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USA: Black Amazon manager sues tech giant over alleged discrimination, sexual harassment & assault

Charlotte Newman... [t]he former economic policy advisor to Sen. Cory Booker had already been employed at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) department for a year, when she alleged a director put his left hand under the table and pressed on her lap “in proximity to her genitalia” before he grabbed and groped her upper thigh... Newman described the events in a lawsuit filed last month against Amazon and three defendants... She said he repeatedly begged her to go home with him to have sex even though she denied him each time... Since filing her lawsuit, Newman said a number of former and current female employees at Amazon have reached out to her claiming they’ve been sexually harassed.

... An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company fired the senior colleague four months later, but Newman claimed she was never updated... We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We immediately investigated Ms. Newman’s sexual harassment claim and fired her harasser. The investigation also resulted in corrective action and additional training requirements for those in her reporting line.”

The attorney for Newman alleged problems within the company started when she was first hired in January 2017 for an AWS public policy manager position, even though she applied and felt she was more qualified for a higher-level position... “It was demoralizing to do work that I knew should have come with a higher title and greater compensation,” Newman said. “Maybe if I looked differently then I might be paid, and been slotted in, differently.” Newman’s attorneys estimate “down-leveling” has cost her $100,000 and as much as a couple hundred thousand dollars of Amazon restricted stock units per year.

... Chanin Kelly-Rae was the global manager of diversity in Seattle for only 10 months and suggests the practice of “down-leveling” was widespread. She said she even had leaders who identified as white try to help her in the process of creating a cultural change after witnessing gender bias and gender discrimination.