chevron supervisor calls employee 'stupid jap'

Oh hell no. Saw this here, from a press release detailing the plight of John Suzuki, a former Chevron employee who was forced to take early retirement this month rather than risk his health by returning to work under a supervisor who harassed and threatened him, and called him a "stupid Jap":
The doctors had diagnosed Suzuki as being at high risk of another heart attack after he had at least two episodes of severe chest pains following incidents in which his supervisor, Alan Klaassen harassed him by yelling at him, making false accusations and threatening him.

After one such incident in January 2008, Suzuki went to his doctor, who told him that he had to reduce his workload or else he might have a heart attack. When Suzuki told Klaassen and a manager, Frank Turner, what his doctor said, Klaassen and Turner laughed at Suzuki.

Things came to a head in August 2009 when Klaassen again yelled at Suzuki, waved his fist in his face, threatened him and falsely blamed him for problems in the work. Klaassen also called Suzuki a "stupid Jap."

Use of racial slurs by supervisors on the job violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws and laws prohibiting hostile and abusive work environments. As one federal appeals court noted in 1993, "Perhaps no single act can more quickly 'alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment' . . . than the use of an [unambiguous] racial epithet . . . by a supervisor…."

Following the August 2009 incident, Suzuki again suffered severe chest pains. His doctors put him on medical leave and have been treating him since then. They told Chevron that he could return to work only when he was taken out of his hostile work environment and moved to a different department.

Chevron categorically refused to consider moving Suzuki to a different department. If Suzuki did not return to his department and his supervisor Klaassen, he faced termination, Chevron told him.

Suzuki got an attorney, John Ota of Alameda, Calif., who pointed out to Chevron that under California law, the company must separate Suzuki from Klaassen, at the very least until Chevron did a fair and thorough investigation of Suzuki's charges that Klaassen had insulted him with a racial epithet and otherwise created a hostile work environment.
The rest of the press release describes how Chevron's actions indicated that the company had no intention of conducting a fair and objective investigation of the matter as required by law. Faced with termination and the possible resulting loss of his retirement benefits, Suzuki reluctantly chose early retirement. Read all about it here: Chevron Allows Supervisor to Harass Employee with 'Stupid Jap' Slur. (Thanks, Kate.)

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