”

Still today, racial discrimination isn’t all that rare in American workplaces. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 35,295 complaints of racial discrimination in the workplace last year.

One Texas-based Goodyear worker filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this month, claiming he was exposed to racial discrimination over a period of years, the Southeast Texas Record reports. The man claims he found a figurine of a black man eating watermelon and hanging by a noose in his locker among other allegations.

A upstate New York-based steelworker won $25 million in damages earlier this month after a federal court over racial discrimination claims including that a stuffed toy monkey with a noose around its neck was attached to the mirror of his car, according to UPI. The jury found the company responsible for a “hostile work environment” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

In a high-profile racial discrimination case, two dozen black pilots filed a lawsuit against United Airlines’ parent company alleging that they were passed over for promotions because of their race. The company denies the claims.

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