More than a dozen current and former employees of a Comcast facility on Chicago's South Side have filed a federal class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.
The suit, filed Monday in federal court, claims supervisors at the facility at 721 E. 112th St. fostered a "hostile" work environment and told technicians to install equipment in customers' homes regardless if the device was defective or infested with cockroaches.
Comcast is the majority stakeholder in NBCUniversal, which owns NBC Chicago.
According to the complaint (.pdf), the plaintiffs said they:
- Worked in "substandard facilities which were infested with cockroaches and rats,"
- Didn't receive necessary tools to provide adequate service to its customers,
- Didn't receive equal pay and fair evaluations,
- Didn't receive training or promotions to higher-level positions,
- Were referred to in racially derogatory ways,
- Were told that equipment given to African American employees would be stolen, and
- Had workplace rules and regulations applied in a racially based manner.
Comcast denies the allegations.
"Comcast adamantly denies the allegations and will vigorously defend itself in court," said Angelynne Amores, the Regional Director of Corporate Communications for the Chicago area. "As this relates to pending litigation, we cannot comment any further."
The employees are seeking class-action status and have created a website -- ComcastDiscrimination.com -- seeking customers who received service from the facility since 2005.