Lawsuit filed against City of Seattle for hostile workplace caused by pervasive “racial equity training”

Seattle, WA; November 16, 2022: Today, Joshua Diemert, a former City of Seattle employee, filed a federal lawsuit against the City and Mayor Bruce Harrell for subjecting him to a racially hostile work environment.

Passionate and devoted to his job, Diemert was hired by the city’s Human Services Department (HSD) in 2013. Despite being recognized for excellent work, he could not overcome the city’s overt discrimination against him through its Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Diemert endured years of harassment and racial discrimination in the workplace. Some incidents officially sanctioned by the city were so severe that they created a racially hostile working environment. For example:

  • He was pressured to resign from a position rather than take FMLA leave because he was told that taking FMLA leave would be an exercise of his “white privilege” and would deny a “person of color” an opportunity for promotion.
  • On multiple occasions, upper-level managers verbally told him and other department employees that new positions should be filled with people of color, particularly senior roles.
  • He was forced to attend training that demanded he acknowledge his complicity in racism, not based on his personal actions or beliefs but because he is white.
  • When he spoke up against egregiously racist messaging at a required workshop, his coworkers labeled him a white supremacist. And belligerent colleagues continuously berated him about his race.

“Instead of supporting its employees and providing them with opportunities, the City of Seattle is encouraging racial discrimination and harassment through its Race and Social Justice Initiative,” said Laura D’Agostino, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Seattle employees should be treated as individuals with dignity and evaluated by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”

Represented at no charge by Pacific Legal Foundation, Diemert is suing to vindicate his right to workplace equality and to protect everyone’s right to be judged by the content of their character and work product.

The case is Joshua Diemert v. City of Seattle, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Staff at hotel all fired as it’s taken over by the Home Office for economic migrants.

Staff say they have lost their jobs at a hotel after it was taken over by the Home Office to house asylum seekers.

Immigration officials are now in place at the Hull Humber View Hotel in North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, after the first migrants moved in this week.

It comes after the High Court overturned an injunction granted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council to prevent asylum seekers being accommodated at the hotel.

An employee of the hotel told the Hull Live website 30 to 40 staff have been dismissed.

The employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said around 16 immigration officers arrived at the site on Tuesday, ahead of asylum seekers arriving and workers being told on Wednesday that they were being let go.

She said: “It’s just not fair seeing your colleagues going out crying. It’s just not nice. I’ll be fine financially but there are a couple of people there, single mothers of two kids, who are going to struggle.”

The woman added: “It was full of employees from the immigration office so it was taken over by them. They could be working in an office on other cases and let us still manage the hotel.

“The frustration for every employee at the moment is the lack of information, and then when we get some it was that we were made redundant or given one week’s notice and that’s about it. I’ll be fine because I’ve got a husband to support me, but what about other people?”

David Davis, the MP for Haltemprice and Howden, told ITV News a constituent had contacted him after her son lost his job, despite “only having got it a few weeks ago”.

He added: “That’s another unfortunate outcome of this… to take a man on then lay him off.”

Mr Davis has written to immigration minister Robert Jenrick after claiming he was blind-sided by the Home Office’s decision to use the hotel.