Target: Joe Totorice, CEO, Jason’s Deli
Goal: Compensate and reinstate Shakita Moore, who was fired for reporting a co-worker’s sexual harassment and a manager’s use of racist language.
An African American employee of a Jason’s Deli franchise in Chicago, Illinois was fired for reporting instances of sexual harassment and racial bigotry. The employee, Shakita Moore, felt “uncomfortable” after receiving “repeated” unwanted sexual advances from a male colleague. The manager to whom Shakita reported the sexual harassment responded that he was “scared of black people.” When Shakita complained to other managers about this racist language, she was promptly fired.
Furthermore, SocialistWorker.org reports that none of the coworkers or management were disciplined. Unfortunately, this sort of behavior is all too common in the low-wage food service industry. The Worker’s Organizing Committee of Chicago has embarked on a campaign and filed a lawsuit to reinstate Shakita Moore and to compensate her with back pay. Jason’s Deli, however, issued an official statement wherein they claim to “stand behind” the firing of Moore.
Workers should not have to endure sexual harassment or racist language for fear of losing their jobs. Jason’s Deli, which touts itself as a “family business” ought to take responsibility for unjustly terminating Shakita Moore and take steps to eliminate racism and sexism in their organization. Let the bosses know that employee mistreatment is not something to stand behind.
Dear Joe Totorice,
Perhaps you’ve heard about the firing of Shakita Moore, an employee at one of the Chicago locations of your franchise, Jason’s Deli. Moore, an African American woman, was fired after complaining to her general manager about sexual harassment from a colleague. The management dismissed her complaint by claiming that he was “afraid of black people.” This statement is clearly racist; racism, intolerable in any context, should be especially forbidden in employer-employee relationships.
Furthermore, women should not have to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace for fear of losing their jobs. Discipline the management and workers responsible for the sexual and racial harassment of Shakita Moore, and reinstate her with full back pay. Take responsibility for the actions of your company; act with the values of the “family business” you claim to be. Respect your workers regardless of their race, class, or gender.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: AnneCN via Flickr