Fred Bonda was a fire inspector for the Elizabeth Fire Department. He had worked for the department since 1995 until he retired in February 2014. During inspections, there were many times when Bonda would report violations of the fire-safety code, but nothing would happen after making the report and abatements were still being made. Bonda claimed that someone would go into the computer and make false abatements. When taking this information to his supervisor he was told to turn a blind eye basically. Shortly after he kept pressing the matter, one of the department officials called him a piece of sh-t sp-c, at this point Bonda was being racially discriminated for being Portuguese. Bonda was given positions he never applied or interviewed for such as fire-official. Officials would ask him to sign for information that wasn’t accurate. Bonda was not given promotion opportunities due to retaliating. Bonda then filed complaints of the racial discrimination and workplace harassment and still nothing was ever done. He was denied overtime and was removed from the city’s honor guard. Still after enduring this treatment for a moment, making claims, nothing was ever investigated. That’s when Bonda decided to sue the department, the City of Elizabeth, the Elizabeth Fire Department, its mayor, Fire Chief and others involved. Bonda alleging; retaliation, harassment, racial discrimination, and violations under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
The 8-jury found that Bonda made his evidence clear and convincing. They saw how Bonda was asked to turn a blind eye by supervisors, to then, being asked to participate in the violations of the law. They saw how Bonda was then being harassed after he expressed where he stands, in not wanting to participate and go against the law to his supervisor. It was clear that he was being racially discriminated through harassment and no promotion opportunities. So when gathering all of this information, Bonda won the verdict and was granted 2,075,000 dollars.
Some important factors were, Bonda kept documents and always made a claim going against his treatment. He also went to therapy which was also in Bonda’s favor, mentally and in court. I feel the biggest lesson I took from this case is how Bonda stood his ground despite the treatment and harassment from co workers and supervisors. I feel most would either just quit or give in to making bad choices to gain social belongingness in their workplace. When those choices could be negatively affecting the community. Rather, he documented everything that he felt went against inspections that had code volitions and no matter what didn’t participate. I would avoid retaliating by verbally fighting back, because if Bonda did fight back in the workplace he could have easily lost his job and retirement. So he held his composer and continued to filed claims.
I believe that if the employers were more professional and didn’t bring racial slurs towards others within the company, would save a lot of damage from even being done in the first place. Having morals when working for companies that work for the city, along with any government job, because every negative choice could affect people and their lives. There’s no room for sloppy inspections that could kill people. I feel that the ones higher in the hierarchy, should reward those not wanting to violate the law, standards, or regulations in any way. Not go against them and punish them through discrimination. I feel supervisors should have been creating consequences and ways to prevent workplace harassment and any form of discrimination. I feel that if the employer in this case, didn’t verbalized racial slurs and not allow promotions, would have prevented this from happening. But, if they must go to court regardless, to win, they should have followed the rules in inspections and document everything and not bring unnecessary attention to Bonda’s race and use it against him.
I thought it was crazy and unprofessional that anyone called Bonda a piece of sh-t sp-c in a workplace. That is what originally grabbed my attention to this case because of who open they were to racial discrimination. I hate that this mans last couple of years working for the fire department has cause mental distress and effected his personal life and enduring constant work harassment. I do believe the court and law were fair in their ruling because they took the time to really look into this case and not pushing it aside. No, I would not change the law or verdict. I believe any form of decimation is immoral and extremely unprofessional in the workplace, there should be consequences for those who do. Discrimination is severing any chance of creating a team-based atmosphere. When people work together as a team there’s more productivity. Also, if people are busy discriminating then they aren’t working to their full potential because they aren’t forced on the company and the company’s needs.
The Problem of Race Discrimination. (2019, Mar 29).
Retrieved June 23, 2021 , from
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