SLCC Facing Discrimination Lawsuits

SLCC Facing Discrimination Lawsuits

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Salt Lake Community College is facing a federal lawsuit from several employees who claim the school has discriminated against them.

The suits claim the college has created a hostile work environment for minorities and that white Anglo employees enjoy preferential treatment.

An SLCC spokesman, Joy Tlou, said the college could not comment because it has not been served with the suit and he had not seen the allegations.

He did say, "As an institution, the college does not condone, endorse or tolerate discriminatory behavior of any kind."

The plaintiffs include:

Elias Silva McGraw, a naturalized U.S. citizen and campus police officer, who says he was passed over for special assignments and promotions.

Don Rivera, a telephone technician, who contends that his supervisor made disparaging remarks about his faith.

Jenny Archuleta, an employment specialist, who says she was harassed with unfounded reprimands and remarks about her body after she complained to college officials about discrimination.

Jesse Bowman, who says he was subjected to racial slurs and offensive comments, including remarks about "drunken Indians."

Named as defendants in the pair of lawsuits are SLCC, state Assistant Attorneys General Reed Stringham III and Constance Hughes, and Randy Johnson, a colonel with the Utah Department of Public Safety who was brought in as the college's interim police chief earlier this year.

The suits seek unspecified damages.

About 20 faculty, staff members and students have filed discrimination complaints in the past year with the college, the Utah Labor Division or the U.S. Department of Labor.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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