AT&T faces $100M lawsuit for discrimination and one exec’s racist texts

Aaron Slator, president of content and advertising sales at AT&T, has been fired after an assistant discovered racist images on his phone, reports the New York Daily News. Slator has become the subject of what is now a $100 million lawsuit against the cellular company for discrimination.

Knoyme King, a 50-year-old black woman, who is also a 30-year employee of AT&T, filed suit against the company, claiming that Slator and other executives subjected her to discrimination. King claims that she was passed up for promotions and given weaker raises due to her race.

AT&T released a statement explaining its decision to fire Slator, but did not explain why the decision was delayed. “There is no place for demeaning behavior within AT&T, and we regret the action was not taken earlier,” the statement read. It seems, however, that Slator’s forced departure from the company will do nothing to dissuade King and her attorneys from pursuing the lawsuit.

The suit began when an assistant discovered racist images sent from Slator’s phone, after he charged her with performing a data transfer from his old device to a new one. The New York Daily News obtained the lawsuit, publishing an excerpt which read, “Slator harbors obvious and deep-seated racial animus toward African Americans … Slator’s decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotions, and raises are infected by his racism.”

King’s attorney Louis Miller stated that “if anything, it’s an admission of liability. It proves we’re right, that it all happened. … The issues in this case are age, race and gender discrimination, and they don’t stop with Aaron Slator. These images and issues were reported a year and a half ago, and the company swept them under the rug.”

The lawsuit names a number of defendants including AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, other L.A. office execs, and board member Joyce Roche.