A Black woman staffer for Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is suing the Democrat, alleging her supervisor made a comment about lynching her and reported that the allegation led to race-based retaliation against her.
Patrice Campbell, a constituent services representative, brought the allegations, and is the lone Black staff in Schneider's office, Politico reported.
Campbell's lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
She alleges supervisor Karyn Davidman "created an intolerable hostile work environment" because of her race, according to the report.
The lynching comment, according to the lawsuit, came in March as Davidman told a story about constituents using lanyards to keep face masks around their necks.
"You are going to have to get a rope and put it around your neck," Campbell claimed Davidman told her.
Then, Campbell said she was told to turn on her video camera during a call, as Davidman "laughed hysterically," telling the story again, the lawsuit claims.
"You should have seen your face when I told that story!" Davidman allegedly told Campbell in a call after the staff video conference.
But Schneider spokesperson Matt Fried responded in a statement, that Campbell's lawsuit "does not provide a complete or accurate representation of the issues or her treatment by any office personnel," adding the office took "prompt and appropriate corrective action to address Ms. Campbell’s initial complaint," according to Politico.
"The office looks forward to responding to plaintiff's allegations in Federal Court at the appropriate time and is confident that it will be exonerated in due course once all the facts are known," Fried's statement to Politico continued.
Campbell also alleged she was relegated by the staff to being the "Black people representative," as the office rarely took requests from minority communities, particularly those from African Americans.
She also alleges Davidman often made "off-hand comments that are, at best, racially insensitive, if not outright discriminatory," favoring white staffers.
Davidman received a paid week off as a response to the initial complaint and was removed as Campbell's supervisor, but Campbell claimed she was still being assigned work by the woman, Politico reported.
Before filing the civil complaint in court, Campbell filed it with the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, the House office that addresses harassment, discrimination, health and safety, and accessibility issues.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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