Workplace discrimination can surface in many ways, whether subtly or blatantly. And every such incident is demeaning, hurtful and illegal. Whether passed over for a promotion because of your gender or race or made to feel like a second-class citizen due to a disability, you immediately understand that you are a victim of discrimination. However, you wonder what to do about it.
In this specific case, two female employees of Newport Beach-based global investment manager PIMCO filed a lawsuit on Nov. 18, alleging discrimination based on gender, race and disability. The two women claimed that managers promoted a toxic work environment to get the two plaintiffs to quit and continue to underpay and under-promote women compared with White males.
Favor White employees
According to the lawsuit, PIMCO promoted a work environment that favored White male employees over their colleagues who were women, women of color and women suffering from disabilities, while also not giving them credit for their contributions.
In addition, White males continue to be over-represented on PIMCO’s management and executive teams. Lawsuit documents note that PIMCO has never named a Black person as a managing director and that women comprise just 20% of the company’s senior roles. PIMCO denies the allegations
One plaintiff, a PIMCO employee since 2007, claimed her manager verbally abused her repeatedly in front of colleagues because she had a series of absences due to ill health. She alleged that the harassment escalated after her manager discovered that she filed a complaint with the human resources department. And, in 2018, the company demoted her.
The second plaintiff declared that she, too, faced confrontations with her manager before other employees. In addition, she claimed that the human resources department ignored her complaints about her manager’s conduct until male colleagues made similar accusations.
It is never too late to confront discrimination in the workplace. And it takes a great amount of courage and energy to do so.