Lawsuit: Wilson County Bridgestone bosses lied to keep woman from being promoted

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WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – An African-American employee at the Bridgestone plant in Wilson is suing the company after she says her white managers colluded to keep her from receiving a promotion.

Laverne McIver is suing for $500,000 after she claims her supervisors harassed her based on her race and kept her from moving up within the Wilson facility, a lawsuit shows.

McIver is an African-American woman and the supervisors listed in the lawsuit are all white. One of the men included in the lawsuit is an African-American male.

In 2006, an employee at the Bridgestone facility in Wilson hung a noose on the machines of two black males, the lawsuit says. Despite Human Resources documenting the incident, the lawsuit says the person responsible was not disciplined.

Since that incident, McIver has filed three Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges against her supervisors, the lawsuit shows. Those supervisors were not involved in the noose hangings. 

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 14, claims Laverne McIver’s supervisors kept her from advancing within the company in 2016 and moved her into a different position that would limit her ability to learn.

That new position also limited her hours due to her carpal tunnel.

The action of the supervisors was in retaliation for McIver reporting harassment to Human Resources and filing EEOC complaints against them.

That harassment included the supervisors fabricating complaints about McIver just prior to a job being posted that would be a promotion for her, according to the lawsuit.

The supervisors are also accused of planting false information in her 2016 and 2017 performance reviews to keep her from being promoted.

These actions were taken by her supervisors despite McIver previously receiving good performance reviews and positive feedback from other employees, the lawsuit says. 

Those performance reviews resulted in McIver being moved to what the lawsuit details as a lesser position for McIver. The new position for McIver resulted in lost wages, the lawsuit says. 

The supervisors failed to take proper action following McIver’s complaints and resulted in more severe harassment, the lawsuit claims. 

McIver is suing not only for $500,000 for pain and suffering but also punitive damages, cost of suit, and attorney’s fees.

Bridgestone released the following statement to CBS 17:

Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) is dedicated to providing equal opportunity and an inclusive, respectful culture for all of its employees. While we cannot comment on pending litigation, we are working to confirm the facts of the case. Bridgestone does not tolerate any acts of discrimination or retaliation. We are committed to protecting the rights of all individuals.

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