BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Insurance giant, State Farm has been slapped with another lawsuit alleging racism and discrimination in the workplace.
For the second time in two months, former employees said State Farm fosters a racist environment in the workplace, and minorities are treated differently than their white colleagues.
The company headquartered in Bloomington is facing two similar lawsuits. The latest was filed by a former employee who worked in the Bloomington office for 19 years after being fired.
Shashi Mandhyan, a woman of Indian descent that worked for State Farm as a loan credit analyst, said she suffered and encountered multiple acts of racism toward her and other minority co-workers.
“From giving me names like Sushi, my name is Shashi State Farm,” Mandhyan said at a press conference Wednesday morning at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters in Chicago.
Mandhyan, is represented by nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Robert McLaughlin of Chicago law firm, Hart, McLaughlin & Eldridge. They are also representing First Vice President of the Bloomington-Normal NAACP, Dr. Carla Campbell-Jackson in her lawsuit against the company.
In this lawsuit, Mandhyan’s attorneys claim co-workers made fun of the foods Mandhyan and other Indians eat, as well as called India a “dirty country.” It also alleges State Farm employees and higher-ups using racial slurs to describe African Americans.
Mandhyan said she brought her concerns to her managers, but they ignored her concerns, including an investigation by the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
“There are complaints that the EOC and Illinois Department of Human Rights clearly found validity in,” Mandhyan said.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Robert McLaughlin said this lawsuit and Campbell-Jackson’s lawsuit are just the beginning of mistreatment toward minorities at State Farm.
“We have over 150 of current and former employees who are making the same proclamation, and you all continue to be tone-deaf,” Crump said.
“This is about hundreds of State Farm employees suffering the same discrimination in the past and currently in the future, which we know from calls coming into our offices every day from current employees,” McLaughlin said.
The papers were filed in a McLean County Court and say Mandhyan is seeking a jury trial to settle her lawsuit and wants State Farm to pay over $50,000 in damages.
In response, a State Farm spokesperson sent a statement that reads:
“State Farm has long been committed to a diverse and inclusive environment, where all of our associates and customers are treated with respect and dignity, and where differences are valued. These allegations do not reflect the State Farm culture. We disagree with the allegations in the complaint we’ve recently received.
Racism has no place anywhere in society. That’s why we work tirelessly to provide an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. We strive to be a force for good in the communities we serve.“