WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A survivor of sex trafficking and leader in the anti-trafficking movement, Wilnisha Sutton, filed a race discrimination lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court today against Fair Girls, Inc., an organization that supports survivors of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
She alleges that Fair Girls and its former Executive Director, Erin Andrews, created a racially hostile work environment and subjected her and other employees of color to systematic discrimination, including disparaging Black neighborhoods, Black employees, and Black survivors. She further alleges that Fair Girls and Ms. Andrews retaliated against her when she reported their race discrimination.
Fair Girls put Ms. Sutton on a bogus Performance Improvement Plan in July 2020, and although she successfully completed her PIP, Erin Andrews terminated her in December 2020, after she raised complaints about race discrimination within the organization. Among other reports, she advocated that Fair Girls recognize Juneteenth, the federal holiday that commemorates the 1865 emancipation of African American slaves.
Although the Board of Fair Girls received many employees' complaints about Ms. Andrews' creation of a racially hostile work environment, it did nothing to address these concerns or the massive turnover in the organization.
Ms. Sutton is supported in her lawsuit by seven former employees who attest to the race discrimination they either observed or suffered at Fair Girls.
"It is important that organizations like Fair Girls eliminate racism within their ranks, in order to empower fully survivors of human trafficking and the employees who support them. The Board refused to take any action when the Executive Director's discrimination was reported to it, which draws into question the Board's ability to direct the organization in its mission," said Ms. Sutton.
"This lawsuit intends to hold Fair Girls and Erin Andrews responsible for their discriminatory and retaliatory actions, that impede the progress of those who work in the anti-trafficking movement," said Lynne Bernabei.
The District of Columbia law firms of Bernabei & Kabat PLLC, and Caleb Andonian, PLLC, represent Ms. Sutton.
The complaint and redacted witness statements are available upon request.
Philip Andonian, CalebAndonian PLLC
Wilnisha Sutton may be reached c/o Bernabei & Kabat PLLC, (202) 745-1942
SOURCE Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC