Construction worker sues Microsoft, Skanska and Balfour Beatty for racial discrimination – KIRO 7 News Seattle

REDMOND, Wash. — A construction worker is suing Microsoft and construction companies Skanska and Balfour Beatty for discrimination.

The case has just been filed in federal court.

KIRO 7 reporter Deedee Sun first reported on the discrimination allegations in October 2021.

Quinte Harris – who worked on Microsoft’s campus renovation project – said a supervisor said he didn’t like black people.

Additionally, Harris said that after an unrelated “hate-free” meeting, someone left a sign on his work cart that read “NOT a safe area, sorry.”

The lawsuit says that since speaking out, Harris has faced further reprisals and been fired, which have profoundly affected his life.

His lawyer describes the racism as “blatant”.

“The first thing I feel deep down inside is a feeling of shame that this could happen – you know in our lifetime – a sense of duty, a feeling that we can’t shut up, we have to talk, we have to scream, we have to – that this shouldn’t be happening,” Harris attorney Caroline Janzen said.

KIRO 7 has contacted Skanska and Microsoft for comment.

A Microsoft spokesperson released the following statement:

“Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are unacceptable. Although Microsoft did not employ or supervise Mr. Harris and his colleagues, we are working with his employer to understand what happened.

So far, KIRO 7 has not received a response from Skanska.

Alice F. Ponder