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Seattle Subjected White City Employee to ‘Racially Hostile Work Environment,’ Lawsuit Alleges


by Alexa Schwerha

 

A former Seattle municipal employee filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle earlier in November for allegedly creating a “racially hostile” working environment.

The plaintiff, Joshua Diemert, alleges that he was denied opportunities in his career in Seattle’s Human Services Department because of his race, forced to sit through race-based training sessions, urged to join “race-based affinity groups” and accused of benefiting from “white privilege.” Diemert seeks a declaration that Seattle’s policies and practices violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as damages up to $300,000.

The damages compensate for the salary lost “as a result of being discriminatorily denied promotions” as well as “for his mental pain and suffering.”

Diemert was allegedly subjected to hostile interactions with colleagues, the lawsuit reads. Emails from colleagues allegedly referred to Diemert as “some asshole” and the “reincarnation of the people that shot native Americans from trains, rounded up jews for the camps, hunted down gypsies in Europe and runaway slaves in America.”

Moreover, the Seattle department allegedly required all employees to attend a “Race and Social Justice Initiative” training, according to the lawsuit. Facilitators at a 2019 “Undoing Institutional Racism” workshop that Diemert attended allegedly claimed that “white people are like the devil,” “racism is in white people’s DNA” and accused white people of being “cannibals.”

Diemert was also allegedly required to attend a 2020 training titled “Theory of Change” which  required him to rate how well the Department adhered to standards found in a document titled “Characteristics of White Supremacy.”

Diemert allegedly reported discriminatory incidents to city officials at several points, but was repeatedly ignored, according to the lawsuit.

Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing Diemert, and Seattle’s Human Services Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Alexa Schwerha is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Joshua Diemert” by Joshua Diemert. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Clyde Robinson. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 


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