2 black employees allege racial discrimination, sue U.Md.

WASHINGTON — Two black employees have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the University of Maryland, College Park, and each is seeking $1.5 million in damages.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland on behalf of Michael Bell of D.C., a high voltage electrician, and DuRay Jones of Forestville, a systems reliability technician.

The suit details a pattern of alleged mistreatment dating back to 2013.

For instance, when Jones’ car was broken into and his work phone stolen that year, according to the lawsuit, he was disciplined and not given a replacement phone, while white employees who went through the same thing got new phones and no discipline.

After the men complained to supervisors and filed grievances about unequal treatment, they said, they were given more work.

Bell and Jones also said that in 2015, they were assigned to work outside in extreme hot and cold weather, while white employees got indoor assignments.

And in 2014, the suit said, a photo of two wild mustang horses, marked with Bell’s and Jones’ names, was posted in an employee lunchroom.

A University of Maryland, College Park spokesperson provided WTOP with this statement: “Equitable employment is certainly policy and practice at this university, and it’s also a priority. That being said, the university does not comment on ongoing litigation.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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