Hawley County, South Carolina (WBTW) — A man is suing the South Carolina Department of Education alleging racial discrimination while working as a school bus mechanic at Conway.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 26, alleges Eric Jordan, who is black, was subjected to “offensive, blatant, and overt racial attacks” from his first week on the job in 2018. The lawsuit alleges that Jordan was the only black employee.

A colleague of Jordan’s is said to have made the following comment to him on his first day of employment. ,” according to the lawsuit.

Allegedly, during his second week, one employee who does not work for the Ministry of Education flashed Jordan a KKK card and said, “Because he knows how to ‘handle’ him.” It is said that he warned them not to stray from the line. litigation.

The same person allegedly told him, “I brought home something that can cover you,” alluding to the white bedsheets that are the symbol of the robes worn by the KKK, according to the lawsuit. .

The lawsuit alleges that while Jordan was criticized and disciplined for mistakes he made “to protect other white employees,” there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Jordan.

During Bike Week, Jordan and his colleagues rode their bikes to work at a bus shop. The lawsuit alleges that one of the employees told another that Jordan’s Harley-Davidson had been stolen.

Jordan said white employees were allowed to come to work on election day for the 2020 presidential election and vote during office hours, but Jordan said they were not.

After the election, the lawsuit alleges that other employees harassed Jordan. [Jordan] Because he refused to express the same sentiment or reveal who he voted for. “

At another point, an employee told Jordan, “I’m not taking orders from black men,” according to the lawsuit.

In another instance, an employee played the national anthem at a sporting event and got into an argument with Jordan over whether to play the “black national anthem,” according to the lawsuit. Several employees also called him a racial slur.

According to the lawsuit, Jordan notified his boss of the harassment, but his boss did nothing to address the discrimination.

Jordan sent a recording to a department employee of an employee calling him a racial slur in front of other employees. The employee was fired, but the lawsuit alleges that the department did nothing to prevent retaliation from other employees.

Jordan claims he was retaliated against by other employees in the weeks following the video, with one employee trying to lock the garage door so Jordan could park a work truck inside the garage. No. This will result in him being reprimanded or dismissed. In another instance, an employee allegedly trashed Jordan’s work truck.

Jordan also claims the department’s equipment was placed in his personal car, but according to the lawsuit, he found it before someone accused him of stealing.

One of Jordan’s responsibilities was to change the oil in the bus. While checking the oil, he left the hood of the bus open to mark the ones that needed an oil change. According to the lawsuit, his co-workers closed their hoods, so he had to check them all again.

According to the lawsuit, in August 2021, Jordan filed a complaint with the South Carolina Human Resources Commission and was transferred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit states that the supervisor apologized to Jordan in August 2021 and said he would do what he could to make sure the harassment stopped. A month after his apology, the employee used shop equipment to participate, which was a violation of policy and marked the tractor he was supposed to be on “drastically limit the speed of the tractor and forced them to work much longer hours” policy violation. hot sun. “

According to the lawsuit, one of the employees told a boss about the racism Jordan faced, but none of the bosses did anything about it.

According to the lawsuit, Jordan received counseling because he was “suffering from severe anxiety, emotional distress, and fear for his own and his family’s safety.”

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In October 2021, Jordan had to be hospitalized due to heart failure and had to take an extended medical leave from work. He claims this is the result of “severe stress and emotional distress.”

Jordan has accused the South Carolina Department of Education of violating the South Carolina Personnel Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the South Carolina Whistleblower Act. The agency has also been accused of gross negligence, willful emotional distress and defamation.

Jordan is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

News13 has reached out to the South Carolina Department of Education for comment and is awaiting a response.

Jordan requested the right to sue and notice was issued and received on August 4th.



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