A woman in Des Moines, Iowa has filed a lawsuit against Deere Co. for racial discrimination.
Copa Burse, 48, claims that she was subjected to racial slurs by her co-workers. Burse details several incidents of racial harassment in her lawsuit. One incident included a black toll hanging outside of her home with a note telling the woman to quit. Another incident involved racial slurs painted on her locker at the Deere plant in Ankeny.
Burse said that Deere knew about her co-workers behavior and did nothing to stop it.
Deere spokesman Ken Golden said that he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit specifically but did say that Deere does not tolerate “any conduct that creates a discriminatory, intimidating or hostile workplace.”
“Deere strives through its policies, supervision and training to provide a work environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.”
But Burse claims in her lawsuit that racial discrimination is widespread at Deere. According to Burse, several other black employees have endured racial slurs.
Burse believes that Deere has been hiring more black workers recently in order to “cover the pattern of discrimination.”
Burse filed her lawsuit earlier this month in a Polk Country District Court with the help of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. She has worked at the Deere plant in Ankeny since 2010.