PPS workers win $1M in racial harassment suit

District Human Resources Director Sean Murray resigned this week

A gavel in a U.S. courtroom. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file)
A gavel in a U.S. courtroom. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded $1 million to two Portland Public Schools maintenance workers who said they faced a barrage of racial harassment, including being called the N-word and having a noose hung in the workplace.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that Portland Public Schools workers Charles Morgan and Jason Williams also argued the district downplayed their experience by finding they had experienced “microaggressions,” not discrimination.

Additional human resources matters have plagued the school district, including botched personnel investigations and failures to demote or fire employees deemed poor performers.

District Human Resources Director Sean Murray resigned this week, effective June 4.

Portland Interim Superintendent Bob McKean said in a statement, “We respect the jury’s decision. The district takes allegations of discrimination seriously. We strive to create a respectful work environment, one that is free of discrimination.”