Three female employees at a medical examiner’s office in Michigan have been fired — after a worker brought a cake decorated with an image of a black penis into an office lunch room, according to a report.
A death investigator at the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office filed a July 18 complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the explicit cake an off-duty staffer served in late May — one day after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“I was livid — furious actually,” the unidentified employee told the newspaper. “All these cities are on fire for the Black Lives Matter movement, and here’s my staff eating a black penis cake as a joke? That really pushed me over the edge.”
The woman alleges the cake was part of an “ongoing hostile work environment” at the morgue, including employees mocking black relatives who inquired about their deceased loved ones and porn openly strewn about the office, the newspaper reports.
“The office culture is tainted with racism toward people of color,” the complaint states. “This was not only ignored by managing personnel, but participated in by the supervising staff.”
The death investigator claims one of her colleagues made a crude remark when the parents of a dead black man arrived and had trouble identifying their son, according to the report.
“Show them a picture of his penis,” the employee replied, according to the complaint. “Maybe they’ll recognize him by that.”
The woman said she tried to put up with the “offensive and appalling” conduct for five years, but could no longer remain silent when an off-duty staffer brought in a sheet cake decorated with a black penis that both colleagues and supervisors ate on May 26.
The investigator asked her supervisor the following day why the cake was allowed, but didn’t receive a response, she said. The woman who made the cake then approached the investigator two days later, asking her if she tried her creation, according to the complaint.
“That cake is disgusting,” the investigator replied. “No, I did not have any of it.”
Several employees complained about the phallic cake, but no discipline was ever doled out, according to the report.
But that changed Thursday when three female morgue employees were fired after a due-process hearing, while a fourth worker remains on paid administrative leave, county officials told the newspaper.
“We don’t want anyone working in a place that’s unwelcoming, unsafe and not inclusive,” Macomb County Human Resources Director Andrew McKinnon said. “When we hear these types of allegations, we take them seriously and we take quick action.”
The three female employees were fired for their roles in a sexually-discriminatory workplace and not for allegations of racism, which had yet to be substantiated as of Monday, McKinnon said.
McKinnon said the ongoing investigation does not involved the agency’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Daniel Spitz, who declined comment, the Free Press reports.
The terminated employees included two morgue technicians and an investigator, the Macomb Daily reports.
Source: New York Post
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