The city of Seattle is facing a lawsuit from a longtime social worker who claims he has been racially discriminated against under the city’s new Critical Race Theory (CRT)-based policies.
As reported by Just The News, Joshua Diemert, a White employee of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD), is suing the city for $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Diemert, who received the department’s “maximum achievement” award just three years into his tenure, says he once faced pressure to step down so that minority workers could take his place, as per the city’s newly-implemented Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI).
Several years ago, while Diemert was on leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), he faced “unrelenting coercion and racial harassment” from his superior to resign from a lead role in order to give up his “White privilege” and let a person of color take his place. Diemert ultimately did resign from the position, leading to the promotion of “two people of color with no supervisory experience,” who Diemert says had to be constantly assisted in their duties due to their inexperience.
The lawsuit then claims that last year, another FMLA request by Diemert was rejected due to his criticism of the RSJI. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor had to get involved to ultimately force the state agency to comply with the law in Diemert’s favor.
“Mr. Diemert had to constantly be on defense, as his work environment became increasingly toxic and hostile,” the suit says. “He was forced to continue looking at degrading and racist material disseminated in the office that labeled him a White supremacist.” Diemert was ultimately “constructively discharged” by HSD last year after nine years on the job.
Diemert’s Title VII and 14th Amendment lawsuit names the City of Seattle and Mayor Bruce Harrell as defendants, neither of which has released a statement on the lawsuit.