An Amazon manager and Washington resident filed a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant, in District Court in Washington D.C. Charlotte Newman says that the company hired her for a position that wasn’t comparable with her experience, so that they could pay her a lower salary.
This corporate practice is called “de-leveling” and she alleges that it is used more commonly for Black managers.
The 38-year old black woman mentions that she did work much above her pay grade and promotions were given to less qualified white, male employees. She asserts that this discriminatory treatment put her at risk and also made her face harassment by other executives.
Newman is represented by Douglas Wigdor. He is the lawyer who fought for six women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse. She is seeking monetary and punitive damages from defendants including the Amazon website, Amazon Web Services and three individuals. One of these individuals no longer works at Amazon after she made internal complaints against the individual.
The suit also tries to show how much of racial discrimination and insensitivity exists at the company. It mentions how Amazon allegedly tried delay as well as to break up all efforts of unionization of a majority of black warehouse workers. It also states that there is a lack of diversity at broad and management levels. Black workers allegedly get lower pay and are overlooked for promotions or receive them after huge delays.
On Monday, Amazon also released a statement saying that it works hard to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. It said that it is investigating the new allegations included in the lawsuit.
In February the e-commerce giant had sued New York Attorney Letitia James. This was an attempt by Amazon to block her from putting forth charges that the company did not adhere to safety norms at two of its New York City warehouses.
Amazon workers have been voting for unionization and if they succeed, this will be a first step forward towards equity as Trump’s administration had implemented policies that were in favor of management and huge corporate houses rather than workers.