Two Maryland University employees are suing the university for racial discrimination for $1.5 million each.

The Lawsuit

Duray Jones and Michael Bell, two African American employees at the University of Maryland are suing the university for racial discrimination for $1.5 million each. They claim the university was fostering a “hostile work environment,” retaliating when they attempted to complain about the misconduct, inflicting emotional distress.

The two employees had emailed human resources back in April 2013, explaining their concerns regarding working outside of their job descriptions as well as issues with job safety. The university then denied that the two employees were working past what their job requires them to do. However, they both claimed that a white colleague’s job title was changed.

Jones then claimed that after his car was broken into and his work phone was stolen, the university did not replace his phone, despite the fact that white coworkers who had similar problems received new phones without being admonished.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in the US District Court, listing the university itself and three management officials as defendants.

The employees’ attorney, Christal Edwards, said: “The university has been able to function and get away with it for so long that it’s readily accepted.” She claimed that this is only the “latest symptom” of the racist culture that exists on campus.

“It’s hard, emotionally, to have your supervisor treat you unfairly every day but still have to go into work to support your family.” she said.

Other Racist Incidents On Campus

Earlier in the year, there were white supremacist posts found on some school buildings and was also a noose found in the kitchen of a fraternity house.

More importantly, a month ago, a black student named Richard Collins III, from Bowie University was stabbed and killed while visiting his friends in College Park. The attacker was Sean, Urbanski- a student who was a member of a Facebook group for white supremacists.

ProtectUMD is a group of students who have been rallying against the campus’s systemic racism particularly over the past few months. Following Collin’s murder, the president of the university, Wallace Loh, has publically told the university of a plan set in place to combat hate and racism on campus. He has also repeatedly publically denounced racism at the school.

“It is on all of us to stand up and fight the racism, extremism and hate that are cancers in our body politic,” he said in a statement.


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