Judge rules racial harassment suit against Raytheon can proceed

A Santa Barbara County judge this week rejected an attempt by defense contractor Raytheon to throw a racial harassment and retaliation complaint out of court. [Santa Barbara Independent]

Marcus Greene, a fire marshal for Raytheon’s environmental services department, alleged that a fellow employee in the company’s Goleta office placed a photo of a gorilla at Greene’s workplace multiple times. Greene is Black and alleges the photos were intended to mock his race.

This employee, along with several other managers and coworkers participated in creating a hostile, racist work environment, Greene alleges. The fire marshal also accused them of ignoring communications about fire safety.

When Greene brought the issues to the attention of Raytheon higher-ups, the company changed his job duties, effectively demoting him, he argues.

Raytheon denies that any of the individuals named in the suit actually supervised Greene. The company also denies that Greene was demoted or received any kind of loss in pay.

Judge Colleen Sterne rejected a summary judgement motion that Raytheon’s attorneys filed against Greene, which argued there were no triable issues of fact or law to be resolved. Sterne said there are triable issues of fact, law and interpretation still to be addressed in the case.

The ruling allows the case to proceed in court.