A former Black employee of Guaranty RV alleges in a lawsuit that the company’s employees subjected him to racist language and one employee drove past him slowly with a Confederate flag in the window. The Junction City-based RV dealer denies this happened, court documents show.
Michael Evans, who worked for Guaranty RV from February 2014 to April 2019, alleges in a complaint filed July 2019 that co-workers made racist comments to him that included the slur n*****. Co-workers also referred to him as the “token black guy in the room” and “monkey,” as well as made references to lynching and a noose, court documents say.
Evans is suing the company for equal rights violations, a hostile work environment and retaliation for reporting the behavior, among other things. He is seeking up to $78 million in damages.
A spokesperson for Guaranty did not return requests for comment before publication.
Evans alleges that he was denied “promising sales leads” despite leads were supposed to be distributed in a “neutral” order and that he was not compensated for supplemental hourly pay, court documents show. Evans says that co-workers called his office a “cage” and says that he needed to stay “‘locked up’ in his office,” according to court documents.
In December 2015, Evans suffered a knee injury during a company retreat and filed a compensation claim, court documents show, and says that the company “unlawfully adjusted” his sales figures and did not correct them after he complained. The company acknowledges that Evans complained about his sales figures, but denies that they were never corrected, according to court documents filed by the company’s attorneys in August of last year.
Evans also says he was called “lazy” due to his injury, which affected his ability to stand and walk for a long time. Evans is also suing the company for disabled and injured worker discrimination.
Evans says he was terminated for opposing unlawful employment practices, according to court documents, but Guaranty denies that he was terminated in April 2019.
Attorneys for Guaranty RV denied the behavior of its employees toward Evans; however, they do acknowledge that Evans complained to Guaranty about racist behavior that happened at a company dinner. The complaint does not specify what that behavior looked like.
Evans alleges employees retaliated against him for reporting the behavior, and says he overheard a conversation between employees that led him to believe that they would break into his car and leave incriminating items that could cause him to lose his job. Evans reported the incident to the police, court documents show.
The litigation is still ongoing and in the process of discovery. In February, the attorneys for both parties submitted a motion to extend discovery until July.