Saturday, November 10, 2007

Whites-Only Bathroom in Georgia: Local Company Sued for Discrimination

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

BRUNSWICK, GA -- First Coast News has been investigating allegations that a major local company is guilty of racial discrimination.

Lisa Woods contacted us almost a year ago. She worked at Georgia-Pacific near Brunswick at the scaling house where truckers come to weigh their logs.

She says for months the restroom had a sign saying, "OUT OF ORDER." She alleges her co-worker, Anthony Lee, believed the races shouldn't mix. Lee had no comment.

An independent trucker, Donald Jones, says when he went to the scaling house he saw the same "OUT OF ORDER" sign.

Jones says, "I had to go off in the woods and do what I had to do."

But Lisa Wagner, a former security guard at the scaling house, says if a white truck driver came through, "No problem, no problem at all." Whites were invited to use the toilet, Wagner says.

Was the toilet really broken? First Coast News Jeannie Blaylock went to the scale house with a photographer to find out. She flushed the toilet and it seemed to be working just fine.

Several hours after our news crew stopped at the job site, Georgia-Pacific fired Woods.

Woods is suing Georgia-Pacific for racial and sexual discrimination.

She also alleges Lee put up a cartoon at the job site showing a pregnant monkey. Woods was pregnant at the time but later miscarried.

That miscarriage, verified by medical records from Southeast Georgia Health Systems, is also part of Woods' complaints. She says the company would not let her off from work, even though medical experts recommended she "rest at home for the next several days."

Wagner says, "She worked all day. I seen truckers in and and out...and her by herself working when she had a miscarriage the night before."

Woods alleges she sent numerous communications to the area human resource manager for Georgia-Pacific, but nothing changed.

Attorneys for Geogia-Pacific did not return our calls. But a company spokesperson sent us an email saying, "Georgia-Pacific had a legitimate basis for Ms. Wood's termination and we dispute all of her allegations. We will vigorously defend our position."

Source: FirstCoastNews

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