Comcast Hit With Lawsuit Claiming Racial Discrimination

Former sales supervisor claims he was subjected to discriminatory treatment

Comcast has been slapped with a lawsuit by a man who claims to have been subjected to racial discrimination while employed at the company.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Karis Rouse, identified in the suit as an African-American male, claims that he was hired as a sales representative at Comcast’s Horsham, Penn., facility in January 2010, eventually rising to sales supervisor.

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Rouse’s lawsuit claims that it was smooth sailing, including positive performance evaluations and praise for his work, until March 2012, when Erin Kaighn became his direct supervisor. At that point, things began to sour, the suit claims, with Kaighn treating Rouse differently than “the other Caucasian employees she managed.”

While under the supervision of Kaighn, Rouse claims, he was “subjected to discriminatory treatment and treated in a disparate manner with respect to the terms and conditions of his employment because of his race.”

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Among the offenses, according to the suit: Kaighn placing Rouse on a Performance Improvement Plan, despite the fact that no other employees in his position had been placed on such a plan and his performance numbers were better than “some of the other Caucasian employees” who had the same position as him.

The lawsuit also claims that Kaighn frequently disparaged another African-American employee under Rouse’s supervision, saying, “you can’t teach dumb” and that the employee “can’t speak English.”

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Ultimately, Rouse claims, he was fired in October 2013 because one of his subordinates was allegedly beginning work before his starting time — even though, the suit claims, white employees in Rouse’s position had employees doing the same thing, without repercussion.

The suit also claims that Comcast failed to properly pay Rouse overtime compensation.

Comcast had no comment on the lawsuit.

Rouse is seeking unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.