Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A North Carolina company, currently a darling among Wall Street investors, goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid hiring blacks, according to a federal lawsuit filed by one current and two former employees.
Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities, which develops student housing near college campuses, recently issued a $380-million IPO. But according to the lawsuit, the company takes specific steps to avoid hiring blacks for certain positions and fosters a racially hostile environment for the blacks who do work there.
Plaintiff Nicole McAuliffe says in the complaint that Campus Crest McAuliffe practiced blatant discrimination against people of color. She and other staff members were directed to hire predominantly young, white women to available positions at the company's various residential rental properties. She was directed to provide her superiors with photographs taken from the FaceBook or MySpace pages of all applicants she recommended to ensure they were not African American.
One supervisor told McAuliffe, "We have Southern investors; they do not like for us to hire blacks." Another supervisor stated, "Once you hire an African American, you never can get rid of them because they think they are so entitled." Several black administrative staff worked in a certain section of the corporate office, and that became known among higher-ups as the "hood."
Qualified blacks--as well as qualified applicants over the age of 40--routinely were excluded from employment opportunities at Campus Crest's residential properties around the country, McAuliffe says.
Plaintiff Heather McCormack states in the complaint that one investor referred to blacks as "Indians." This investor said in a board of directors' meeting that occupancy levels had been reduced because too many "Indians" had been hired.