Excerpts from The Guardian story:
“An Oregon county has agreed to pay $100,000 to a black employee who alleged she was harassed after asking that a Blue Lives Matter flag not be displayed in her office.
In a lawsuit against Multnomah county filed in January, Karimah Guion-Pledgure said the flag demeaned the Black Lives Matter movement, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported. She said she was harassed after she and other black co-workers complained.
Guion-Pledgure had worked for the department of community justice since 2011 as a corrections technician. She originally sought $420,000. The settlement, reached on Thursday, was first reported by an alternative bi-weekly newspaper, the Portland Mercury.
Guion-Pledgure’s lawsuit said Blue Lives Matter “co-opts” Black Lives Matter and “repurposes it to shift focus to law enforcement – a chosen profession, not a racial identity – and thus denigrates, dilutes, and demeans the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement”.
After the probation officer’s flag had been up for more than six months, Guion-Pledgure erected an “equity wall” that displayed photos of minorities killed by police, the suit stated. Managers told her to take down the photos, the lawsuit said, but she refused because the Blue Lives Matter flag remained.
The same day, Guion-Pledgure found two notes affixed to her equity wall reading “Thanks a lot” and “Bitch”, according to the suit.
Guion-Pledgure alleged that her supervisor did not require the flag to be taken down and said the conflict caused her extreme stress and health issues.
A week later, managers responded with a rule that all personal photos displayed needed to be smaller than 5in-by-7in, according to the suit.
Managers are developing a policy on personal displays of photos and other items, a Multnomah county spokeswoman said.
As part of the agreement, Guion-Pledgure had to resign by Friday. She can reapply for a county job.
“She’s disappointed that she has to leave there and that they couldn’t make it a safe and welcoming work environment,” said her attorney, Ashlee Albies. “They say they’re working on that, and we hope they really are.”
Read the whole story here.
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