Karimah Guion-Pledgure sued Multnomah County for fostering a workplace with overwhelming racial insensitivity. One of Karimah’s workmates initiated the confrontation after mounting a “Blue Lives Matter” flag on his desk. Karimah construed the display of the flag as a mockery to the effort of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The court learned that Guion-Pledgure faced harassment from some of her colleagues after stating that the flag undermined the cause of the “Black Lives Matter” pressure group. The suit further said that some of her workmates became hostile when she raised the issue. As a result, she experienced devastating psychological and physical wellbeing. Guion-Pledgure and her black workmates reported the matter to the manager, who objected to removing the flag.
The litigation further indicated that the Blue Lives Movement does not represent any race but exists to pre-empt and demean the cause presented by the Black Lives Matter movement. The colleague who placed the demeaning flag worked as a probation officer and hoisted it in September 2017. Guion-Pledgure and some of her black colleagues expressed their displeasure and sought the management’s intervention to have the flag removed, but no one listened to them. The county commissioners agreed to compensate Guion-Pledgure $100,000 settlement on 28 June 2020. However, one of the conditions of the settlement conditions was that Guion-Pledgure had to resign from her county job, effective from 29 June 2020. Still, she was eligible to reapply for work openings at the county office in the future. She had worked for the Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice as a corrections technician since 2011. Since the ruling did not direct the employer to make any changes, Guion-Pledgure had to leave the work environment because the commissioners interpreted it as still harsh and unwelcoming to the petitioner.
The verdict was a landmark ruling. The employee demonstrated the distress she went through for six months after the officer hoisted the flag on his desk. Guion-Pledgure reiterated by creating a collection of cutouts pictures black people the police had killed. The management requested her to get rid of the equity wall, which she refused and declared that she could only remove it after the workmate took down the Blue Lives Matter emblem.
Witnesses attested that she had a rough time coping at work, which made her miss duties frequently as she needed time to recover from the hostility from a section of her workmates. In a bid to compel Guion-Pledgure to remove the equity wall, the management introduced a new policy that required staff members to display personal pictures that were less than 5×7 inches at their workstations. The following day after the release of the personal picture policy, she found a stick note on her desk with the inscription “Bitch!” That was when she decided to seek justice and filed a lawsuit asking for $420,000 at the Multnomah County Circuit Court. The commissioners did not approve the requested amount; instead, they agreed to a settlement of $100, 000.