The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Norfolk, Virginia has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the company that says it is one of the nation’s “most admired retailers”. The discrimination lawsuit was filed on September 30, 2002 on behalf of Angella L. Ware, who was an employee in Human Resources at the Newport News Home Depot. According to an account on Channel 13 WVEC in Hampton Beach, the EEOC charges that Angella Ware, who is black, was discharged because of her race. Ware began work at Home Depot in July of 2000, and was terminated in August, 2001. According to the complaint, Ware was directed by her store manager to hire an employee before his criminal offender record check was completed. When Ware went on vacation, she returned to find that this employee had been allowed to continue working, even after his criminal check showed a prior criminal conviction. Ware informed her manager that this was against company policy. She also noted that paying the employee out of petty cash, or under the table, also violated company policy. The manager, who is also black, and Ware, were both fired, while the Assistant Manager, who is white, was promoted to Acting Manager. The EEOC complaint claims that Assistant Manager was fully culpable for the violations of company policy, yet kept his job and was promoted. “A company the size of Home Depot should be beyond this sort of tactic in this day and age,” said the director of the EEOC Norfolk office. “Ms. Ware was a commendable employee who was fired because of the color of her skin.” According to Ware, Home Depot “offered me lower than my salary to settle before the lawsuit. I was an Human Resource Manager (formerly known as an ADS (Associate Development Supervisor)). At this time the lawsuit only names me. I had no write-ups and alot of evidence to support my charge against them. I kept a written log of all conversations that I was present at. Home Depot has not made a response to the lawsuit by the EEOC.”
Ware says that she has been unemployed since she was terminated. “I am a disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a black female,” she writes. “More importantly, I was too good at my job and complained about the unfair treatment between minorities and white male managers. I also had evidence to back up my complaints. I hope you can help others by letting them know that one person can stand up and be counted.I had an approved transfer to California by Home Depot and was 1 week from leaving.??They offered me $11,000 then $40,000. I have been out of work since 17 August 2001.?? My normal salary is over $60,000 for one year because I was hourly at the time.” For further information on this case, contact [email protected] For similar lawsuits, search this database using the word “discrimination”.