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Amazon: Employee filed a lawsuit over alleged racial discrimination and other unjust practices

Photo by: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash

Amazon has been sued by an employee who claimed she was racially discriminated against and was not paid the same amount as her White co-workers. She is the latest employee to accuse Jeff Bezos’ company of systemic racism.

The allegations against Amazon

The complainant, who is Black, works as Amazon Web Services’ head of business development, stated that the tech giant hires Black individuals and places them in lower positions. They could be promoted, but that happens very slowly, unlike the Whites.

Charlotte Newman claimed in her lawsuit that she was also subjected to harassment and stated that despite the company’s vow to fight racism, Black employees suffer from a “systemic pattern of insurmountable discrimination.”

Reuters reported that she also alleged that a male supervisor used racial tropes on her. He called her “too direct,” “scary,” and “aggressive.”

For her sexual harassment accusation, Newman said that another male co-worker did this to her, and that same man once pulled her braids too. The men were included in her lawsuit, although one of them was already fired.

About the complainant

Charlotte Newman is a 38-year-old woman who resides in Washington DC. She was hired at AWS four years ago as a public policy manager though she applied for a higher-level senior manager post in which she’s better qualified. She accused Amazon of "de-leveling" Black workers when they are hired.

“Within months of starting at the company, she in fact was assigned and doing the work of a senior manager-level employee while still being paid at and having the title of the manager level,” part of her suit reads. “To make matters worse, and in defiance of the anti-discrimination laws, Ms. Newman was paid significantly less than her white coworkers, particularly in valuable Amazon stock.”

She is a Harvard Business School graduate who previously worked as a former adviser to Senator Cory Booker. Newman shared that Amazon delayed her promotion to senior manager by 2-1/2 years.

Amazon’s response to the allegations

As per CNN Business, Amazon stated it is investigating the allegations of Charlotte Newman but told a media outlet that it disagrees with the narrative’s characterization of Amazon's culture. The company said the facts given were "based on the views of a small number of individuals."

"Amazon works hard to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture, and these allegations do not reflect those efforts or our values," the firm’s spokesperson stated. "We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and thoroughly investigate all claims and take appropriate action."

Meanwhile, Newman is being represented by Douglas Wigdor from Wigdor Law, home of top NYC employment lawyers. The complainant wants compensation and punitive damages.

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