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10 Black Texas Workers Awarded $70 Million In Discrimination Lawsuit

A jury ruled that they faced racist surveillance, demotions, and more.

Ten Black workers at Glow Networks Inc. have been awarded $70 million after they filed a lawsuit against a company for discriminatory practices.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Joshua Yarbrough, one of the plaintiffs, noticed surveillance cameras being installed in the offices of the Dallas telecommunications equipment company where he worked in 2018.

Shortly thereafter, he and his Black co-workers were reprimanded for checking their phones during work hours and were separated from one another in their workspaces. Yarbrough, according to the suit, noticed the reprimands did not happen with non-Black co-workers.

Black workers were instructed to sit in two of the company’s offices, which were the only ones monitored by cameras in the 11-room suite, according to Yarbrough, a lead engineer at the company.

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“The African-Americans were pushed right in front of the cameras, and we realized that we were watched closely,” he said.

Later, Yarbrough found out he was being replaced by two non-Black employees with less tenure and telecommunications experience as he was demoted to an engineer in the group, forcing his resignation.

“We decided to take it in our own hands and actually go to court and really fight for something that we really believe is not right,” Yarbrough said. “African-Americans deal with this type of thing every day.”

Yarbrough then joined nine other former employees in suing Glow Networks and its parent company, CSS Corp., for racial discrimination, and a federal jury agreed with their complaint.

Earlier this month, the jury awarded the workers a total of $70 million in damages.

In court documents, Glow Networks denied exposing the former employees to a hostile work environment and said it exercised “reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any harassing behavior.”

Many of the 10 former employees complained about discrimination to Glow Networks management and human resources, but no action was taken, according to the lawsuit.

Other instances included the lack of promotion of Black employees, even when suggested by white co-workers, and the laying off of high-performing Black employees in favor of more senior white ones.

All workers who sued Glow Networks found jobs after leaving the company. Lawyer Brian Sanford, who represented the Black employees, says they only sought punitive damages and compensation for emotional distress in the case because of their job change. The Plano, Texas jury awarded each worker $7 million in damages.

“They were sending the message,” he said. “Don’t do this in the 21st century. Stop.”

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