An employee at a local insurance company has been fired after sending what the company called an offensive email.
The email was sent at GoHealth Insurance, based in Chicago’s Loop. The email contained an offensive image depicting an African-American woman with no teeth, with the caption “when you find out you’re getting $4,000 in dental benefits.”
The email was forwarded to more than 100 employees of the company, and after initially asking for coworkers to forgive the sender, the company has said it has terminated the individual’s employment.
“This behavior is unacceptable and should have been treated as such,” the company said in a statement. The employee who exhibited the unacceptable behavior should have been immediately terminated. Once senior management learned of the incident, a decision was made to terminate the employee was made immediately.
“GoHealth’s policy is not to tolerate such behavior from any employee,” the statement continued.
After the email went out, fellow employees spoke out, calling the image “horrible” and disgusting.
“I cannot believe something like that was able to be emailed to an entire floor of professional sales people,” one coworker said.
The email went out to the Medicare department at the company, which is comprised largely of African-American employees.
“This is beyond a sense of humor,” another coworker said. “This is kind of a reflection of what is happening in today’s political climate.”
When word of the email first spread to management, a group email went out asking for understanding for the person who sent the racially-charged image.
“I ask each of you to try and remember some of the bad decisions we made when we were younger,” the email read. “The person apologizes and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive him so we can move on. If that is not possible, I, as well as HR, are here to speak with you.”
That explanation wasn’t good enough for employees of the company, and ultimately the worker responsible for sending the email was fired.
“We cannot just allow stuff like this to continue to happen and move on,” another employee said.