The insurance coverage big State Farm has been confronted with dozens of pending lawsuits following claims of racial discrimination amongst former staff and policyholders, as reported by The New York Occasions.
Darryl Williams is the proprietor of a Southside constructing that homes six residences. When a pipe burst, he did what each policyholder would do – file a declare along with his insurer. Nonetheless, State Farm refused to imagine Williams’ retelling of the story, reasoning, “now we have a whole lot of fraud in your space.”
Williams, like the vast majority of the individuals in his neighborhood, is Black. He believes that State Farm denied his declare due to his race, so he sued the insurance coverage firm again in 2019.
Not lengthy after, many different Black individuals got here ahead to do the identical after State Farm accused them of fraud. Filed instances went past policyholders when worker Carla Campbell-Jackson, a former State Farm worker of just about three many years, is claimed to have been wrongfully terminated after she introduced up considerations about State Farm’s refusal to compensate individuals of colour.
Campbell-Jackson mentioned in her testimony that State Farm centered on claims in neighborhoods with a excessive threat of fraud to make them simpler to disclaim. Robert McLaughlin, the lawyer for Campbell-Jackson, mentioned he has represented over 150 present and former State Farm staff who’ve filed instances in opposition to the corporate for racial discrimination, The New York Occasions reported.
Nonetheless, State Farm mentioned the transfer was to vary the way in which claims flagged for fraud have been allotted inside the investigative unit. State Farm spokesperson Roszell Gadson mentioned in an e mail to The New York Occasions that “racism has no place anyplace” and that the insurer will “vigorously defend ourselves in court docket.”
“Current allegations of discrimination don’t replicate the State Farm tradition,” Gadson wrote.
In 2021, the Equal Employment Alternative Fee sided with Campbell-Jackson, accusing the insurer of discrimination and retaliation.