A Detroit woman claims that she was fired from her job after reporting a noose that was allegedly hanging from the ceiling at her workplace.
Charlene Lust, 34, had only been working at the Sterling Heights Assembly plant for eight months when she arrived for an overnight shift in February. The contract maintenance employee, who was employed by MacLellan Integrated Service, told Detroit station WXYZ that she found something that shocked her — a rope resembling a racist symbol.
“It actually did something to me,” she told the outlet. “To the point where I did go to the doctor.”
She also took to social media to share a photo and video of what she found. The clip obtained by WXYZ shows what appears to be a noose hanging from the second floor of the auto plant. Lust says that it startled her because she hadn’t noticed any racial tension in the workplace.
“It showed up from out of nowhere,” she said. “And it kind of startled me that it happened because it was just a typical day.”
Lust alleged that sharing what she had seen on social media cost her her job. Two months after the incident, she’s still unemployed and struggling to keep herself and her four children in their apartment. Recently, she even received an eviction notice.
According to the Detroit Free Press, photographing inside an auto plant is generally not permitted, although there would likely be an exception for reporting adverse working conditions. Still, the outlet reports that Lust has filed a complaint claiming discrimination based on race and retaliation with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights against MacLellan, FCA and the United Automobile Workers union.
Lust’s employer, MacLellan, didn’t respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, FCA spokeswoman, Jodi Tinton, provided the following statement: “FCA does not tolerate retaliation against any person who reports a violation or participates in an investigation involving a workplace incident. Such behavior is strictly prohibited and anyone found engaging in such behavior will be dealt with accordingly.”
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