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Recology noose update: Daryle Washington rejects settlement without policy change

June 27, 2015

Join the protest: ‘Enough Is Enough! Stop Racist Noose Incidents and Workplace Bullying at SF
Recology’ on Monday, July 27, 12 noon, at Recology Co., 501 Tunnel Ave., San Francisco

by Al Osorio

Last year the SF Bay View reported on the racism and intimidation tactics by Recology Corp. of San Francisco against Daryle Washington, an employee with an immaculate work record. This is a follow-up article to provide readers an update on his current situation.

Attorney Stanley Goff with his client, Daryle Washington, in the courthouse

Attorney Stanley Goff with his client, Daryle Washington, in the courthouse

What is so admirable about Mr. Washington is his concern is more for fellow Black and Brown employees than himself, his desire that there be a mechanism or process in place to allow employees victimized by racism to report grievances and other concerns and have these issues addressed without fear of retaliation by management. Even a favorable settlement will not be accepted without this provision.

Below is Daryle’s account of how things stand as well as a statement from his lawyer.

Commentary by Daryle Washington

My previous article in the SF Bay View newspaper started off many other stories, including one with the Final Call as well as an interview on the radio podcast COWS (Context Of White Supremacy) with Gus Renegade.

After doing the radio show in June 2014, I was called into Recology’s human resources offices to meet with Kathy Jamison, the head HR manager in San Francisco, and Veressa Scott, who is also a manager with Recology SF. They asked me questions on what I said and if it was true and I explained that yes, I know it was true because I experienced it.

One other thing I found funny was they kept asking me why I felt so harmed by a noose being put on someone else’s belongings. I explained to them that any and all Black people should be offended due to the nature of a noose and what it stands for. If it had been a swastika, Jewish people would have rallied and shut this place down and dared anyone to ask why they felt offended by the presence of such an ugly symbol.

One other thing I found funny was they kept asking me why I felt so harmed by a noose being put on someone else’s belongings.

They asked me if I planned on suing, I told them that was not off the table, but maybe we could resolve the situation amongst ourselves. They asked what I wanted. I said, “My driving job, some cash for the month and few days I missed from work that your doctor took me off and the time I was denied workers comp.

“I also want an apology and for rules and regulations to be put in place so this doesn’t happen to any other Black or Brown employee. I want there to be an open door policy that is better than the one that is set up already, because I feel as if I have suffered as a result of speaking to an issue.”

Kathy Jamison told me that she would look into it but never got back to me with an answer. I was also eventually moved to another part of the site to be away from Jon Peralta, the coworker who put the noose on Greg Foster’s belongings, months after I originally asked to be moved.

In June of 2014 I received a call from my good friend Phillip Taylor, informing me that he had been contacted by Keith Jackson, to whom he is related, to have a sit down meeting with Kathy Jamison, with whom Mr. Jackson is a good friend, to discuss who I am, how I’m known in the community, and if I would be willing to negotiate a deal to make everything I had pending go away. Basically they wanted me to be quiet, take some money and move on.

Keith Jackson is the co-defendant in the former Sen. Leland Yee corruption case.

After the meeting, Mr. Taylor called to inform me that the meeting went well and that Ms. Jamison put an offer on the table of $50,000, a move into a driving position and possibly the opportunity to attend culinary academy on their dime. So he asked me what I thought about that and I told him that it all sounds good, but I want an apology, and for policies and procedures to change at Recology so that this will never happen to anyone else again.

“I also want an apology and for rules and regulations to be put in place so this doesn’t happen to any other Black or Brown employee. I want there to be an open door policy that is better than the one that is set up already, because I feel as if I have suffered as a result of speaking to an issue.”

I was contacted by Mr. Taylor about a meeting to take place in August or early September on a Saturday morning. Mr. Taylor, Ms. Jamison and myself were to meet and discuss terms. We were to meet for breakfast at the Marriot in Emeryville, but since Mr. Taylor and myself were running late we met at PF Chang’s across the street.

We sat and had lunch and after lunch Ms. Jamison started to discuss what Recology was willing to do. She said, “I can get you $50,000 but you have to resign.” I quickly intercepted and told her, “Absolutely not!” and if she wanted to discuss a deal where I quit they need to add another zero to make it $500,000, and I would walk away.

She said, “We will not pay you anywhere near $500,000. This is a one-time deal. Take it or leave it.” I said, “Well, I leave it and will take my chances in court where I feel I can find better justice, and if the jury and judge says you have to pay, you will pay.”

As we got ready to leave, Phillip Taylor standing on my left side, Kathy in front of me, I asked Ms. Jamison, “If I stay at Recology, could I ever be promoted?” She replied, “We don’t even want you here, and since you started all of this mess, you will never be promoted.”

I asked, “Even if I’m qualified?” She turned her lips up in a you-already-know-the answer-to-that way and proceeded to walk out the front door.

In January 2015, Recology was served with court papers filed in federal court on the basis of discrimination. I have made one court appearance and been deposed by their lawyers. Some of the questions appear as if they are trying to vilify me and make me the victimizer or the bad guy instead of the victim.

I did not bring this on myself. I didn’t want this to happen. I don’t wish this on anyone else. It’s all out of a white supremacy playbook.

In January 2015, Recology was served with court papers filed in federal court on the basis of discrimination.

Recology still to date doesn’t want to admit to doing me wrong and unjustly, so I have no choice but to fight and keep fighting till justice is served in a court of law. My lawyer, Stanley Goff, is planning on filing further paperwork for retaliation since he had a conversation with Mr. Phillip Taylor that proved what I told him a few months ago.

I am only currently 37 years of age and have at least 30 more years of work in me and would have retired from Recology, but chances of that based on what Ms. Jamison stated don’t seem to be in my future and I am in a dead end spot since I won’t be promoted. I am also scheduled for a settlement conference, but don’t truly believe Recology will come to the table ready to offer a fair settlement.

The fight is not my fight alone, although I am the face that is fighting this battle. I feel like David fighting Goliath, but with my little rock, which is God and truth, if it be His will, I – we – will be the winners.

Statement from Daryle Washington’s lawyer, Stanley Goff

The purpose of this lawsuit is not just to obtain financial compensation for the suffering that Mr. Washington was forced to endure, but to put all companies on notice that this “good ol’ boy” system that exists in a lot of these businesses that allows or tolerates the sick, racist conduct of its employees, such as hanging a noose on an African American’s property as some type of sick joke, cannot and will not be tolerated. We will continue to fight until this type of sick, racist conduct is stamped out of the workplace.

We will continue to fight until this type of sick, racist conduct is stamped out of the workplace.

Well known as an activist for justice on police abuse as well as economic racism, Al Osorio can be reached at felix22@sbcglobal.net.

9 thoughts on “Recology noose update: Daryle Washington rejects settlement without policy change

  1. Andrei Zau

    Out there are people who deserve all our attention. Mr. Washington is one of them. His concern is more for fellow fellow black or brown employees than for himself. His desire is to build a mechanism or a process to allow employees victimized by racism to report grievances and other concers and have these issues adressesd wthout fear of retaliation by management. Andrei

    Reply
  2. John cotton

    So let me get this right, you were hired to be a driver but failed to perform and Recology gave you a second chance at another position and now you’re complaining because you weren’t giving a second chance at a position you weren’t fit for in the first place? It sounds like Washington is the type of person who consistently has to complain about something until he has his way. It also sounds like he’s in it for the money and trying to milk the system as much as he can because he’s not making as much as he wants. Apparently $50K isn’t enough for him to “heal” from the emotional tragic event that happened to him. Because more money will help him heal.

    Reply
    1. Daryle

      Thank you for your comment “John cotton”. In order for you to make claims you should 1st know the facts. I was terminated from a drivers position due to poor training which the IBT 350, and other drivers expressed to the company on my behalf. I was brought back to the company being told I would be back in a truck, unfortunately the noose incident occurred and I reported it and was looked over for 4 positions. Let’s be clear I am not making what JM qualified to make, not what I want. Don’t know what era you grew up in but nowadays you can’t pick a price you want on most jobs. Next point apparently you bypassed through not fully comprehending what you read, is that its not about a set dollar amount. I shouldn’t have to quit as if I did something wrong. The company botched many policies they have in place to deal with these issues. Lastly “Mr. John cotton” interesting last name I may add, Recology can make things right, although through arrogance ignorance and stupidity which it sounds like you may know a little bit about they are not doing the right thing, so the fight will continue.

      Reply
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