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Milwaukee company charged with racial discrimination

Experis helps job-seekers find employment in IT, engineering, graphic design, sales, accounting and more. It also helps firms find qualified applicants for jobs in those fields. The company was recently accused in a workplace racial discrimination lawsuit of denying a promotion to an employee because he is black.

Milwaukee’s ManpowerGroup is Experis’s parent company. A former Experis recruiting manager worked in the company’s Atlanta office, receiving consistent promotions during his six-year tenure prior to a 2014 meeting with his supervisor about a managing director’s position. Although he did not receive the desired promotion, he was still with Experis a year later when another employee discovered the supervisor’s notes about the 2014 meeting.

The white VP’s handwritten words about the African American employee were jarring: “Someone has to clean the floor, Janitor.”

And this: “(N-word) your (sic) never going to have this job!”

“When I saw the discriminatory notes for the first time, my heart broke,” the former Experis employee said. He had hoped that his “work ethic and capabilities would be considered by ManPower without regards to the color of my skin, but clearly I was wrong.”

His employment law attorney said it’s rare to find “direct evidence of discrimination like in this case.”

The lawyer said the notes were intended to be shredded, but when an Experis worker saw them, they were brought to the attention of the employee now alleging racial discrimination.

Experis’s attorney said an internal investigation “found the allegations not to have any merit.”

The company believes the notes do not reflect the supervisor’s thoughts, but were instead an effort to document the employee’s comments during the meeting. “The manager simply documented the conversation and that’s reflected by the quotation marks that are included there.”

According to the news report, the case is headed to trial.

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