Amazon.com Inc has settled claims of workplace discrimination raised by a trans woman and her husband.
Allegra Schawe-Lane and Dane Lane said they experienced severe harassment and threats of physical violence while working at an Amazon warehouse in Kentucky.
They had sued the company for ‘cruel and persistent anti-transgender discrimination’ through the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) in 2017.
A filing in a federal court in Covington, Kentucky, on Monday (31 December), Amazon said it had signed an agreement with the couple to end the lawsuit.
The online retailer denied any wrongdoing and did not release any details about the settlement, Reuters reports.
A year of workplace abuse
The married couple worked for the retailer from October 2014 to October 2015.
They cited numerous instances of workplace abuse, involving bigotry, sexual harassment, and threats, which they said eventually forced them to quit their jobs.
On one occasion the couple said they had discovered a problem with their car’s brakes while driving home from the Amazon warehouse. On closer inspection, a mechanic said that the vehicle’s had been intentionally cut.
The couple also said they experienced vicious slurs and threats, and sexual propositions. Attempts at lodging complaints went unheeded, and they were told they could not make complaints in writing.
‘The trauma still impacts us negatively today’
‘The trauma we withstood still impacts us negatively today, creating serious health problems and leaving us with no money to pay for the doctors we desperately need,’ said Schawe-Lane.
Echoing his wife’s sentiments, Lane added: ‘My wife Allegra and I could never have imagined the pain and heartache we would experience at Amazon. The abuse inflicted on us was unimaginable and we are still suffering from the detrimental effects.’
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found evidence to support these claims.
In the leadup to the lawsuit, TLDEF Executive Director, Jillian Weiss, said: ‘All Americans deserve an equal chance to work hard and earn a living for themselves and their families, without fear of being targeted for being themselves.’