A former United Parcel Service employee is suing the company, alleging that as a white worker he was wrongfully fired in 2017 and made a “sacrificial victim” of the firm’s desire to appease a Latino employee who had brought unfounded discrimination complaints against the package-delivery giant.
Mason McConn’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful termination, racial discrimination, retaliation, defamation and false light invasion of privacy. Along with UPS he is suing the Latino worker, Pedro Flores, and company human resources employee Gerald Yee.
The suit filed Wednesday seeks unspecified damages and an injunction directing UPS to not discriminate or retaliate against employees.
A UPS representative could not be immediately reached.
McConn worked for UPS for 12 years and his job was to supervise drivers who distributed freight throughout Los Angeles County, the suit states. McConn had 20 years experience in the package-delivery industry and was well liked by drivers and management, who commended him for his work, the suit states.
However, a shortage of drivers prompted McConn to assign more work to those in the UPS work force and this angered Flores, according to the lawsuit.
“When plaintiff assigned Flores additional work, Flores became insubordinate and at times refused to perform his duties,” the suit states.
Flores, “out of spite toward plaintiff,” called McConn a racist, alleged that the plaintiff discriminated against Flores, violated his seniority and physically assaulted him, the suit states.
Flores’ reported his “patently false and malicious” claims to UPS human resources and upper management, according to McConn’s suit.
“Although UPS knew Flores was lying, the company did not want to agitate Flores further for fear of being accused of retaliation due to his history of filing grievances against the company … and for fear of being sued by Flores,” the suit states.
Although UPS management knew Flores’ accusations against McConn were unfounded, the company fired him in May 2017 “in order to appease Flores and other Hispanic employees …,” the suit states.
UPS held McConn to a different standard of accountability than non-white employees and “made him a sacrificial victim in order to avoid the racial tension caused by the false accusations of Flores,” the suit alleges.
UPS used McConn’s alleged use of an epithet in the workplace as a false justification for firing him even though other workers were not disciplined for similar conduct, the suit states.
“Employees at UPS cursed in the rough-hewn trucking workplace all the time, but no employee had ever been reprimanded, let alone terminated, for swearing,” the suit states.
Dozens of McConn’s former co-workers circulated a petition after his firing demanding that he be reinstated, but the company refused to give him his job back, according to his lawsuit.
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