Thursday 28 June, 2012

Washington State University Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

This week, Washington State University disclosed terms to pay $650,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by two former employees of Chinese descent: WSU to pay $650K to settle discrimination lawsuit.

Dr. Ying Li and her husband Lizhong Yang alleged that while working in WSU’s Laboratory for Bioanalysis and Biotechnology over the course of several years, they were subjected to overt discrimination by the lab supervisor based on their race and national origin.

Both resigned when the discriminatory conduct wouldn’t stop:

They said they were precluded from speaking Chinese at work and during breaks. After complaining, they said, they were segregated into seating arrangements with other non-white employees and excluded from numerous lab meetings.
“Dr. Li and Mr. Yang came to America from China expecting to live the American dream, not expecting to see bias and prejudice at a progressive institution like WSU,” said their attorney, Scott Blankenship of Seattle.
The lab supervisor accused of discrimination is “in the process of separating from the university,” WSU said in a news release.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded there was reasonable cause to believe that Li, Yang, and other Asian employees of the lab were subjected to a hostile work environment because of their race and national origin. Damn right.

In addition to a $325,000 settlement for each plaintiff, the school will enact mandatory, university-wide policies and training programs to prevent future discrimination. And I hope they fired the hell out of that supervisor.

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