Former Black Employee Sues Apple for $750,000 for not defending him against White Racist Customers that allegedly harassed him
A former Black employee has filed a $750,000 lawsuit against Apple. Mr. Holt who worked at the Washington Square mall Apple store says managers repeatedly failed to support him -- and ultimately fired him -- after he endured years of racist behavior from white customers.
In a lawsuit filed last week, Joshua Holt says white customers "constantly asked" if he worked at the Tigard store even though he’d just welcomed them inside; customers referred to him "boy"; and customers would avoid him or ignore him and instead ask for assistance from white employees.
"When Mr. Holt shared these experiences with his co-workers and management, he was often told to ‘assume positive intent’ or that he was overreacting," the lawsuit says. "Mr. Holt grew increasingly upset and demoralized by Apple not taking his concerns seriously enough to warrant a meaningful response."
In one instance, Holt’s suit alleges that in January 2018 a white male customer shoved him in the back, but when Holt reported this to managers they "sent him to the back of the store rather than address the customer."
The suit says it was only after that same customer referred to another employee as Asian and used a derogatory name to describe that employee that Apple banished the customer from the store.
Apple says 53 percent of its new hires are from "historically underrepresented groups in tech," including "women and people who identify as Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander."
The suit says Holt was sent home and placed on administrative leave, then was told in March 2019 that he was being fired for violating company policies.
Portland attorney Ashlee Albies, Whitney Stark and Maya Rinta filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, on behalf of Holt. For more on this, read the full Oregonian report.
In the end, it would appear that Mr. Holt is trying to make a racist case against Apple for not throwing every white customer out of their store based on Mr. Holt's impression that white people were discriminating against him.
Unless there are a series of videos showing white customers pushing, spitting, slapping or yelling in Mr. Holt's face, I have no idea how Mr. Holt expects this case to go his way.