Food service giant Compass sued over wrongful termination of employee who stood up against discrimination

 Courtney Rogers is suing food service giant Compass Group USA Inc. in federal court after the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company fired her for refusing to participate in a program that discriminates against white male employees.

The lawsuit was filed on July 24 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California under the auspices of the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm headquartered in Chicago.

Rogers used to worked for Compass from her home office in San Diego, California. She was hired in August 2021 with the title of "recruiter, internal mobility team." (Related: Equity vs. equality: California reparations commission wants to legalize racial discrimination.)

Her responsibilities included the processing of internal promotions, which encompassed posting job listings, reviewing applications, conducting interviews, writing and sending offer letters, carrying out background checks, ordering drug tests, initiating and reviewing onboarding and ensuring that personnel updates were reflected in the system.

In March 2022, the company created a program called "Operation Equity," a purported diversity program that offered qualified employees special training and mentorship and the promise of a promotion upon graduation.

However, participation in the program was restricted to "women and people of color." White men were not allowed to participate.

According to the legal complaint that was filed in Rogers v. Compass Group USA Inc., the company "used a euphemistic and false title to hide the program's true nature." The program is an example of "'outright racial balancing,' which is patently unlawful," and is the kind of program "promoted by people … who harbor racial animus against white men," the legal complaint pointed out.

It also makes the company unworthy of appearing again on the Forbes list of Best Employers for Diversity, which it somehow managed to do five years in a row beginning 2018.

Rogers fired for trying to prevent the company from doing something illegal

Rogers said she informed management that the program was illegal and requested that she be allowed an accommodation because the program "violated her ethical beliefs."

According to Rogers, the management assured her she would be exempted from participating in it and that she would not be retaliated against for sharing her concerns. But she was still fired in November 2022 even though she received positive performance feedback from supervisors and colleagues. The stated reason for termination was "failure to perform job duties," the legal complaint stated.

In the lawsuit, Rogers is seeking relief for religious discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as wrongful termination.

Robert Weisenburger of LiMandri and Jonna in Rancho Santa Fe, California, and an attorney for Rogers, told the Epoch Times in an interview that his client's personal, religious beliefs as a Christian prevented her from being part of "Operation Equity."

"She believes that everyone is created equal, and she, therefore, could not in good faith be a part of implementing a program that would discriminate against people on the basis of race and color," said Weisenburger, who is also a special counsel at the Thomas More Society. "She also believes that the program violates federal and state laws that prohibit race and sex discrimination, which provide no exclusion for white males."

The company essentially fired her for standing up against discrimination.

"Not only was she trying to do the right thing by standing up to this, but she was also trying to protect Compass Group because Compass Group was doing something illegal. And so she was standing up to this injustice, and as a result, she was fired," the lawyer noted.

Rogers is seeking financial compensatory damages for discrimination and retaliation. She is also asking for a court order requiring the company's senior management in human resources to participate in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Treatment training, classes and oversight to make sure that the company does not discriminate and retaliate against other employees the way it did with her.

Food service giant Compass sued over wrongful termination of employee who stood up against discrimination Food service giant Compass sued over wrongful termination of employee who stood up against discrimination Reviewed by Your Destination on August 02, 2023 Rating: 5

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