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Michigan Department Of Corrections Worker Accuses Management Of Preferential Treatment To White Employees

(CBS DETROIT) - A Michigan Department of Corrections employee is making scathing allegations and accusing his employer of blocking him from promotions because of the color of his skin.

The MDOC employee of almost 20 years says black workers are not granted the same grace as white employees.

"I need your decision by 3 p.m., but in the reverse, the person that ended up taking the job got an entire weekend to talk it over with his family, and of course, he was Caucasian, and I was African American," said the MDOC employee.

He doesn't want to reveal his identity in fear of losing his job, but he's ready to blow the whistle on what he calls workplace discrimination.

The MDOC employee said, "And I've seen officers with discipline, write-ups and that's supposed to hold you back and put you on the backburner when it comes to promoting and things of that nature, but they end up getting jobs and then they'll turn around and tell a person of color 'hey you didn't get promoted because you got something in your file.' and it's like well you just promoted somebody who has something in their file. What's the difference with me? And it's only one thing that stands out the most."

Attorney Jim Rasor is backing the claims.

He says for 15 years, he's been filing lawsuits against MDOOC, collecting millions for his clients over employment discrimination.

He's now representing two plaintiffs filing suits against MDOC, alleging they were racially profiled and looked over for positions.

"The fact is that there's no reason that these two extremely well qualified, diligent, hard-working African Americans were passed over, except for the color of their skin," said Rasor.

According to Attorney Rasor, two deputy wardens, Donald Ricumstrict and Darrell Steward, both had over 20 years of tenure, but when they applied for six open warden positions, they were overlooked for less qualified, white candidates.

"The only people, in my opinion, that gets treated fairly are the white males that run the department," said Rasor. "Everybody else is a second-class citizen."

MDOC Spokesperson Chris Gautz released a statement to CW50 saying half of their wardens are either females or African Americans, and they vehemently deny all racial profiling claims.

It reads in part: "The department does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, and if any employee is found to engage in any such behavior, they will be held accountable for their actions… up to… and including dismissal."

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