Workplace Hostility Grows

Fernando and Nestor* worked as crew leaders for a moving company for several years. Over time they developed concerns about some of the company’s practices. First, they noticed that Latino workers seemed to be regularly scheduled for the less desirable and lower paying late night, residential jobs, instead of the higher paying government contract jobs. Then, they noticed Latino workers were more likely to be punished for small mistakes.

As the political climate deteriorated nationwide, the treatment got worse – a supervisor began discussing his support for Donald Trump at length, focusing on how he hoped that if Trump won, he would get rid of all the Mexicans. Their workplace became increasingly hostile as other non-Latino workers began refusing to work with Latinos, and this eventually escalated to insults and threats directed at some of the Latino workers.

Fernando and Nestor spoke up on behalf of themselves and expressed concerns about others’ safety. They spoke to management, demanding a workplace free from harassment and threats. Shortly after, they were fired.

Sadly,  in this new and alarming political climate, NWJP is seeing more and more workers like Nestor and Fernando, who are facing discrimination in public and in the workplace. In fact, since the election, Oregon has led the nation in racially motivated harassment.[1] NWJP remains engaged in the fight to prevent workplace harassment and strive for worker justice. This mission is ever more vital. Whether in the courts or in front of the legislature fighting for worker protections, we remain committed to making sure workers like Fernando and Nestor are able to seek and obtain the justice they deserve.

[1] http://www.wweek.com/news/2017/03/23/oregonians-are-reporting-more-hate-and-bias-crimes-than-anyone-in-u-s/  https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/12/02/hate-incidents-oregon-among-highest-nation/94696988/