According to Recode, five female Amazon employees filed discrimination lawsuits against the company on Wednesday.
The women worked in a variety of departments, ranging from a warehouse to corporate HR. All claim that white managers retaliated against them after they complained about racial discrimination, sexism, or sexual harassment.
One of the plaintiffs, Pearl Thomas, a 64-year-old Black woman, claimed she was placed on a performance improvement plan after complaining about her boss’s racist remarks.
Thomas, who worked in human resources, claimed her boss called her the “n-word” and told her and another Black coworker, “you don’t want to be an angry Black woman.”
Diana Cuervo, a 40-year-old Latina warehouse manager, claims she was fired after reporting racism to her white boss. According to Recode, he allegedly said things like “Latins suck” and “How is a Latin like you working here?” in front of her.
Three of the women are still employed by Amazon. Two employees have left the company. Wigdor LLP, the law firm representing Charlotte Newman, a Black Amazon manager who is also suing the company for race and gender discrimination, is handling all of their cases.
According to Wigdor LLP partners Lawrence M. Pearson and Jeanne M. Christensen in a statement to Recode, “women and employees of colour at all levels of Amazon have had their complaints of harassment and discrimination brushed under the rug.”
READ ALSO: Is Bluestacks Safe For Windows 10 PC
“Amazon can no longer dismiss abusive and retaliatory behaviour by white managers as anecdotes. These are systemic issues that are deeply embedded within the company and are perpetuated by a human resources department that views employees who raise concerns as a problem.”
Similar allegations of gender discrimination and bias have been levelled against companies such as Pinterest and Google. Pinterest paid $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by former COO Françoise Brougher in December. According to Brougher, she was fired after complaining about sexism and unequal pay.
Timnit Gebru, a well-known Black AI ethics researcher, was fired from Google in December while working on a paper about the risks of large language models. She has accused the company of racism, gaslighting, and retaliation in public.
On May 26th, Amazon shareholders will vote on a proposal from the New York State Common Retirement Fund to conduct an independent audit of the company’s civil rights, equity, and diversity and inclusion policies.
An Amazon spokesperson denied any allegations of wrongdoing in an email to The Verge. “As with any reported incident, we are conducting thorough investigations into each of these unrelated cases, and we have found no evidence to support the allegations,” they said.
“We do not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment, and employees are encouraged to raise concerns to any member of management or through an anonymous ethics hotline without fear of retaliation.”