The Contra Costa Times reports that current and former employees of Southern California Edison filed a race discrimination lawsuit Tuesday against the company in Los Angeles Superior Court. The eleven current and former black employees accuse the company of perpetuating a negative work environment that is racially hostile.
The employees filed the lawsuit with class-action status. They say that the company has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination and say there are few black senior managers in the company. They also accuse the company of racial discrimination in regards to pay and job assignments, claiming unequal pay and unequal access to advancement.
This is not the first such lawsuit to be filed against the giant utility company. Class-action lawsuits alleging racial discrimination were brought against Edison in 1974 and 1994. The lawsuit argues that the company has failed to comply with a consent decree that resulted from the 1994 lawsuit, in which the company agreed to pay $11.3 million into a settlement fund. They also agreed to start training and leadership programs.
An attorney for the employees says that some of his clients were involved in the 1994 lawsuit and that the company has continued its negative culture despite the lawsuits and that his clients are still treated like "second-class citizens" at the company. In addition to damages and attorney fees, the lawsuit seeks an injunction against the company to force it to fully comply with the consent decree.
Edison hit by lawsuit (Contra Costa Times)