CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. — A former employee of Lake Winnepesaukah is suing the park, claiming he was the victim of racial discrimination while he worked there.
Eric Lewis is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages against Lake Winnie’s owners.
NewsChannel 9 reached out for comment from Lake Winnie managers about this lawsuit. They replied by saying, “Lake Winnepesaukah’s policy is not to comment on pending litigation. The Park adamantly denies the allegations and will defend the suit vigorously.”
Lewis says he was hired as a human resources manager at the park in January of 2019. He says he was promised a salary of $45,000, which would increase to $50,000 after working for 90 days.
But the lawsuit says in his position he had access to the salaries of other co-workers, and discovered “that other similar level Caucasian employees were paid substantially more than Plaintiff.”
Lewis claims in the lawsuit that from the start of his employment, he “immediately began to have near daily issues regarding race discrimination including but not limited to employee use of the N-word, employees being treated less favorably when they are African American, employees being paid less when they are African American, employees being stereotyped and assigned roles based on race.”
Lewis cites several examples in his lawsuit.
He claims a food services manager, who was white, refused to take orders from him based on his race, telling him, according to the lawsuit, “[Y]ou can’t tell me what to do. I will get your black a** gone.” Lewis says he reported this incident to his managers, but says they took no action.
Lewis claims in the lawsuit that a white ride operator kept using the N-word to describe African American employees. As human resources manager, Lewis says he confronted the employee, saying the word was offensive, and told him to stop. He then recommended to management that the employee be fired, but says in the lawsuit that didn’t happen.
Lewis says he met with Lake Winnie’s CEO, Adrienne Rhodes, who asked him to hire three security guards to protect the park after it closed until it opened in the morning. Lewis claims in the lawsuit that Rhodes “directed that two of the three night security guards needed to be “black security guards” so they could deal with “their people” (African American thieves in the night). Plaintiff asked Defendant Adrienne to clarify what she meant, and she bluntly said, we need two black security guards to deal with unruly black guest and one white guard to watch the two blacks.”
Source: NEWS CHANNEL 9