JOLIET, Ill. — Amazon workers in Joliet are accusing the company of creating a dangerous and racially hostile work environment — and of retaliating against employees who complain.
So far, 26 employees at the company’s Joliet warehouse have filed complaints against Amazon. They say there have been racially motivated threats and issues that have not been addressed, some saying they are concerned for their safety.
Tori Davis is one of those employees that claims Black workers have been victim to a work environment that is unsafe and riddled with racist conduct — including white workers wearing Confederate flag shirts, and a racist death threat written in the bathroom of the facility.
“There is no sign more serious and more terrifying than a death threat in a workplace where white workers are allowed to wear confederate flag outfits with impunity,” said lawyer Tamara Holder.
Employees say management did not address the shirts, and they claim no action has been taken since the death threat to make workers feel safe.
“It’s more scary than hurtful, because when you don’t know who targeted you and you still have to be in the same environment with no further security measures, it makes you nervous,” Davis said.
After Davis expressed concern to her managers about the work environment, she said nothing was done. When Davis said she would take legal action, she was let go from her job. Her managers cited other reasons for her termination.
“We have truly reached a low point in America where we have to go to work in fear that we may not come home to our families,” Holder said.
The lawyer representing the employees says filing these complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first step in getting Amazon to respond or take action to make their employees feel safe. But if nothing is done, this could lead to a class action lawsuit.