The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled in favor of a white Winston-Salem State University administrator who claims she was fired from her job because of discrimination. Last July, Shira Hedgepeth was told by her provost that she was being fired from because of a restructuring of her department. According to Winston-Salem Journal, she did not have the advanced skills needed to continue with her position.
“In my opinion, had I been African-American, they would not have fired me,” Shira Hedgepeth, former director of academic technology at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, told the NY Daily News. “They had no documentation of any problem with my employment. I was highly regarded as a qualified employee.” Hedgedpeth said her firing is another example of how employees are treated, based on their race.
According to statistics for fiscal year 2010-11, 67.3 percent of WSSU’s employees are black and 23.9 percent are white, Young said. She said 1.6 percent of the employees are Asian, 0.2 percent are Native American, 2.4 percent are non citizens who are here legally, and 1.1 percent are Hispanic. The race/ethnicity of 3.5 percent is unclear.
Hedgedpeth said her firing is another example of how employees are treated, based on their race. Since the EEOC made it’s ruling, the case will now head to mediation. If mediation talks fail, the case could eventually head to federal court.
“I’m still damaged. I will never be made whole,” Hedgepeth said. “Racism is racism, it doesn’t matter which way it goes.”