• Discrimination complaint filed against Mass. Supreme Judicial Court

    Updated:

    The state trial courts is on the defense and denying claims that the chief court officer called an employee the n-word in front of coworkers.

    Court officer Misty Baker filed the claim with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination this week. Attorney Sophia Hall tells Boston 25 News reporter Crystal Haynes that Baker is shaken.

    "After serving on a temporary assignment, she found out, kind of through the rumor mill that a high ranking court officer for the SJC has referred to her publicly by the n-word," said Hall. "She was so publicly humiliated."

    A spokesperson for the trial courts tell Haynes:

    "They appointed private counsel and their investigation found the chief court officer did not make the slur."

    Michael Alkins, head of the Massachusetts Minority Court Officer Association says people of color aren't treated equally by the courts.

    "It's a systemic problem and it has been a systemic problem," said Alkins.

    The MCAD says since 2012, they've received 80 complaints for discrimination in the trial courts, seven of those cases are still open. 

    The Department of Justice launched its own investigation in discrimination claims in the courts after the suspension of registrar Felix Arroyo over allegations of mismanagement. The lawyers committee says they've interviewed more than 20 people who have complained of racism in other departments, including clerks. 

    "The black females make up less than seven percent of more than a thousand court personnel across the state," said Hall.  "Diversity is a real issue and what we're seeing is the consequences of that, right? We are seeing people who have to deal with a toxic racial environment where people use racial utterances as though they're casual. As though they're normal and not offensive and not illegal."

    Baker's case is currently in the hands of the MCAD with a preliminary finding expected after the new year.

    The full complaint can be read here

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