Ex-Milacron electrician says he was fired after complaining about racial hate comment inscribed in bathroom
A Kennedy Heights man is claiming in a lawsuit that he was fired by a Batavia company after repeatedly complaining about a racially offensive comment written on a toilet paper dispenser in a factory bathroom.
The suit was filed last month in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati by Justin Evegan, who is black. Evegan alleges that Milacron Plastics Technologies Group, plant manager Tom McDonald and three other employees engaged in race discrimination and retaliation around his firing.
Evegan states that he was in a bathroom stall in August 2016 when he saw “Kill The Niggers” written on the toilet paper dispenser. Elsewhere in the stall, he claims, was an image of former President Obama riding a pig with a quote bubble saying “Allahu Akhbar” (Arabic for “God is great”). Above Obama was a group of balloons tied together by a noose.
Evegan says he reported the graffiti to his supervisor, who told him it had been removed. It wasn’t, Evegan says, so he took a picture of the phrase and showed it to his supervisor and, this time, McDonald. He says he was told it would be investigated.
When the phrase still hadn’t been removed, Evegan posted the picture on his Facebook page on Aug. 23 along with his comment, “This is what I have too deal with at my job. I told my forman (sic) two weeks ago about this and look. I bet if I put smthn up about another race it would be off the next day. #racismisSTILLreal.”
Evegan says he was fired Nov. 1 and that the phrase still hadn’t been removed the day prior to his dismissal.
“They claim they fired him for a different Facebook Live post about how hostile the work environment was,” says Evegan’s lawyer, Brian Butler of Cincinnati. “It depicted machines in the background, and the company says it violated their proprietary information policy.”
Evegan states he was originally hired by Milacron as an electrician in February 2016. Butler says Evegan has not found steady work since his firing. The lawsuit asks for unspecified financial damages and job reinstatement.
Milacron spokesman Michael Ellis says the company does not comment on pending lawsuits. But he says Milacron does not condone “the kind of behavior described in the lawsuit.”
“Milacron is committed to a fair workplace that is free from sexual, racial or other unlawful harassment, and from threats or acts of violence or physical intimidation,” Ellis says.