(CBS) — A black employee of the University of Illinois at Chicago says work has been “a living hell” – because he says he’s been taunted by co-workers who first used a rope, and now a black Santa Claus, to mock him, reports WBBM’s Steve Miller.
“It’s been a living hell working, the time there with the university, in that motor pool in the garage department,” says Chuck Conner.
49-year-old Chuck Conner is a mechanic, maintaining buses and trucks at UIC for the past two years.
Five months ago, Conner found a rope dangling over a fence.
UIC says even though no evidence was found of a hate crime, “the disciplinary process is still underway.”
Now Conner says he’s being harassed with an animated, singing black Santa Claus doll.
“They use the doll after they hear me use speech that’s slang… and one of the words I may say, they’ll use the doll and play it and laugh.”
Conner says he’s told his supervisor several times the doll is offensive – but the supervisor brushes him off and tells him…
“The guys are just having fun. You’ve got to relax… And nothing ever is done.”
A spokeswoman for UIC says she’s not heard of the doll in the garage.