A United Parcel Service employee in Palatine said his workplace was the scene of a recent racist incident, but the company says he mistook temporary rope pulls for nooses.
Rashaun Granberry said he saw nooses hanging about two weeks ago near the lunchroom. He said it was not the first display of racial hostility, as he and other black seasonal employees have been the target of patronizing remarks.
"I knew that wasn't supposed to be up there," he said. "I knew there were supposed to be chains up there. It's used to open up the vents, and there is supposed to be a chain. There is not supposed to be no rope."
Despite his complaints, he said, the ropes were left up for several days.
"It was real disturbing," said Granberry, a Chicago resident.
In an email, a UPS representative said, "After confirmation with the local security and engineering teams, the items in question were temporary pull ropes for the cover of a piece of operational equipment, put in place until damaged chain pulls were repaired. They were remove(d) immediately after the employee reported his complaint.
"UPS does not tolerate any demeaning workplace misconduct. The complaint was investigated. We value and respect the diversity of our workforce, and reinforce with training and discussion."
Granberry, who worked as a sorter, said he was given a week off with pay and was referred to a psychiatrist for counseling. He said he was also transferred to a facility in Chicago.