Here’s a nasty bit of racism against Sunita Moonka. It shows the steps of The Sandia Treatment. Be aware. This could happen to you! 

All quotes below are from the amended complaint filed against Sandia. Check it out on Pacer.

It begins: Employee has a good work history but raises a concern with management:

“In or around 2014, Ms. Moonka was promoted to the Information Systems Manager Engineering position. Following that promotion, she became the direct report of a Ms. Julie Perich.”

“For the first time since her employment, Ms. Moonka began to experience harassment at work, finding that she was excluded from meetings, denied information necessary to perform her job, and blamed for problems.”

“Ms. Moonka was the only Asian woman working in the office and found herself singled out among the staff and treated in a discriminatory fashion.”

“On various occasions, Ms. Moonka witnessed Ms. Perich condoning mockery of individuals with foreign-sounding names and making derogatory comments about non-white individuals.”

Step 1: Manager does nothing

“Ms. Moonka complained regarding this discriminatory treatment. Initially her complaints were made directly to Ms. Perich.”

Step 2: Employee raises the concern up the management chain, and the threats of retaliation begin

“On or around May 23, 2016, Ms. Moonka complained to Mr. David White, Ms. Perich’s superior. In a meeting regarding her complaints, Mr. White told Ms. Moonka that he was going to have to mention the complaint to Ms. Perich, but that Ms. Perich would not like it.”

“Although Mr. White promised Ms. Moonka that he would address the situation and get back to her, he never followed up.”

Step 3: Employee’s performance is falsely attacked

“In addition, after Ms. Moonka complained, her treatment worsened and she was threatened with disciplinary action based on false allegations of performance issues.”

“On more than one occasion, Ms. Perich threatened Ms. Moonka that she would “run her out” of the office.”

“Although Ms. Perich claimed that Ms. Moonka had performance issues and was not adequately carrying out her job duties, Ms. Moonka was never offered the opportunity to learn what the claimed problems were, and never permitted an opportunity to fix the alleged problems. In fact, the alleged problems were nothing more than an effort by Ms. Perich and Sandia to develop a “paper trail” of problems they could use to justify terminating Ms. Moonka.”

Step 4: Employee is forced out the door

“Ultimately, Sandia and Ms. Perich threatened Ms. Moonka with termination on the basis of the non-existent performance issues.”

“Ms. Moonka was told that if she did not resign, she would be terminated.”

“The threat of termination if she did not resign made clear to Ms. Moonka that she had no choice in the matter. Under pressure from such threats of termination and with no choice, Ms. Moonka resigned.”

Think a minute about what this case shows very clearly. If you are non-white, you must accept racism. If you complain, a false narrative of poor performance will be created against you, and you will be forced out the door. You are the criminal, not the racists.

More simply, Sandia condones racism. 

I had the opportunity to see Sunita’s work several years ago when we were in the same center. There is one thing I remember very clearly about it. I could count on it. It was excellent. It was always clear she put a great deal of effort and care into her work.

I do not believe that Sunita, years later, could have had any kind of real performance problem. She is hard-working and concerned about her work. If there had been any real issue, Sunita would have fixed it. This is clear retaliation for raising a concern.

I also believe Sunita’s story for two additional reasons:

First, I witnessed another Asian woman mocked for her English language skills (which actually were quite good). I heard both her project lead and her manager state that this would hold her back. That, of course, was (pardon my French) bullshit. She was held back because she was Asian. Plain and simple. Asian and a woman.

Second, I was asked to help push another Indian woman out the door more than a decade ago. I was told by my manager that she was going to force this woman to retire or be fired. She was going to get the Sandia Treatment, my manager said. I was told to evaluate her work and find things wrong with it so that my manager would have the ammunition to force her out the door. Sadly, although I was very uncomfortable with this, I did it. That’s my shame that I ever participated in an illegal and contrived attempt to push an Asian woman out the door.

Four easy steps to push a good employee out the door! Beware!

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