Disturbing PG&E Pictures

October 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pictures have surfaced showing racially insensitive displays at a PG&E facility. The displays have led to two men suing the energy company claiming the company created a hostile work environment. The men took offense when a fellow employee displayed a noose and other insensitive symbols in his workplace. One of the plaintiffs recently retired. Another still works for PG&E. Their attorney calls the pictures in question ... shocking.

A hangman's noose brings back memories of the country's dark and racially segregated past.

Attorney Warren Paboojian represents Michael Watt and Victor Moses who filed a lawsuit against PG&E. Paboojian said referring to Moses, "So, he took it offense like if he doesn't tow the line, he'll end up hanging in the back like a lot of his ancestors did."

Both men claim the company ignored their concerns and allowed a white employee to display the noose and make racially offense remarks. Moses is African American. He also takes offense to a painted black rat with a white head displayed by the same fellow mechanic. Moses has all white hair himself.

Jeff Smith is a spokesperson for PG&E. Smith said, "That type of behavior is completely and totally unacceptable at PG&E ... The moment that management was made aware of the noose, it was immediately removed. With respect to the length of time it may have been there previously, that is something that is currently part of an ongoing investigation."

Smith could not provide more information about the pictures Action News obtained. The same employee is also accused of displaying a sign- showing a hand with three missing fingers. One of the plaintiffs Michael Watt is disabled and missing some of his own fingers. Watt feels like the sign mimics his disability. Paboojian said, "You come to work to make a living, you don't come to work to get sexually harassed or listen to racial comments or slurs."

We are not naming the man who displayed the noose because we have been unable to contact him. PG&E confirms the man is on leave and not working at the moment. Both sides are scheduled to return to court late November.

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