Local News

2nd Suit Filed Against Wal-Mart

Posted February 26, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A second racial harassment suit has been filed against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., arising from allegations of racism in the workplace.

Brenda Powell Morgan filed suit in Wake Superior Court, alleging that the former manager of the New Hope Church Road store in which she stocks shelves referred to her as "Buckwheat" on January 13.

An official at the corporate headquarters said the manager, Charles Stone, had been fired, and that the store does not condone racism. Stone could not be reached for comment.

Morgan's suit is the second involving a Wake County Wal-Mart in three months. In December, Felicia Gray-Watson said a supervisor told her, "Slaves can't quit; they have to be sold." Gray-Watson had been a pharmacy employee at the Knightdale store. Morgan's attorney said additional plaintiffs may join her suit.

Morgan said she had reported the incident to management, but that she felt they did not seem to take her complaint seriously. "They have never offered an apology or anything," Morgan toldThe News & Observer.

In court papers, Morgan said that Stone uttered the slur in the presence of another employee, and that when she turned to make sure he was talking to her, she says he looked at her and repeated loudly, "Hey, you, Buckwheat."

Morgan further alleges that when she spoke about it with Wal-Mart District Manager John Watson, Watson told her Stone "didn't mean it" and was "just playing."