Racial discrimination complaint filed against Daimler Trucks North America

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 10/2/2014

Some former and current employees, along with the Oregon labor commissioner, have filed a civil rights complaint against Daimler Trucks North America, alleging racial discrimination.

In the complaint, the workers allege they were subject to racial discrimination and harassment while working at the heavy-duty truck maker’s Swan Island plant in Portland, where its Western Star trucks are made. Daimler’s headquarters are located in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian filed the complaint on behalf of the minority workers on Sept. 25.

According to the complaint, the employees were “subject to conduct of a verbal and physical nature based on their race, color and/or national origin that was severe and pervasive and unreasonably interfered with their work performance and created an intimidating, hostile and offensive work environment.”

Daimler spokesman David Giroux confirmed that four charges alleging racial harassment have been filed by current and former employees of the Portland plant, according to a statement sent to Land Line on Thursday, Oct. 2.

“The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has been investigating these charges, and Daimler Trucks North America will continue to cooperate fully in that investigation,” Giroux said.

Giroux added that the truck maker has also retained an independent outside investigator following the labor department’s filing to “ensure objectivity in assessing the alleged facts in the case.”

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