04-22-2018  1:54 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

PCRI Launches the Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan

Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

AG Rosenblum Launches New Resource on Oregon’s New Gun Safety Laws

One-page handout aims to educate Oregonians about the new law ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

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Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By The Skanner News

A Black employee who found a noose over his workstation in a predominantly Latino company has won a full-time job and a financial settlement from his employers, the Oregon Attorney General's office announced this week.

Xavier Perry's discrimination complaint against Valmont Industries and Barrett Business Services – which was resolved by the state through a mediation process – also resulted in new safeguards against racial discrimination at the companies, and anti-discrimination trainings for employees there by the Bureau of Labor and Industries Technical Assistance Program.

Tualatin-based Valmont Industries, Inc., is a steel galvanizing plant, and Barrett Business Services, Inc., is a temporary employment agency.

According to the complaint, which was investigated and mediated by Assistant Attorney General Diane Sykes, Perry was physically pushed around by a Latino co-worker at the steel plant.

He registered a complaint and requested transfer to another work station, but state officials say the companies turned him down.

Perry objected further to his treatment, which he charged was based on his race and national origin – as an African American born in the United States — and a noose was hung over his desk.

State officials say Perry stopped coming to work after the incident, and the noose stayed over his desk until a Barrett company manager took it down.

Afterwards, according to the Attorney General's office, neither company contacted Perry about the incident to investigate the allegations, nor offered to return him to work.

No one ever bothered to find out who exactly hung the noose, which was a key point in the Attorney General's office finding of fault with Valmont and Barrett, according to spokesman Tony Green.

"We focused on the fact that no investigation was done – because when something like that happens, there are appropriate responses," Green said. "Certainly we don't get a lot of cases with nooses – that's a particularly threatening symbol for someone who's African American."

As a result of the state's mediation, Perry will receive monetary damages, a permanent full-time job with Valmont Industries, anti-retaliation protections, a positive letter of reference from both Valmont and Barrett Business Services, and a specific contact person at the state to contact in case of further workplace discrimination.

Also, as a result of the mediation, both companies have agreed to participate in anti-discrimination trainings.

Green said Oregon workers who believe they are the victims of workplace discrimination can file grievances through the state Department of Justice and through the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry.

"I would encourage people to report it to both, it will get looked into," he said.

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