Suit: Black Worker Given These Items Before Getting Fired
Tishay Wright claims her boss gave her Confederate-themed gifts
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2017 2:53 PM CDT
The Confederate flag purse and photos allegedly given to Tishay Wright as a Christmas gift at a company party.   (Dolan Law Firm)
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(Newser) – A black employee at a Bay Area-based construction firm is suing the company for racial discrimination and harassment, alleging that her supervisor gave her Confederate-themed gifts at a holiday party before firing her in March. Tishay Wright, a former project administrator at Southland Construction Management, claims the gifts were retaliation from boss and co-owner Kenneth Hayden after Wright objected to him calling her and another female employee “my bitches,” Courthouse News reports. According to SF Gate, the suit says Hayden stopped Wright from picking a present at an anonymous company Christmas exchange and handed her a special wrapped gift. Inside she found a Confederate flag-decorated purse with photos inside of Hayden dressed as President Trump sitting before a Confederate flag and posters reading “The Southland Shall Rise Again” and “Make Southland Great Again.”

“I couldn’t believe what I had received from my bosses,” Wright says. “It takes me back to slavery days. I am not a slave.” Wright claims she was fired in March after telling co-owner Anita Hayden that the gifts were inappropriate. The suit alleges further discriminatory workplace behavior by the Haydens, claiming that along with reducing her responsibilities after she complained about Kenneth’s language, the supervisors used racist rhetoric, including telling a Sikh intern to “go get your people before they blow something up" and often joking that Mexican workers could be paid in beer. Southland Construction has yet to issue a statement regarding the complaint filed on Thursday. “I kept being told by my family to not be afraid to speak up,” says Wright, who hails from liberal Berkeley, where she “never encountered anything like this.”

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