A race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit was filed last Friday by a white employee against Aramark Corp, the largest provider of outsourcing services in the US, in relation to its operations at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia.

This suit follows the filing of a race discrimination class action by African American employees that was filed against ARAMARK/Presbyterian in August 2001. This case, filed by ten employees on behalf of black workers in certain departments at ARAMARK/Presbyterian, alleges that the defendants engaged in ongoing, pervasive racial discrimination in disciplinary actions against class members. The action further alleges that four of the named plaintiffs were fired based upon fabricated disciplinary charges, when in actuality, they were terminated because they objected to the discriminatory pattern of discipline. In addition, white supervisors are alleged to have used various racial epithets, such as "ni**er" and "black punk" when referring to African American employees.

In the case filed on Friday, the plaintiff alleges that she was retaliated against in violation of state and federal civil rights laws when she defended the earlier-filed class action, and after she reported to Aramark management that she was asked to lie to support a disciplinary charge against an older African American employee made by a white supervisor. The also suit alleges that as a white employee, the plaintiff was shown favouritism over African American employees by white supervisors.

This suit, as well as the earlier filed class action are being handled by lawyers at two Philadelphia firms: Joel I. Fishbein at Abrahams, Loewenstein & Bushman, PC, and Stephen A. Whinston, Jonathan Auerbach and Shanon J. Carson at Berger & Montague, PC.