In spite of the significant progress made by American society since the emergence of the Civil Right movement, the problem of racial discrimination still remains very important and affects the life and work of many people. Moreover, even leading companies, such as the Lockheed Martin Corporation, are susceptible to problems and lawsuits related to racial issues. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the recent case of Charles Daniels, former employee of the Lockheed. The article “Lockheed Settles Discrimination Case”¯ describes the details of the settlement and reveals the essence of the problem, which actually gives insight into the basics of the problem of racial discrimination in the US.
On analyzing the article, it should be said that it basically gives the general information on the case of Charles Daniels, an African American that has suffered from racial discrimination while working at the Lockheed Martin Corporation in Florida, Hawaii and Washington. Being a representative of African American community, Charles Daniels was discriminated by his white co-workers and managers, namely, the article reads that he was “called derogatory names and threatened by four co-workers and a supervisor from 1999 to 2001”¯ (Lockheed). Obviously, such an attitude of co-workers and the supervisor is absolutely unacceptable not only from the moral point of view but it is also absolutely illegal and contradicts to basic legal norms of the US.
First of all, it should be said that, according to the Fair Employment and Housing Act all employees are equal and cannot be discriminated. In actuality, this means that the racial differences cannot be a reason for verbal abuse of an employee or for threatening to an employee as it occurred in the case of Charles Daniels. In such a way, it is possible to estimate that his co-workers and the supervisor violated the norms of the Fair Employment and Housing Act that could not fail to affect the position of Charles Daniels in the company, his moral and psychological state.
Moreover, along with the verbal abuse and discrimination of the black employee from the part of his co-workers the article also indicates to the absence of any reaction from the part of the supervisor. To put it more precisely, when Charles Daniels reported the cases of the verbal abuse and threats to the company manager, the latter did not react adequately to the report and just responded that “That’s just boys being boys, and that’s the way it is here at Lockheed”¯ (Lockheed). In such a way, the manager did not only ignore the compliance of his employee but he did not undertake any preventive measures to stop the further discrimination and threats to Charles Daniels that apparently made his position in the company absolutely unbearable since there was a kind of vicious circle. In fact, such behavior of the manager contradicts to the existing legal norms, namely it violates the Labor Law, which regulates the attitudes between employees and administration. In this respect, it should be said that, according to this law, the manager should undertake steps to prevent the discrimination of the employee and create normal conditions of work in order to eliminate the discriminatory attitude to Charles Daniels and make him equal to other employees.
From the legal point of view, the case of Charles Daniels is obviously contradicting to basic legal norms and civil rights, which are equal to all citizens of the US. This is why it is possible to estimate that the settlement of the racial discrimination case of Charles Daniels filed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is quite logical and just. To put it more precisely, the Lockheed Martin Corporation had agreed to pay the discriminated employee $2.5 million. It is important to underline that the official position of the company supports the basic legal norms accepted in the US and targets at the elimination of discrimination since a spokesman for Lockheed Martin estimated that “we do not tolerate unlawful behavior or workplace behavior that is inappropriate”¯ (Lockheed).
However, in spite of the settlement and attempts of the Lockheed officials to convince that the company targets at the prevention of any sort of discrimination, the problem of racial discrimination still remains relevant not only in this particular company but in many other companies in the US. In fact, the attitude to racial minorities or different, non-white ethnic groups is often discriminatory and unjust. Obviously, racial discrimination at the workplace undermines the stability within an organization and makes normal work of employees practically impossible. At the same time, it should be said that racial discrimination can manifest itself in different ways. The verbal abuse and threats that were in the case of Charles Daniels may be complemented by the inequality in wages employees receive.
However, in conclusion, it is necessary to underline that racial as well any other sort of discrimination is illegal and it is important that employees were conscious of their rights and were ready to protect them. In fact, companies, as a rule, prefer to settle such cases without cases being proceeded to trial.