Panel rules cable firm was discriminatory BALTIMORE CITY

April 30, 1993|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Staff Writer

A former employee of Baltimore's cable television franchise i entitled to six years of lost wages because the firm maintained a racially hostile work environment, a city Community Relations Commission hearing examiner has ruled.

In a three-page ruling released yesterday, Hearing Examiner M. Bernardine Myles found that United Artists Cable of Baltimore "maintained a racially tense and hostile environmental" through the former employee's immediate supervisor, who often made racially offensive comments to other employees.

The ruling cites examples of racially offensive remarks made by Kenneth Mock, the supervisor, to complainant Louis Beverly and other employees.

Ms. Myles ruled that Mr. Beverly is entitled to back pay of up to $30,000 a year.

Whatever wages Mr. Beverly earned at other jobs between the time he was fired and this month will be deducted from the back pay, Ms. Myles ruled. She denied him damages for humiliation, pain and medical bills.

United Artists might appeal the decision, Marilyn Harris-Davis, community affairs director, said yesterday. She said the firm "vehemently denies that Mr. Beverly was discriminated against due to his race."

Mr. Beverly, 32, had worked as a salesman for six months. He claimed he was fired on Sept. 11, 1987, after he complained about the racially charged atmosphere to the commission and the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Mr. Beverly, who is black, accused the cable firm of racial discrimination, and charged that his supervisors gave him sales territories based on his race and fostered a "racially intimidating and oppressive work environment" by constantly making racist remarks.

His complaints were aired during a 12-day hearing in January.

During the hearing, an attorney for United Artists said Mr. Beverly was fired after repeated warnings for failing to keep up with paperwork, falling behind on sales and encroaching on the sales territories of other employees.

Mr. Mock resigned in 1990, said Ms. Harris-Davis.

Mr. Beverly said he was happy with the ruling and would like to return to his job.

"It's been a long seven years. This is a moral victory," he said.

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