Former State Farm employee announces lawsuit in Chicago against company for racial discrimination
CHICAGO - State Farm is facing another discrimination lawsuit.
Standing with famous figures in the fight against discrimination Wednesday – including Rev. Jesse Jackson – Shashi Mandhyan said her case started with her name.
"From giving me a name such as ‘Sushi.’ My name is Shashi, State Farm. My name is Shashi," said Mandhyan, with her voice rising to a shout.
At Chicago's Rainbow Push Headquarters, Mandhyan and her attorneys announced they were suing State Farm for racial discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge. Mandhyan says her 19-year, "stellar" career at State Farm ended after she complained about racism.
"I have been subjected to reprehensible behaviors condoned and supported by State Farm leadership at the highest level," said Mandhyan.
If this seems familiar, it's because a similar suit was announced in December from another former employee, Doctor Carla Campbell-Jackson. She was at Wednesday's news conference, blasting State Farm again.
"News flash: State Farm is not a good neighbor to people who look like you and me," said Dr. Campbell-Jackson, who is Black.
"State Farm, you keep talking about some policy you have, but discrimination keeps happening and it’s harming real people," said Ben Crump, who represents Mandhyan.
Crump says he represents more than 150 current and former State Farm employees with racial discrimination claims.
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A State Farm Spokesperson responded with the following statement:
"State Farm has long been committed to a diverse and inclusive environment, where all of our associates and customers are treated with respect and dignity, and where differences are valued. These allegations do not reflect the State Farm culture. We disagree with the allegations in the complaint we’ve recently received.
Racism has no place anywhere in society. That’s why we work tirelessly to provide an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. We strive to be a force for good in the communities we serve."