Allied Universal has responded to a lawsuit filed by a black former security guard for the company who alleges she was subjected to retaliation and harassment and ultimately fired in 2019 when she complained about her work conditions, saying in a statement that the company does not tolerate such practices.
“Allied Universal is committed to fostering a positive work environment,” the statement reads. “We take seriously all claims against the company, but are unable to comment on pending litigation.”
La Juana Powers is seeking unspecified damages in the suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on allegations of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Powers was hired at Allied Universal in May 2013, was praised for exceeding expectations and the next year was assigned the lead supervisor position for The Irvine Co., a client with whom Allied contracted to provide security guard services at several shopping centers, the suit states.
Powers, now 62, was one of the oldest and also one of the few black guards at the firm, according to her court papers.
About September 2017, Powers began to receive anonymous text messages from her co-workers, including, “Go clean ur ugly (N-word) monkey face,” “I’m so glad Donald’s Trump don’t like black peoples” and “ur big joke monkey,” the suit states.
Powers complained to her supervisor, who told her just to block their phone numbers, but she continued to receive offensive text messages, including “black ugly,” “u going to get fired soon” and “you re the worst N-word,” the suit alleges.
Powers was abruptly fired last May and the sole reason given to her was that she had attendance issues, which was false, the suit alleges.
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