Supervisors and workers at Common Dynamics Bathtub Iron Works would name their Black coworkers racist slurs with out repercussion, in line with a brand new lawsuit.
Aaron Martin, a former Bathtub Iron Works welder, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, saying the firm allowed discrimination primarily based on race, which violates a number of legal guidelines.
Martin, a Black man, began working on the shipyard in August 2018. His employment was terminated in October 2021, for causes not associated to the lawsuit. Bathtub Iron Works employed about 4,000 folks on the time Martin labored there.
All through his time at Bathtub Iron Works, he skilled “extreme and pervasive racial discrimination and harassment” that was allowed to proceed, the lawsuit mentioned.
Bathtub Iron Works began constructing ships in 1884 and has made greater than 425 since then, in line with its web site. The corporate makes ships from design to supply, together with constructing ships for the U.S. Navy. The corporate is Maine’s fourth largest employer in 2023 with 6,001 to six,5000 workers, in line with the state of Maine.
Bathtub Iron Works doesn’t touch upon pending litigation, spokesperson David Hench mentioned.
“The allegations within the criticism converse for themselves,” Martin’s legal professional Nicholas Bernate mentioned. “In the course of the years that Aaron labored at Bathtub Iron Works, he was often topic to racial slurs and extreme discrimination primarily based on the colour of his pores and skin. We sit up for Bathtub Iron Works being held to account for its conduct.”
Martin, of Dresden, filed discrimination complaints with the Maine Human Rights Fee and the Equal Employment Alternative Fee, each of which gave him a discover of his proper to sue, the lawsuit mentioned.
Coworkers and supervisors would often name Martin a racist slur that’s directed at Black folks, in line with the lawsuit. One coworker known as Martin a racist slur in entrance of dozens of workers and supervisors.
The supervisors didn’t reprimand the coworker, the lawsuit mentioned. As a substitute, a supervisor advised that Martin ought to have bodily assaulted the coworker.
Certainly one of Martin’s supervisors would name Black workers a racist slur in written communication, whereas additionally utilizing the slur to reference work he thought was inferior.
Workers would additionally name Martin a chimp and monkey, and make noises imitating monkeys when he or different Black workers have been round, the lawsuit mentioned. Calling Black folks monkeys or apes is a centuries-old racist trope that was used to condone slavery and recommend the concept Black persons are subhuman.
One supervisor used racist slurs for Black folks and Hispanic folks to explain his crew to a welder, including Bathtub Iron Works “is an equal alternative employer in any case,” the lawsuit mentioned.
There have been no efforts to cover the harassment, which was performed overtly. Due to that, the lawsuit mentioned, the corporate ought to have identified it was taking place and brought motion.
Martin is asking for the court docket to declare Bathtub Iron Works’ actions have been illegal discrimination, award compensatory and punitive damages and award attorneys’ charges and value.