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Daimler Civil Rights Probe Grows

More employees at truck facility step forward

10/30/2014, 12:01 p.m.
A civil rights investigation of Daimler Trucks at its Swan Island manufacturing plant in north Portland was expanded for the ...
Comissioner Brad Avakian

A civil rights investigation of Daimler Trucks at its Swan Island manufacturing plant in north Portland was expanded for the second time last week as four more employees have stepped forward to allege unlawful discrimination.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said the new civil rights complaints add to the agency’s investigation of whether a pattern of racial discrimination and abuse exists at Daimler. In total, nine Daimler employees have open civil rights complaints, in addition to a complaint filed last month by Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian on behalf of the people of Oregon.

Besides the allegations of racial discrimination against African American employees, the complaints include charges that a Native American employee faced threats of physical violence and intimidation as another employee pushed him against a truck and challenged him to a fight.

Other allegations include unfair treatment, discrimination based on race, national origin and age, use of racial epithets, retaliation and failure of management to take appropriate action to improve Daimler’s workplace.

“Our investigators are working hard to determine whether there’s evidence of a pattern of severe racial discrimination and abuse,” said Avakian. “We have a duty to ensure that employees are treated fairly on the job. Our investigations will be thorough – and if we find substantial evidence, we will aggressively prosecute any unlawful discrimination uncovered.”

Earlier, the director of public relations at Daimler, Dave Giroux, released a statement that the company “has a zero tolerance policy related to discrimination or harassment on any basis” but said that they could not release any official statements on the current ongoing investigation.