The Georgia Republican Party has been slapped with a lawsuit, with a former aide saying she was discriminated against based on her race.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Qiana Keith, who is black, said that she heard co-workers referring to her as the “house n–ger” and that they also disrespected and humiliated her.
While Keith was employed as the executive assistant to Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett, she said that she was humiliated during a Chairman’s Dinner last year, when the party’s accounting director, Karen Hentschel, told Financial Director Margaret Poteet, “Don’t worry about her; she is just the house n–ger,” according to Raw Story.
During the same event, even though Keith was supposed to act as Padgett’s “escort and aide,” according to the lawsuit, she was not included in assignments and instead was replaced by a white man, Raw Story reports.
Keith also claims that co-workers gossiped about her and her 2002 felony conviction in Montana—a detail that the party did know about when she was hired in 2013. She allegedly heard two employees discussing her, saying, “I didn’t even know there were black people in Montana,” the Journal-Constiution reported.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, alleges that Keith’s eventual termination from the party was due to her complaints about the insensitivity of her co-workers. Keith wants compensation for the wages lost, as well as other damages, the Journal-Constitution reports.
The attorney for the party, Anne Lewis, told the Journal-Constitution that Keith was fired because of her “consistently poor job performance.”
She also said that after an investigation, Keith’s accusations did not stand up.
“We immediately undertook a full investigation of those claims and found that there was no merit to any of them,” said Lewis, referring to when the original claims were made through Keith’s lawyer. “The party and Chairman Padgett will vigorously defend themselves in court against these completely unfounded claims.”