- - Monday, December 7, 2020

The global cultural stance against Blacks being treated unfairly by corporations, police and governments is part of an ongoing dialogue. In past months protests have riddled city streets across this nation, but I believe Guardian Glass (part of Koch Industries) may have been asleep at the social wheel.

A Black father of three sons and a husband of 26-plus years was fired — without reason or justification — from Guardian following four counts of documented harassment complaints against other department workers. Although the employee did not ground his complaints in racial discrimination, verbal abuse and unprovoked mistreatment by a few coworkers and being the only Black person in the department surely made him feel like there was racial tension in the air.

He worked just four weeks for Guardian, and there were just as many harassment complaints on the books. The employee felt apprehensive about even going to work, wondering where and when the next demeaning verbal blow would come.

Guardian Glass’ human resources department appeared at times to show the employee empathy, but their final action of termination sheds the true light: They were tired of the complaints and wanted to get rid of the source. A company that is quick to fire a worker for fighting for their own rights is a questionable company that warrants investigation into its moral standards.

Human decency and dignity are owed rights for everyone. Guardian/Koch has failed to recognize this and has exposed their own depleted policy strength by terminating a decent human being and never even offering an alternative position within the company. I feel deeply for this employee and am ashamed at the actions of a supposedly respected international corporation. No one should have to suffer through harassment complaints and then be fired for fighting for a human right.



DENNIS WALTER SMITH SR.

Seneca Falls, N.Y.

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