Five current and former employees of insurance giant Assurant Inc. have filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the company and three managers, alleging racial discrimination in both workplace culture and promotions.
The complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges several incidents of racist behavior by management — including statements that American slavery "was not all that bad" and slaves "should have been happy." The suit was filed June 2 and amended July 7.
In addition, the plaintiffs, all of whom are Black, claim they were passed over for promotions because of their race.
In a written statement, Assurant denied the allegations — saying they go against the company's principles.
"Assurant stands firmly against discrimination of any kind," the company wrote. "One of Assurant's guiding principles is to promote and foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. We deny these claims, are confident they will be found without merit and will defend this lawsuit vigorously to a successful conclusion."
The three defendants named in the filing are all employed by Assurant Dealer Services.