Eight men won a $5.3 million dollar jury award over claims they endured a hostile work environment at a local UPS in Lexington, Kentucky, after an effigy of a UPS driver was hung from the ceiling, ABC reports.
The verdict came back after just eight hours of deliberations.
The victims claim, in addition to the hanging dummy they saw strung from the ceiling, that they were subjected to racially charged words in the workplace, including “jungle bunny, porch monkey, and the n-word,” according to the Lexington Herald.
A Fayette County Circuit Court also found UPS discriminated against one of the victims and the company retaliated against the men who complained, The Lexington Herald reports.
According to UPS spokesperson Susan Rosenberg, the company is disappointed in the decision and plans to appeal.
“UPS has strict policies against harassment and discrimination,” Rosenberg said. “We reinforce that. There’s no retaliation if employees raise concerns.”
When the suit was initially filed back in 2014, UPS said the dummy was part of a safety training video and was not meant to harm or offend anyone.
The jury awarded $1.5 million for emotional and mental distress to William Barber; $1 million to David Young; $810,000 to Glenn Jackson; $800,000 to John Hughes; $500,000 each to Jeffrey Goree and Donald Ragland; and $100,000 each to Curtis Weathers and Lamont Brown, ABC reports.
We’re glad these guys got justice, but sad for what they had to endure.