Black employees at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas, were subjected to ongoing racial harassment and discrimination, including hearing racial slurs and being threatened with lynching by white employees, according to a federal lawsuit.
Plant managers tolerated the discrimination and did not discipline white employees who were involved, according to the lawsuit filed last week on behalf of two former and one current Black employees.
The employees also allege Black workers were disciplined for offenses that white employees were not and that white employees were promoted ahead of Black employees, The Kansas City Star reported.
“Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated within Frito-Lay or its parent company, PepsiCo,” the company said in a statement. “We are committed to respecting human rights and supporting diverse and inclusive workplaces. We have dedicated significant resources to support a wide range of racial equality and social justice initiatives for people and the communities where we live and work.”
Attorney Tiffany Klosener said her clients believe Frito-Lay has a responsibility to root out racism in the plant.
“Unfortunately that hasn’t happened and my clients have lost patience with their employer,” she said.
The men are suing the company for violation of the Civil Rights Act.
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