Verizon Raped My Family
Since July 14th, 2011, after a mediation session with Verizon, I pondered whether I had the strength to expose Verizon for all they had done to my family. I knew that once I wrote this letter there would be no turning back. I thought of the last seven and a half years of my family’s fight for survival and for justice against one of the most powerful companies in the world. I thought about that day sitting across the table from three Verizon attorneys and the Human Resource Partner from Verizon only to be further belittled, threatened, and bullied.
In August, 2011, a strike had been going on at Verizon. I noticed numerous television, radio, and internet releases stating that the picketing Verizon employees were acting inappropriately. Verizon and the media were stating that the union members stepped over-the-line in the verbal attacks that were going on each day since the strike.
I beg to differ, as being a former Verizon employee for 11 years in both union, and as a part of management. I saw abuse that was way out- of-line, including physical and verbal exploitation from Verizon management that was permitted each day. I observed how Verizon was trying to get the public’s sympathy as to the poor language that appeared to be going on but the public does not know the truth on what happens from within.
I complained for four years about Verizon management acting in the same abusive fashion and was ignored. Why is inappropriate now, but was acceptable for management to act that way to myself and their employees while I was employed by Verizon.
While sitting in depositions, I heard Verizon state that their Verizon Business Code of Conduct is just a guide and down graded the significance of the Verizon rules as it not to be taken seriously. For seven and a half years, I waited for Verizon to stand by their Business Code of Conduct and tell me, “Thank you for being a role model employee, and ensuring that all our employees continue to work in a safe and healthy environment, free of hostility, discrimination and racism.” Instead of holding the unethical Verizon management accountable for inappropriate behaviors, they came after me.
On several occasions, Verizon management advised me that I treated the employees too well and that I needed to fire or suspend employees to be considered a good manager. I do not consider this being a good manager. That is a manager that leads by fear and intimidation and that is not leadership. That is a manager that lacks leadership and utilizes his power to the limit. This is very wrong and unacceptable in any company. Leaders come in all different shapes, sizes and colors, but ultimately, were you respected and did you produce good results.
Why did I choose to expose Verizon today? I chose to expose Verizon for the common good of all. I did it for the right to be treated as an equal and to receive justice.
This fight with Verizon is about the history of so many before me that gave their lives so I could have mine. From the beginning of time well into today the rights of so many people are taken away from them only because they were not of the right color. Color should never play a part in anything for any reason.
This fight against Verizon is about accountability and justice, as Verizon refused to see. In fact, Verizon has done the complete opposite and released a full blown retaliatory mark on my life.
Beginning in 2004, several incidents have happened that would be too much to put in this letter to be released to the public at this time, so I will just cover just a few items.
In 2004 when I decided to make a stand against inappropriate mistreatment to Verizon employees in general, the punishment and targeting began to evolve.
One form of retaliation and punishment was that I had to sit in the back of the room in a corner, as I was not allowed to choose where I sat while attending some Directors Meetings at Verizon. I had to listen to Verizon management tell me that because I’m black, I will never be an equal. I had to sit there and listen to Verizon management state that blacks were stupid and less deserving, and that our positions were only granted to us because of Affirmative Action. I had to sit and listen to why female black lesbian’s were hired and promoted as well as listen to the type of foods black people like to eat.
After seven and a half years my story is still is not over as I am still in federal court in Boston Massachusetts awaiting the second summary of judgment decision. I will continue to fight for justice and my honor. I am on the verge of losing all that I have worked so hard to gain. If my losses were due to the current state of the economy, then that would be one thing. But my losses are due to the overt acts of Verizon and I fully blame Verizon for the destruction in my family’s lives.
On July 30, 2011, at 5:30 am, I opened my Yearly Bible that I read often. The next section to view was “PSALM 7:1-17.” It said:
“I am depending on you, O Lord my God, to save me from my persecutors. Don’t let them pounce upon me as a lion would and maul me and drag me away with no one to rescue me. It would be different, Lord, if I were doing evil things – if I were paying back evil for good of unjustly attacking those I dislike. Then it would be right for you to let my enemies destroy me, crush me to the ground, and trample my life in the dust. But Lord! Arise in anger against the anger of my enemies. Awake! Demand justice for me Lord! Gather all peoples before you; sit high above them, judging their sins. But justify me publicly; establish my honor and truth before them all. End all wickedness God, look deep within the hearts of men and examine all their motives and their thoughts. God is my shield; he will defend me. He saves those hearts and lives are true and right.”
I knew right then and there that I must carry on this battle against Verizon. I knew now was the time to expose Verizon for the immoral and unethical company they really are. I want the world to know what my family has been through and why.
I will do it for so many employees have no strength or courage in the past and present to do so, I will do it for them. For the ones that they targeted and fired, without cause or reason, I will do it for them. For those who were discriminated against because of their differences, I will do it for them. For those who were denied equality because of their color, I will do it for them. For the ones that came to work honorably each day only to be harassed, degraded and treated poorly, I will do it for them. I will do it for the families that paid the ultimate price because of the horrible treatment their family members endured at Verizon – I will do it for them.
Occasionally, there comes a time in one’s life where you have to make a stand for something. So many before me stood up for what was right even though they knew that they or their families may pay a price for justice or for human rights. They decided, “No more can I sit here and be disrespected, no more can I allow people to treat me in a fashion against my human rights and no more shall blood be shed on the backs of the righteous.” Things have got to change and sometimes it starts with one and ends with millions.
To make a stand alone leaves one feel stranded. I am tired of fighting this alone and I am asking help from you to get my story out for myself and for others with the intention that it will help many and to finally seek accountability and justice against Verizon.
I was violated while working for Verizon Communications from 2004 – 2008 and still up to the present, as I still fight to be heard. This happens to so many employees in Corporate America. People wake up and go to work with the best intentions, only to be assaulted, discriminated against and abused. They get bullied, harassed, racial comments thrown at them and are forced to endure the pain. As I looked at the National Statistics on Workplace Violence it stated that 1.7 million people were victims of violent crimes. Why? Some companies like Verizon do nothing to stop or reduce the violence and poor treatment within their company. They ignore things when complaints are made, by their own employees’ complaints because of corporate bureaucracy gets in the way of justice and accountability. Employees are either blackballed, targeted and harassed endlessly until they either give up or the company fits them into a layoff to cover up the real reason why the termination was planned.
The Declaration of Independence state that; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It was also used by Martin Luther King.
It never stated that, “If you have money or power you have a right to anything greater, including justice. That power and money supersedes the rights to manipulate or confuse the justice system to their benefits and not allow a man with fewer fortunes to be denied of his rights.”
I am a man who has stood up against racism, discrimination, bullying, harassment, hostile environment, belittlement, threats, and retaliation, all while working for Verizon Communications. I am a man who is trying to hold his family together while in the process of trying to fight for my rights to be heard. I am a man who has brought up his family on morals, discipline, character, hard work, dedication and conviction to believe that good things happen to good people. I am a man who could not be more proud of my family for all their trust and faith in my conviction. I am man who is a proud servant in my community and deserves to be heard.
I am a U.S. Marine that was honorably discharged who understands the essence behind pride, honor and courage. I am a man who believed at one point that color did not matter and to treat everyone with the utmost respect, up until I worked at Verizon. I was then witness to the power of color in seeking justice and equality.
I am a man, who, as of July 8th 2011 after seven and a half years of fighting for justice, is fed up with the lack of justice that I am trying to obtain. I am a man only asking for judgment from a jury of my peers. However, I am a man asking only for the opportunity to be heard as an American fighting against a Giant – Verizon. A giant that has a lot more money, more connections and a lot more power than I do, as I cannot allow Verizon to continue to bully and overpower me any longer.
Many may wonder why I decided to name this title page (and my book to be), “Verizon Raped My Family.” As offensive as this may sound, I was looking for something that clearly defined how outrageous the violation was that Verizon inflicted upon my family, and I found it. One of the definitions of rape is defined as, “An Outrageous Violation.”
The acts that were caused by Verizon management were also protected and covered up by Verizon’s upper management. These acts to my family and I were an “Outrageous Violation” to my Human Rights. It hampered my ability to live with dignity, work in a safe and healthy environment, to be treated as an equal based on my color and to receive equal justice while working for Verizon.
If Verizon in 2004 would have taken the appropriate action when I reported the treatment of some very abusive, immoral, violent, racist and illegal managers, I would never be writing this letter today. Instead, Verizon continued to cover up these managers. If Verizon had done the right thing seven and a half years ago, no one would ever have heard about how bad working for this fortune 500 company could be. Life would have been great for my family. We would have had the life that so many others have had because it’s a normal life. Waking up each day going to a place that you enjoy working at and expecting to be treated with common courtesy and respect, is a normal thing. Not at Verizon.
I have had to take so much time out of our lives writing many wasted letters asking for help. I spent so many nights documenting my day; sleepless nights, hours by the computer; time away from my family and precious moments with my wife while she was battling cancer three times while dealing with these issues with Verizon. This added additional stress onto her life and prolonged her battles back to good health, as she was worried about me. What makes me even angrier is that Verizon had full knowledge of my wife’s illness (from beginning to end) and still had no problem beating me down. One of the times when my wife’s cancer worsened, Verizon was in the process of moving me to Boston (over one hour further away from my home excluding traffic conditions). I had advised them that my wife needed me and informed them with the situation. My boss, advised me to pack my bags regardless of my reason. Retaliation was the norm and everyone was aware of this.
Today, I decided that I will use my first amendment rights of “Freedom of Speech” and my right to the “Freedom of Press.
My name is Neal W. Dias and I’m from Swansea, Massachusetts. I am 46 years old and my family and I have been through emotional devastation at the hands of Verizon over these last seven plus years. It is difficult for me to tell you the pain we have suffered and the tears we have shed during those years. As a family, we have had many sleepless nights. We have had fights that should have never happened. The stress was added to our lives as unpaid bills that normally had been paid weren’t. I have had to deal with collection notices that should never have arrived in our mail boxes. For These reasons, our pain had deepened and our children have paid an ultimate price for Verizon’s wrongdoings.
My family is absolutely wonderful, and I mean truly wonderful and I love them so much for their strength and support of me. They deserve more, so much more than this and I am sorry for their pain. I refused to allow anyone to step on me in the way Verizon has and it cost them so much. But I cannot give up until I see justice served and Verizon is held accountable for their misbehavior towards me and many other Verizon employees.
Today I will provide an outline of what has transpired over the last seven and a half years. I have thousands of documents and proof that I have collected over time to prove my case. With this letter, I will attach other documents that will help you to understand the magnitude of this conspiracy to terminate me and the power to suppress justice as well as the violation of my human rights. I can send additional paperwork, notes, proof, productivity reports, my accomplishments, witnesses, affidavits etc and do an interview if necessary, whatever it takes to expose Verizon.
In 1997 I was hired as a lineman. After receiving my first of two degrees, one in Electrical Technology, and working on my second degree in Business Management-Human Resources, I decided to apply for a position in management in 2004. I was hired, and started in the Brockton Massachusetts garage at 1690 Main Street. Within a short period of time, my natural leadership was noticed and I advanced very rapidly and was now on the fast track within Verizon. I became the number one operations manager in that garage as to leadership, productivity, and reliability. I was respectful, courteous, outgoing and on target to move forward.
I was soon appointed as one of the top members on the Verizon New England Diversity Committee. After successful achievements, I had received top honors in New York by one of the Presidents in Verizon in front of hundreds of higher executives and managers as well. I was the leader in helping to ensure that Verizon’s first-ever “Verizon Diversity Week” went according to plan. I was the guest speaker that week in garages throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. I was also responsible to ensure the scheduling of all speakers throughout Verizon New England. The lectures that took place from New York to New England during the Verizon Diversity week was focused on the importance of inclusion, diversity, respect and teamwork in the workplace, as it was seriously lacking at that time. It was for all the employees in Verizon New York – New England, not just for certain groups of employees within the company. It was a success and this was the reason for my award in New York.
I was the only Verizon employee in New England to be nominated to attend a top minority mentoring and leadership course in Boston, Massachusetts called the “Partnership Inc” in 2005. At the graduation commencement, I was nominated (by my peers) as the top male graduate giving the commencement speech. This took place in front of the class and alumni from many fortune 500 companies, Harvard Professors, CEO’s and other top minority professionals.
I was recognized and nominated for many top honors within and outside of Verizon and was on other leadership boards as well. I received numerous awards and recognition letters for outstanding customer service and helped to improve other managers’ productivity in the district. I did things that benefited Verizon and was applauded for it. I was also asked to volunteer my service representing Verizon in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, to partake in functions for the less fortunate as well as being a part of Junior Achievement representing Verizon, at the local school during class time.
Outside of Verizon, I was the lead organizer for the rebuilding of a sports complex for the Swansea/Warren Rhode Island Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading league. I was awarded for “volunteer of the year for my contribution.” What made it even more special, was that my children were not active in the league. I did this just to help out when I was called upon to do so. I would always come and help anyone in my community when called upon with no intensions or expectations in return. It’s in my soul to help. That’s just me.
I was and still am second in command on a fundraising committee to raise money for children in a local High School and College in Fall River. I am heavily involved in my community and enjoy helping others.
One the greatest days of my life (aside from the births of my children and the marriage to my wife), was the moment when I could finally say, “I made it” after all the sacrifices, hard work and education at night, and after long days at work and raising a family.
One day, I was flying into New York City to the Verizon Headquarters for Business. I was selected to attend a Directors’ Diversity Meeting, filling in for Director Marianne Ryan of the Diversity Committee. I was only an entry level manager “called a first level manager” and I was representing the Verizon New England Diversity Committee. I was in my favorite suit feeling very proud of myself for the success that I had worked extremely hard to achieve. As I arrived at the airport and proceeded down the escalator there it was – a sign with my name on it. The sign said, “Verizon” on the top and “Neal Dias” below. There stood my limo driver holding a sign for me. I proceeded to the limo where he opened my door and, most of all I will never forget the ride into the city. That day, the world was so perfect and stood still just for me as I was heading to Verizon Headquarters. I took it all in and wished my family was with me to experience this. I looked at every sign, every building and when I saw the billboard with Verizon on it, I was in awe. I can still remember the day – I pulled up front and the employees going into the building were looking at me, as I was getting out of the limo. I felt on that day that everything from that point on would be great for my family and I. As a father and family breadwinner, to know your family will be fine and supported; is the greatest feeling.
I kept binders filled with letters, emails and awards from many departments and executives (both internal and external) for the many accomplishments I had made. They were from Presidents of Banks and Verizon, engineers, peers, customers, managers from other internal departments and various employees. On one occasion, I received one specific email from Verizon’s Business Service Group National Project Manager Mr. Jim Pisciotta. He sent emails to the Executive Management within Verizon from the President down, thanking me for my value to a National Project that he ran, which was highly successful. He noted me for the achievement of one of the largest projects Verizon ever had in New England, the Compass Medical Project in relation to the revenue it will now provide because of my team. I was also responsible for the placing of all the communications handled for the PGA Tour / Deutsche Bank when it arrived in Norton, Massachusetts from the Verizon construction department. I handled Verizon’s most valuable prize, the FIOS Project out of Plymouth, Massachusetts, producing the 2nd highest amount of fiber placed in all of New England in 2008.
The list goes on and on regarding my achievements while working for Verizon, all to illustrate the point that I was a leader held highly accountable to all projects that I worked on.
So, how do you go from handling multimillion dollar projects, being recognized locally, nationally, and making a great living in Verizon, and providing your family with peace of mind, to now working two jobs (one for $12.00 / hr and the other for $17.00 / hr) and broke? Now I am working 74 hours a week, 7 days a week taking home a total of $11.80 an hour after taxes. Going from being on top of the world working for a Fortune 500 Company to being broke everyday. I went from having peace of mind, supporting my family with dignity and having a great income, paying my bills to starting my life all over again. I am 46 years old, with bills out of this world and on the verge of losing everything my family and I worked so hard to achieve.
Both of the places that I work for now, made me realize how a real respectful work environment should be. The entire atmosphere is respectful and courteous to one another. They do not call one another any harmful words or use belittling tactics to create harm to one another. No one is hitting or throwing things at one another. No one is running the other one over with a company truck at work. No one is going out on stress because of the daily abuse that they are forced to put up with. No one is getting harassed at home while they are out sick and no one is stating any racial statements. These work environments are sane.
I really believe that most companies do not have, or tolerate the abusive and unethical behavior that some Verizon management employees exhibit.
How could I have gone from total peace of mind for my family and I to such financial and emotional devastation? How can this be? How can this happen to me and my family? Why?
It’s easy to explain.
Standing up for the right reasons is why!
I stood up for the employees of Verizon that were not being heard. I stood up to the bullies and racist at the garages that I was stationed, and that is why I am where I am today, devastated because Verizon failed to do the right thing. They failed at holding known unethical violators accountable. Verizon condoned bullying within their environment, was fully aware of their management bullies and protected them as always.
It is very important in our society to stand up to bullies whether in the workplace, the playgrounds all across the country or at our schools. It is the right thing to do, and even our children have to understand this. Bullies are individuals who lack self confidence and have to reassure their lack of self-esteem. Standing up to racists is also a very important thing as they begin with race and expand to hating people of all different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, religious backgrounds or sexual preferences. The bullies and racists in our schools today may grow up to one day become a boss with too much authority and destroy the productivity within a company. Bullying and Racism does exist and is harbored within Verizon and may send waves to other companies allowing bullying and racism to happen to their good, moral and productive employees.
As stated on worktrauma.org, “The downfall of a competitor is planned and career executions are common place. This hostile and aggressive behavior is called bullying, mobbing, victimization, workplace aggression, work rage or hostilities. Whatever the name, workplace bullying is an alarming phenomenon. There are no scars, but in essence this behavior leaves the victim with invisible scars and is nothing less than VIOLANCE.”
I will start with this letter and reach out to the world for change with Verizon as the showpiece for this movement. I will contact all the powers to be and ask for help. I will contact the U.S. Justice System, the media, politicians, and the worldwide web as I will ask for change. I will also ask for accountability and justice against Verizon for their illegal acts towards their employees and myself.
Within Verizon, my success was real and I was doing very well until my morals got in the way. I was witness to things that were so appalling; I was stunned that it was an acceptable norm. The mistreatment to Verizon employees by Verizon management was baffling to me. When I brought this unethical treatment to my superiors, I then became the target.
I was advised by upper Verizon management that if I was going to make a stand to stop unethical and immoral behaviors, my career would be over. I was advised by an Area Operations Manager Mr. Lazario Lopez that I would indeed be blackballed. I was to, turn the other cheek and continue to allow the unethical and immoral behaviors, bullying, abuse, hostile environment, abusive verbal and mental treatment and racism to happen within Verizon. He also advised me “to take one for the team” and not report specific managers to Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Department, like a Mr. Malcome Benvie, Ms. Anne Best, Area Operations Manager Jim Fennell and Director Robert Glynn (for ignoring my request for help prior to going to Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Department).
I was not the type of person that could turn the other cheek and stand there watching Verizon employees be set up and mistreated in the abusive manner that they were in fact, being treated. I could not do this and feel good about my success and my life, as it is not how I teach my children. I was not brought up that way, nor do I raise my children in that manner. I will never succeed on the blood of another man, nor will I ever allow anyone to diminish me as a person or race.
I just could not look the other way and stand there while Verizon employees got set up and treated in the manner that they were being treated. I could not do this and feel good about my success and my life as well as what I teach my children. I am not perfect nor will I ever be. I do not claim to be perfect. I do not raise my children in that manner. My life has purpose, it has value, and I will never sell my soul for corporate success. I will work hard and give any company all I have, but I will never do this watching others suffer.
While in a director’s meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, I witnessed Verizon management give speeches about how they would try and build up cases against Verizon employees to discipline or terminate them. In a room full of entry level managers, Area Operations Managers, and a Director, it was said, “If you can’t find anything on them, just lie.” Instead of disagreement or disappointment, there was applause by the crowd. I sat there and watched as I saw Verizon management going after their own family… people who they worked with each day and the people who help build and maintain the company.
I watched Verizon management take safety tools off the trucks of the technicians and then go out to their job sites and discipline them for not having them. I was witness to Verizon management call other Verizon employees’ inappropriate words like it was nothing and belittle them in front of other workers. I then watched male management lose control on female employees and the female employees would cry and not want to return to work and / or be in their presence.
I remember a technician who was suspended for going to his home during his lunch break to give his child an insulin shot (as the child was dying), because the mother could no longer give the shots. The manager told him as she suspended him, “This is no hospice.” No compassion, no heart as this was how Verizon treated their workers when they needed them most.
I sat and watched an older veteran technician get intentionally transferred out of his vehicle just for spite. To then listen to management state that they hoped the additional work he had to do by now carrying a ladder all day to perform his duties would give him a heart attack.
I saw and heard things that blew my mind on the abusive mental treatment Verizon management bestowed upon their employees. The shocking thing was it was allowed. I witnessed extreme bullying within Verizon and tried to stop it, but it stopped me.
I sat for only a short time and listened to examples of abusive treatment that Verizon employees were having to deal with, from Verizon Management. It was then that I had no choice but to stand up for these employees whether union or non-union. They were employees of Verizon and human beings that have families. They came to work each day deserving to be treated with the utmost respect. There were no issues of color, gender, or differences between union or management – they were employees.
What altered my career at Verizon was the decision I made to make a stand for respect to all soon after I arrived in Brockton Massachusetts at the garage at 1690 Main Street. This was when it turned ugly as it got racial and discriminatory from that point on until I was notified of my terminated in November 2008. Prior to that decision of making a continuous stand for justice in management, I never had any racial or discriminatory acts against me while working at Verizon as a union employee.
I see today, women still fighting for equal pay for equal work. I see gays and lesbians fighting to prove they are no different than you or me. I see all this courage and sacrifice through blood and guts, the guts it takes to say I have rights and will not be denied. Throughout history so many great people made our Country what it is today. People with courage, hope, dignity and passion to change the way we live. We, as a country, have sacrificed so much for freedom and that is what has made us the greatest place to live on earth. This is why I cannot and will not be denied my rights to justice and my voice to be heard.
I did what was asked of me. I woke everyday and did what I had to do for my family. I also loved my job. At one time it was the best place I had ever worked and the job I loved more than any job in my life. Everyone that knew me, knew I spoke about Verizon like it was my company. When I worked as a technician in East Providence Rhode Island, I made sure none of the employee left the company without the respect of a retirement party. We had the parties at a nice restaurant and they were allowed to invite their family members. We made it a very special night and spoke about their careers, lives and celebrated their achievements and provided them with gifts and memories. Today, I have the pleasure to still have all of them as my true friends.
As a manager I continued my passion and love for Verizon. I truly loved my job and what I did. I went from a rising star within Verizon and feeling good about myself, my future and my family’s security, to a major transition to catastrophe. Now being on the verge of losing my home as Sovereign Bank calls me not once, but 2 times a day, I am behind on every bill imaginable – backdated on taxes, paying bills based on termination and late payments and asking for state and federal assistance. Our family is in a state of depression and stress and an abundance of pressure at home, all because I stood up against the internal powers to be at Verizon for their bullying, unethical, abusive and racist treatment against me and other Verizon employees.
Instead of Verizon doing the right thing and saying to me, “We do not tolerate this behavior from any of our employees” and then resolved the issues, they continued to protect bad managers and express their continued ignorance to me in Verizon’s own statements (on a response to the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination on May 23, 2007 from a Mr. Dennis Hogan Sr. Staff Consultant, Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance). Mr. Hogan stated that, “Dias’ concerns raised only two issues that remotely related to race.” For one, forget any racial statements that I witnessed, had to listen to, that was directed towards me and complained about, as there were many. My point is that Verizon trivialized the comments, that it was not enough racial statements made about me or other minorities – only 2 racial statements!
So what Verizon is saying is this – “If you work for Verizon, the management employees can call you Nigger and Porch Monkey because it’s only 2 racial statements – deal with it. Two racial statements do not justify racial harassment when working for Verizon. If our Verizon employees call you a Nigger, Porch Monkey, and / or a Spook, then we will discuss the Equal Employment Opportunity violations, because that’s 3, not 2 racial statements.
So does that also mean a Verizon employee can fondle a female Verizon employer 1 or 2 times and that’s ok? But if they do it a 3rd time, then there is a violation? This is exactly what happened to a female Verizon employee in Southeast Massachusetts garage. A Verizon manager touched her inappropriately and it was not welcomed and with intent. He made her feel uncomfortable and knew what he was doing. She made a complaint to Verizon Equal Employment Opportunity and they stated to her that, “The Verizon manager only touched you once!” Verizon fails to not only deal with bullying and racism within their company but sexual harassment as well.
Also as to the statement Verizon makes, “Dias’ concerns raised only two issues that remotely related to race.” It is to my understanding and I mean this with no disrespect to anyone as many people know me very well. A Caucasian person can never truly be offended by or comprehend any black issues or racial jokes. Just as an Irishman can never be offended by an Italian joke, just as a person that is not gay or a lesbian can never be offended by gay or lesbian jokes. So to just diminish racism because you cannot or never can be offended is just plain ignorance. Fact is, there were racial statements being made and the Verizon Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance officer and Verizon did nothing about it.
Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best (the two managers that have made it personal and created an unworkable environment for other Verizon employees as well, back in 2004) is the reason for my journey. Can you imagine that two historically unethical managers led to this international campaign against Verizon in 2011? Who could have ever guessed that those events back in 2004 by two Verizon management employees out of the Brockton Massachusetts garage would be the reason for change within Verizon?
In that same letter to Massachusetts Commission Against Commission, Verizon stated that is an answer to the unethical, abusive and racist treatment that I was forced to endure. Verizon’s Mr. Dennis Hogan (Sr. Staff Consultant, Equal Employment Opportunity) stated, “Investigation revealed that Mr. Benvie and Ms. Best had been the subject of company review in the past. The Company’s Ethics group had warned Mr. Benvie about his berating and demeaning manner towards fellow Caucasian employees. Ms. Anne Best had been warned by her second level manager (Area Operations Manager) about using bad language.”
In essence, Verizon is trying to state that Mr. Benvie just does not treat the blacks bad, he treats all employees at Verizon bad. The statement, “The Company’s Ethics group had warned Mr. Benvie about his berating and demeaning manner towards fellow Caucasian employees” is just a way for Verizon to deter themselves from racial suits.
But Verizon’s statement is still rather ignorant as they is trying to move away from my discrimination claims and just further adding to their conspiracy, cover-ups and ignorance. By stating Mr. Benvie treated everyone poorly in Verizon, they feel that’s ok! By the way Verizon, it’s not ok to treat anyone poorly especially your employees. They are your heart and soul of your company no matter what color they are.
For example, why would Verizon allow this poorly behaving, unethical and abusive manager who was the subject of a bad historical past with many violations and investigations maintain employment in this company for so long for treating all Verizon employees poorly? By Verizon never taking action against this man when they needed to, Verizon would never have been in court today with me and cost them so much in attorney fees and loss of productivity for depositions, investigations, interviews, and worldwide media releases.
The reasons for my injustice within Verizon, is called “connections,” “conspiracy” and “color.” They had it and I did not. Fact: my case started in 2004 because Verizon continued to protect and allow Mr. Benvie and Ms. Anne Best treat Verizon employees poorly and blacks worse. In depositions that were taken from January 2011 – May 2011, I learned so much more about Verizon and their cover-ups.
One thing I did learn, was that my boss’s secretary stated that Mr. Malcome Benvie did in fact come after me, and a female black manager, worse than she had ever seen him go after anyone else and she had been there for over 20 plus years. When asked if she thought it was related to race she said, she was certainly possible that his harassment was related to race. Instead of Verizon sticking up for Mr. Malcome Benvie in their response letters to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination like this, they should have made him accountable. Maybe they will now.
I saw the cover ups continued, many wrong doings, botched up investigations, inappropriate behaviors admitted to and perjury from former management including my former bosses in Federal depositions, response letters to the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
In or about 2010, I was advised by a retired Verizon minority manager about how he had complained of racial pictures and gestures that were posted on a bulletin board at one of the Verizon garages in the Southeastern Massachusetts area. He stated that he had complained of this issue to Area Operations Manager Mr. Jim Fennell and Verizon’s Employment Equal Opportunity Compliance Department to a Mr. Paul McGovern and nothing was ever done about this complaint. Mr. Jim Fennell was the same boss that this retired manager complained too, was the same boss that I had complained of racial issues to back in 2004. Also, he had complained to the Verizon Employment Equal Opportunity Compliance department (headed by Mr. Paul McGovern) about this incident who also was the Verizon Employment Equal Opportunity, the same person I had complained to and in 2011 found out he was only leading me on about my bullying and racial complaints back in 2005.
I can also provide documented proof and comparisons of how Verizon disciplines or terminates minorities compared to Caucasian employees. Unequal justice is the track that Verizon has chosen when compared to minority employees.
I never thought in a million years that a company so huge, promoting the notion that they care for their employees, could do such a thing in this century. I like how Verizon places on their recruiting web site the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as a selling point as to why you would want to work there. They want outsiders to think that they treat their employees with the utmost respect, when the reality overall is not true.
When I became a manager back in February 2004 I witnessed bullying, violence, threats, hostile work environments, harassment, degradation, racism, abusive treatment, sabotaging of work, intentional setups to suspend union employees, unethical and immoral acts while working for Verizon Communications. The abuse one has to endure to earn a check was simply illegal. When I decided that I can no longer allow this treatment to continue in my presence to the employees of Verizon by abusive management, I became a direct target of blackballing, increased hostile work environments, career sabotage, racial comments and jokes, harassment and in the end, wrongfully terminated for filing internal and external complaints. I was let go in November 2008 by Verizon, as it was a covered it up with a layoff. Verizon now was stating that I was a poor performer, when in fact I have years of proof from Verizon’s own productivity printouts stating otherwise.
I took the time and tried to get Mr. Benvie and Ms. Best to see what they were doing to these employees and try to get them to stop. Mr. Benvie and Ms. Best advised me that the Verizon union employees all were f*****g losers, f*****g pieces of shit, f*****g scum and other demoralizing names and clearly had no respect for them.
As time went on, the hostile and abusive environments continued and I was forced to speak to my boss (Area Operations Manager – Mr. Jim Fennell) as I had no choice. As time went on, he did nothing so I went to speak to my Director (Mr. Robert Glynn) as well, because I felt it’s beyond inappropriate behavior and racial. Over the course of a year in 2004 both my self and Mr. Fennell’s secretary went to Mr. Fennell and Mr. Glynn on occasions to report many issues of bullying, abuse, racial and unethical occurrences. As Mr. Fennel’s secretary reported in her deposition this past year, she begged both Mr. Glynn and Mr. Jim Fennell to help me out before something bad happens. Mr. Fennell responded to her: “let them take care of it on their own” as he wanted no part of it and the Mr. Glynn kept stating that he will look into it and never did. In depositions, Mr. Fennell and Mr. Glynn stated that myself and the secretary never came to them with these issues explained. In 2011, Verizon upper management still never took responsibility for their obligations to protect and report such bad acts.
No one was helping me to resolve an escalating situation that eventually turned bad. In fact, on or about November 2004, I made it known that Mr. Benvie and Ms. Anne Best (who were known by Verizon to be very abrasive to the employees, had been warned several times about their unethical behaviors, had been the focal point of workplace investigations, had been known to swear at the Verizon employee, had been known to attend anger management classes), but were still being allowed to treat Verizon employees and myself in an abusive, bullying, unethical and racial manner and for also sabotaging my work. Both Mr. Fennell and Mr. Glynn had full knowledge of their behaviors, supported their unethical actions, and ignored it all.
There were times after I complained about many unethical, discriminatory, bullying, racial and immoral issues, that I was also strategically placed in the back of the room in the corner to send a message to me. While attending director Robert Glynn’s meetings. Verizon manager (Mr. Lazario Lopez) admitted in depositions – “Mr. Dias was strategically placed in the back of the room.” This was a method of demoralization as a minority and pure punishment for complaining about the managers that had more influence than myself, the same ones protected on the Verizon Equal Employment Opportunity response letters. Many of the Caucasian managers that attended the director meetings (including Mr. Glynn) were fully aware of this embarrassing and downright racial treatment that I was going through as I was directed by a Caucasian manager (Mr. James Fennell) to sit there with an escort. This was the most humiliating thing that I had ever gone through, and other managers thought the same.
The last black person that I know of that sat in the back of anything was Rosa Parks. That was one of the last times in history for the very last time a black person was humiliated. She motivated the Nation to unite against racist acts but yet in 2005, in Verizon, racism was and still is alive in Verizon. There were other minorities that have suffered racist acts within Verizon and were threatened to not complain and take the racist acts, otherwise their careers would be over and, they too, would be blackballed (I have their signed statements as well). Others decided just to ignore the situation and wait out their careers, and turn a blind eye which was their choice.
I was advised by a Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best that blacks were of less quality and deserving of certain positions. I was advised that blacks were stupid. I listened to Caucasian managers tell black jokes. I was advised that blacks only received their positions because of affirmative action. I was advised that hiring stupid blacks did nothing for diversity in Verizon, and was advised how blacks eat certain foods. The racial comments were many, inexcusable, and that’s just the beginning.
Verizon had full knowledge of these racial complaints as they were reported all the way up to the Equality Employment Opportunity department within Verizon, and just who exactly was making these comments to me, but they failed to question them during a two year so-called internal investigation. Verizon reported to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that they in fact, did an investigation into my claims, but in 2011 admitted in Federal Depositions, that they now recall never speaking to Mr. Malcome Benive or Ms. Anne Best about my complaints before closing it out seven months later.
At another time I was told to my face by a Verizon employee by the name of Mr. John Eufrazio that he hated f*****g black people. He also advised me that he hated working for f*****g minorities.
The fact that these Verizon employees’ still work at Verizon is proof of the acceptable racial norms that exist.
Understand this; I am not a racist and never will be. My wife, who I have been married to for twenty plus years, is of Irish decent. All my children are of a mixed race. I have lived in Swansea Massachusetts since I was eight years old, a community dominated by Caucasians whom I love and have grown up with. I have committed my life to volunteer service in my community and helped so many. I’ve never had a racial issue where I live. I have never seen color nor was I ever brought up to judge by color – ever. All that I’m stating now is how racial comments were expressed to me, and in front of me, and it was ignored because I was of color within Verizon.
I never in a million years ever thought that when I was hired in 1997 into a fortune 500 company that I truly loved, that I would be writing this letter to the World Media and begin an International Campaign against Verizon for bullying, racial and horrible treatment. I never thought I would be in Federal court against Verizon for proving that my termination was conspired, discriminatory, retaliatory, racial or wrongful.
When I began to try and help many Verizon employees from no longer being a part of a hostile / bullying work environment, so they can come to work stress free, it had nothing to do with color. In fact, the employees were all Caucasian – both male and female in Brockton Massachusetts. It was just the abusive and unethical behaviors that I saw at the time and never color. It became a color thing as a counter attack from Caucasian Verizon management only to incite me to act out in a hostile manner, but I refrained. Verizon management expecting me to act out, but I did not. I would not allow myself to do that.
I reported as much as I could remember using my chain of command like the U.S. Marines taught me to do, Verizon’s 31 general rules and Verizon Code of Conduct. I gave them respect and gave them the proper time allowed before taking the next step. I loved my job and just wanted to be left alone free of racism, bullying and harassment.
In or about January 2005, I was moved out of the Brockton location and later disciplined after I swore at Ms. Anne Best. I was fed up with the yearlong abuse I endured from Ms. Best and Mr. Benvie, and getting relief. I had enough torment from them. I made several complaints against Ms. Best and Mr. Benvie in 2004 to help protect others and myself. I was ignored. However, being a female Caucasian manager, she was taken more seriously. Her complaint was taken more seriously than my complaints for swearing. On my own I admitted to swearing at her, and it was wrong of me, as I let these managers get to me and into my head.
It did not matter that she swore at me and other Verizon employees daily as she used the most degrading profanity I have ever heard out of a woman. She swore like a truck driver and Verizon had full knowledge of her language. In fact, in an Equal Employment Opportunity response letter from Dennis Hogan stating, in his letter to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, she was warned several time to stop. She never did and was allowed to continue. But when I swore at her one time, I was disciplined and moved to another location for swearing.
As swearing was the norm with this manager, other Verizon management – even the Vice President of Verizon New England, Joe Buccierelli – would swear at Verizon employees. At meetings, on conference calls, garages it did no matter. But once a minority manager swore one time at anyone during my management employment years, I was instantly disciplined. I never made it about color, Verizon did. That was the problem that I had.
In February of 2005 I opened an internal Investigation into the violations against my human and Constitutional rights by Verizon management, with their Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Department. Mr. Paul McGovern was the Equal Employment Opportunity investigator handling the investigation.
During that time, Mr. McGovern requested supplementary data to support my claims besides the numerous notes I had already provided him in the initial complaint. As time went on, I would ask Mr. McGovern through telephone calls and emails about the progress or conclusion of my case. Mr. McGovern would often tell me that he was still working on my case, as this went on for two years.
It was not until Mr. McGovern’s depositions in the spring of 2011 that I had found out the truth. After seven months of my Equal Employment Opportunity complaint being opened with Verizon in February of 2005, Mr. Paul McGovern closed it out in October of 2005. Mr. Paul McGovern admitted that he had closed out my Equal Employment Opportunity complaint and stated there were no findings to support my claim of any Equal Employment Opportunity violations or of any Verizon Business Code of Conduct violations.
Six years later, in March of 2011, the truth was uncovered about the investigation and exposed the cover-ups. It was in the depositions that I found out Mr. Paul McGovern closed out my case long before he had ever stated that he did. Mr. McGovern through telephone conversations and emails would advise me that he was still working on the case and at one point, around August of 2006 stated that he was waiting for his boss to talk with him about it. He stated this, when in fact, my case was already closed out almost one year previously.
In August of 2006, I wrote Mr. McGovern (a year and a half into my so-called complaint being investigated) requesting information of the results and was advised to keep my ears to the ground to find out the conclusion. I then patiently waited six more months for a total of two years and wrote Mr. Paul McGovern a letter.
In February 2007, I wrote Mr. McGovern a letter stating that I had waited two years for the completion of my Equal Employment Opportunity complaints and still no response from him. I also requested certain outcomes of my case and never received any confirmation of any sort. Once again, Mr. McGovern never responded to me and I was forced to file externally with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination in February of 2007 (which I believe is an umbrella under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Boston Massachusetts).
Mr. McGovern during the depositions admitted that he never interviewed the two Verizon management employees in Brockton Massachusetts (Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best). Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best are the Verizon managers that I complained about causing havoc in the workplace and directly towards me. The complaints were in reference to bullying, harassment, sabotaging of my work, retaliation, discrimination, threats to do bodily harm, creation of a hostile work environment, racial comments, racial jokes and racial comparisons. These were direct violations of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct, and federal and state laws, which I believed protected my human and Constitutional rights. Mr. McGovern stated that he closed out my case in seven months and never spoke to either Mr. Malcome Benvie or Ms. Anne Best about my complaints. I was left to fend for myself in an environment full of retaliation and hostility.
Mr. McGovern did state in depositions in the Spring of 2011 that he spoke to Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Ann Best about my complaint after it was closed out, “during another investigation and complaint against them,” while they were working at a Verizon garage in Plymouth Massachusetts. Mr. McGovern stated that it was the first time that he had spoken to both of them about my complaint, as this was also in his company notes.
Verizon admits several times during the response letters to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and through Equal Employment Opportunity and Verizon corporate security notes, that Mr. Benvie and Ms. Anne Best were not the most ethical employees and have been part of a long history of several ethics complaints against them. They were known to use profanity often and had been warned to stop. They made threats to other Verizon employees, falsified records, and the list goes on and on with violations. Yet, Mr. Paul McGovern and Verizon never spoke to them about my complaint of bullying, harassment, sabotaging of my work, retaliation, discrimination, threats to do bodily harm, creation of a hostile work environment, racial comments, racial jokes and racial comparisons and closed it out.
These violations began in 2004 and are still in existence because Verizon continues to protect management employees like Mr. Malcome Benvie, Ms. Anne Best, Mr. Paul McCarthy and others. They allow their management employees to treat Verizon employees poorly and blacks even worse. It is still in existence because it continues to allow a Mr. Paul McCarthy to bully, discriminated, retaliate and harass me as well.
I recently decided to request an investigation into Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Mr. Paul McGovern’s investigative practices, policies, procedures, conspiracy, perjury and the tampering with evidence. I also decided to request an investigation into Verizon’s Corporate Security Investigative practices on another complaint filed and disregarded in 2008.
I sent a request to the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Department in Washington DC, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Department in New York, The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, The Massachusetts Governor and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, to open a local and national investigation. I am politely requesting that these departments do look into this complaint for me as I strongly believe my rights and the rights of so many Verizon employees were and still are in violation.
As Verizon was allegedly investigating my claims of bullying, racial complaints, harassment, retaliation and discrimination for two years, it was closed without my knowledge of the outcome. Throughout that period of time, I was taking on so a lot of heat for making a stand for justice against two racial and unethical management peers as well as my boss (Mr. Jim Fennell), and the Director (Robert Glynn) for failing to assist me in stopping these abusive and racial acts towards me (which in later depositions they stated that both myself and Mr. Jim Fennell’s secretary never came to them at all).
What confirms to me at the height of this conspiracy, was that I found out that in the depositions in spring of 2011 about Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Officer (Mr. Paul McGovern) never spoke to the two managers who I made the complaints about as they were involved in violating my human rights and the rights of other Verizon employees.
The investigation in Verizon was covered-up, and Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best were allowed to continue the abusive treatment to me and so many other Verizon employees. How can Verizon come to a conclusion about any bullying, racial comments, hostile work environments, harassment, sabotaging of my work, threats to do bodily harm etc, ever being claimed or any unethical treatment by these two employees, when Verizon never spoke to the perpetrators?
For the next few years, I woke up struggling to get through each day. Everyday I would go to work now only to be challenged on every call I made. I was stripped of responsibilities, and at other times given more than most could handle. And I succeeded, which threw Verizon management for a loop as I knew the additional work was intentional. I made sure that I worked twice as hard to never give Verizon a justified reason to terminate me. My productivity was great, my administrative work was on target, and I was an ethical and valued Verizon employee at all times.
I was moved around several times as a form of retaliation by Verizon as to inflict more aggravation in my life and the life of my family.
I was now in a new department called the Construction Department. My new boss was Mr. Paul McCarthy, and he was no different than the two unethical members I left.
Mr. McCarthy at times, would scream at me at the top of his lungs, call me all kinds of f*****g names that followed other inappropriate names as well. He would downgrade me, and spoke to me with no respect at all. He treated me differently than all the other managers, which were Caucasians. His behavior towards me was very poor. When on the phone with Mr. McCarthy, I would be in the middle of conversations with him, and then hear a dial tone. He would just hang up on me without warning. He was blatantly rude towards me, and other managers would question why? Why did he treat me so badly, why would I get thrown out of meetings when I did not say anything? Why? It was Verizon’s form of continued bullying, abuse and retaliatory means to let me know that I was blackballed and my time was limited.
I can specifically remember a conversation he had with me, on the phone.
In late 2007, after already filing numerous complaints against my boss Mr. Paul McCarthy for discrimination, harassment, retaliation and bullying, the abuse never seemed to come to a haut, but just continued and ongoing abuse each day. In particular I was able to document a conversation I had with Mr. Paul McCarthy on the phone, as he was also speaking to my technician, Mr. Peter Currie.
Today my boss (Paul McCarthy) @ 1:48 pm called me because he saw a line truck at a bank. He was irate when he called me. He then saw the tech (Mr. Peter Currie) and just began to loose self control of himself and began to swear at him. He asked him what the f _ _ k are you doing and where the F _ _ k is your partner. Paul McCarthy continued to swear at Mr. Peter Currie and told him what do you do work a f _ _ _ _ _ g half day and do shit for the rest of the day. He said go and get your f _ _ _ _ _ g partner and get back to work right now. He gave Mr. Peter Currie no chance to explain the situation at all he just lost control of himself. Then of course I knew the blame would end up on me.
He then started to yell at me and dropped the f- Bombs left and right. He said do you know what the f _ _ k your doing, do you know where your techs are. This is the f _ _ _ _ _ g reason why your productivity sucks, your f _ _ _ _ _ h numbers suck! If I can catch them doing shit while I am just driving around without a location sheet, can you imagine how many more I could catch doing f _ _ _ _ _ g shit. He continued to degrade me in a belittling manner and said, “You know ever since you have worked with me, you have not suspended anyone, send no one home or fired anyone. This is a sign of a weak manager, you need to f _ _ _ _ g get your shit together and send people home to send a message.”
I could not believe this man (Mr. Paul McCarthy) was yelling at me in this manner and I finally had to say something. I told him, “Sir this garage in Plymouth has been your worse garage for a long time and it is not my fault that the work ethic down here is horrible, I just took it over. It takes a while to change people’s behaviors. I have increased the productivity in this garage 22% year to date as of the last productivity report all this in a short period of time.”
He said with such anger in his voice, “I will tell you what f _ _ _ _ _ g garage is my worse garage and what productivity improvement is!” Then as always just hang up on me, as usual.
He would come to my home when I was out sick, and harass and bully me on my property calling me names. In fact during depositions, Mr. McCarthy was asked why he came to my home on that day. He responded that I was a, “no call – no show for two days.” I would never be a “no call – no show” especially because I was not going to provide Verizon with any ammunition to terminated me. That was a lie, because he had to record my illness to Met Life / Family Medical Leave Act as well as documenting proof on their own Verizon phone records that I called him both days and he called me back as we had documented proof on the phone records.
Deception, lies, and concocted stories were intentional violations of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct, and it was to get back at me for turning in very powerful Verizon management employees for bulling, abusive and inexcusable behaviors towards me and others. Mr. McCarthy would call me a lot of belittling names that I did not deserve, and I was offended by them. He used many degrading names like pathetic, psychotic, and every f*****g name in the book.
I knew Mr. McCarthy was the one chosen to be what Verizon would call the “Hatchet Man.” This is the person within Verizon that is selected by upper management to target, hunt down and assonate other Verizon employees. Those employee’s that are now blackballed and selected as a target for termination. I was the next on the list for this act.
I was now considered by management as a trouble maker in their eyes. I was a manager who could not look the other way as they abused and tormented their own employees. I was not a manager playing by their unethical rules. So Mr. McCarthy was now chosen to try and push me over the edge so I would either lose control of myself or mess up and provide Verizon with a reason to terminate me. These “hatchet managers,” would select an employee to go after and push them over the edge or force them to act out, whereas this is a direct violation of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as well as just being inhumane treatment.
Verizon would then not stop until they got you – whether it was a suspension or termination. It was about power and control. If they could not find anything on that person after some point (as Verizon management has stated previously), “just lie.” If my boss was to accomplish this task for the upper Verizon management, they would reward him for this achievement as I have witnessed before.
I saw this coming in 2006 when I began receiving a bad evaluation for no apparent reason. I was an employee since May of 1997, and had always received great evaluations (as a union member and manager), now the set- up was about to make its way to the final stages. I knew my time at Verizon was limited but I never worked any less than perfect. These evaluations were discriminative as I was asked to do the work of my caucasian peer, whom I was more qualified than, but received poorer evaluations.
Over the course of my last four years as a manger, I was harassed in many ways. I was threatened and bullied while other managers and employees were present and nothing was done about it. I was intentionally given low ratings in performance reviews to set me up to be terminated in the future. I was asked to do the work of another caucasian manager and I received less pay as to raises and bonuses. I was stripped of benefits (as to duty status), pay and overtime as a form of control and punishment. I was forced to do additional paperwork compared to my caucasian co-workers. I was ridiculed, belittled, sworn at and yelled at in front of my subordinates and peers because I refused to lie down and be treated badly.
I was advised by Mr. McCarthy in the second half of 2006 to help a new caucasian manager with her work. She was new to the construction splice foreman position and never had this position in the company. She admits in her end of the year 2006 accomplishments (that all managers had to do and send into their bosses) that she knew nothing coming into this Splice Foreman position. I ended up getting a copy of her 2006 end of the year accomplishments, as it was beneficial to my case, to prove her lack of knowledge in this position.
From the moment the new female manager arrived, Mr. McCarthy set up two other Verizon employees to help her learn her new position. I was directly advised by Mr. McCarthy (when the other two Verizon employees were done training her for two months), that I was to continue to help her with her position so she can learn it.
In September of 2006, Mr. McCarthy sat us both down and gave us the same productivity objectives, as they mirrored one another. At the end of the year, the new female caucasian manager, (who never had the experience in construction position) received two times more money in bonuses and raises, along with a higher rating on her performance than I did.
She was a nice person and I had no problem helping her. I really didn’t mind, as this is the kind of person I am, but do not put on my 2006 objectives that I had to assist her and not reward me equally for our team accomplishments, as I was instructed to do
Verizon stated that this female caucasian manager was a higher level manager coming into this position. She did come in just recently from what we called in Verizon a “temporary setup” management position.
She was “set up” for 30 days, as her boss was out and she covered the position. Thirty days in an “inside staff office position” does not qualify for this outside construction splice foreman position. The positions are far removed from one another. She admitted herself in a document, that she was not qualified, and knew nothing about her job coming into the position. So if this female admitted that she was not qualified, how can Verizon state that she was well qualified, and she stated herself, that she wasn’t? I believe that I was discriminated and retaliated against, and Verizon downright LIED once again.
In fact, there was another caucasian manager in my group that also worked under Mr. Paul McCarthy that was investigated and found guilty of fraud within Verizon. This manager had violated the Verizon Business Code of Conduct. He was caught lying, falsifying timesheets, falsifying Fiber Optic Service (FIOS) jobs in Plymouth Massachusetts under the watch of Mr. Paul McCarthy. The falsifications from this manager cost Verizon hundreds of thousands of dollars in the building of the FIOS project, and delayed service to Verizon customers. This manager still received more money in bonuses than I did in 2006, and still works for Verizon and under Mr. Paul McCarthy today.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I received a very poor 2006 end of the year evaluation based on bullying, discrimination, my race and retaliation. I immediately grieved it for the most obvious and apparent reasons.
After I returned from grieving the evaluation to Director Marianne Ryan, I was threatened by Mr. Paul McCarthy as he made clear that this was not a good decision by going over his head. His insinuations were crystal clear. Mr. Paul McCarthy was the manager that terminated me in 2008.
The female manager that I helped received an overall better evaluation than I. Years later in the depositions, she testified that she was highly surprised that I did not get what she said I well deserved. I was deserving of an equal performing rating like her, as we were advised to work as a team and would also be rewarded as a team. Especially since I was more knowledgeable in the field, more highly skilled, and had more experience in outside management than she had. Also, I was told by Mr. Paul McCarthy to do a lot of her work both inside and outside of the office.
I knew this bad evaluation was just the building block to my termination in the future whenever it would fit in, without showing it was a set-up.
I continued to document the bullying, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, comments, the emails, productivity rankings and spreadsheets that Verizon handed out each month. I documented and printed out everything possible to prove the employee that I was, as I saw my career coming to an end soon, as I was targeted and blackballed. I printed out every email, every job description, every timesheet and I mean everything just in case. I have thousands of documents and proof to back up what I am stating, is in fact, the truth. If I never had printed or copied these documents, today it would have been impossible to prove I was right and that what happened to me was so wrong. I printed out letters and emails of recognition that I had received from all internal and external customers that I had to service. I was at the top of my game even though I was being bullied, tormented, racially harassed, discriminated against, harassed, and set up for termination the whole time. I never stopped PERFORMING!
I have documents that I can show to the media to back up the bullying, hostile, racial torment, abusive and unjust treatment while working as a manager at Verizon, as well as my accomplishments. I can and will provide you with hundreds of Verizon employees past and present to speak with about me, Verizon, and how I was treated. I was a great manager that treated Verizon employees with respect and they, in turn worked for me to their highest level of productivity. I was a leader and well deserving of my employment at Verizon, until I went face to face with upper management.
In late 2007, Mr. McCarthy wrote his boss (Director Mr. John Puopolo) a letter, and in that letter he stated that he “wanted me gone.” Within one year of this letter, I was gone in 2008. Then in 2011, in depositions, I found out what he had written. Mr. Paul McCarthy and Mr. John Poupolo had the motive, power, influence and the opportunity to terminate me, and they covered it up in a lay off called a Reduction In Force (RIF).
As 2008 approached, managers knew that this was a Reduction In Force (RIF) year. A RIF is when Verizon would look at who they wanted to get rid of. Two managers under Mr. Paul McCarthy (Mr. Richard Gittens and Ms. Kathy Hill) my direct peers volunteered themselves to be placed on the riff list. They both advised me of their decision to leave and volunteer to leave, as well as the contacts they both made to Mr. Paul McCarthy and Mr. John Puopolo. They both contacted Mr. Paul McCarthy and Ms. Kathy Hill even went further and contacted the Director (Mr. John Puopolo) as they wanted to be let go from Verizon.
During depositions in 2011, Verizon stated that they don’t always take volunteers. Luckily, I requested (back in 2009 from Verizon Corporate) that the Verizon employee list the details and exact reasoning why managers were chosen to leave the company. I saw it with my own eyes that Verizon indeed allowed others to volunteer to leave during that RIF. Verizon continues to get caught in so many lies to cover-up what had transpired with me as I was selected as to leave the company. I had out performed my 80% – 90 % of peers in the district (totaling almost 70 managers) and well out performed my direct peers under Mr. Paul McCarthy, as well.
Mr. Richard Gittens and Ms. Kathy Hill were my direct peers, were not allowed to leave on a volunteer basis. They worked under my boss as well and I out performed them overall, so I could say that it only proves even more that I was a target and wrongfully terminated.
This Reduction In Force (RIF) year is what Verizon has been patiently waiting for as this was the year Verizon would ensure I qualified in some manner to be terminated. This is a year where Verizon was sure to terminate me and I saw it coming through the increased acts from Verizon management. I was being hit harder by management and talked to with such disrespect and at one point in front of my employees that reported to me.
In June of 2008, the bullying and harassment never stopped as I was indeed blackballed and treated differently because of making internal and external “Equal Employment Opportunity complaints.” After filing complaints over the last year or so there was an incident that I felt I had no choice but to report to Verizon Corporate Security. Even though I had lost faith in Verizon’s investigative procedures, this could not be ignored. I was forced to report my present boss Mr. Paul McCarthy to Verizon for violation of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as enough was enough.
After about 2 years of dealing with bullying, discriminatory, racial, harassing and threatening acts from Mr. Paul McCarthy, in June of 2008 he lost control of himself in my office. He used profanity, threw papers in my face, charged at me several times not allowing me to speak and cornering me in my office. It so happens that there was two other witnesses in the room. An investigation was opened the very next day, because of a complaint I filed that day for workplace violence. The witnesses testified to the violations and abusive treatment that I was forced to endure.
Mr. Paul McCarthy’s justification for his outburst on that day was that my technicians had to work a few hours overtime. They worked overtime because the telephone pole that they were in the process of setting was half way complete and the line truck broke down. It was a hydraulic malfunction.
In our line of business at Verizon, we are on broken poles and working overtime annually. This was no different than any another garage or situation that I have faced in 11 years of working for Verizon. It’s called “incidental overtime” and it’s done because of something that is out of our control.
Verizon’s Corporate Security reported to the garage the very next day, after I had filed violence in the workplace and a violation of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct against Mr. McCarthy. The investigation was conducted that day, and Verizon Corporate Security interviewed all three witnesses (myself and the other two employees) and Verizon Corporate Security stated to us that all of our testimonies matched perfectly as to what had happened in my office that morning. They also stated that Mr. Paul McCarthy will be held accountable for his inappropriate actions and violation to the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as of June of 2008.
Over the next three months, I requested information on the investigation from Verizon Corporate Security (Mr. Joseph Sheehan and Ms. Debra Lombard) and never received a response from them until September of 2008. I was instructed by email to contact my Director (Mr. John Puopolo) on the conclusion of my case.
I then requested information on the investigation from my Director Mr. John Puopolo and he never contacted me when I requested help in this matter. I was contacted by Human Resource’s Eileen Cannon as she wanted to come by to visit me. She did inform me that the investigation was closed out, with no violation found from Mr. Paul McCarthy’s misconduct.
Three witnesses (1 black manager and 2 caucasian Verizon Employees) and Mr. Paul McCarthy were not found to have violated any Verizon Business Code of Conducts after the three months that this investigation was opened by Verizon Corporate Security.
Once again, I was denied justice and my rights were violated. There were two other witnesses in my office that provided their honest and truthful statements of what occurred on that day. Verizon management covered up another investigation and protected Mr. Paul McCarthy. Verizon Corporate Security stated to myself and the witnesses that day that our testimonies were valid with support of one another and a violation was in fact, committed by Mr. Paul McCarthy.
Mr. Paul McCarthy’s justification for this outburst on that day was that my technicians had to work a few hours overtime. They worked overtime because the telephone pole that they were in the process of setting was half way completed and the line truck broke down.
Mr. Paul McCarthy stated in depositions in spring of 2011 that he was upset at me on that day in June of 2008 because, “I was not aware of my overtime budget as it was too high.” I have proof that in fact I was the #1 manager under my boss “with the least amount of overtime for the year to date at the time of that incident.” In fact, year to date I had the least amount of overtime under Mr. Paul McCarthy’s team.
1. Neal Dias – 1,271 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
2. Richard Ellis – 1,333 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
3. Richard Gittens – 3,210 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
4. Michael Fountain – 3,444 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
5. David Zimmerman – 5,037 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
6. Kathleen Hill – 7,225 teams hours of overtime June 2008 year-to-date.
Another false statement by Mr. Paul McCarthy, as he has all this data at his finger tips. You’d think that Verizon and Mr. Paul McCarthy would have looked it up first before making false statements, on Federal Depositions, perjuring himself once again.
Mr. Paul McCarthy lied again in the depositions, as to the fact that he stated that he never lost control in my office that day, and was calm and never threw anything in my face. Mr. Paul McCarthy stated that he said what he had to say, and calmly walked out of my office.
So why did I not receive justice once again from Verizon? The Director Mr. John Puopolo and my boss “Mr. Paul McCarthy” had already conspired to terminate me much earlier, as a manager (that myself and my attorney already spoke to) could testify as to having knowledge that managers terminations and selection for the Reduction in Force (RIF) was already planned prior to any leveling session as to just exactly who is chosen for the Reduction In Force (RIF).
So I believe that Mr. Paul McCarthy and Director Mr. John Poupolo advised Verizon Corporate Security not to find in the favor of Mr. Dias, so it does not look as though his termination in November would look as retaliatory, but it was. I have documented proof from a letter that my boss (Mr. Paul McCarthy) wrote to the Director (Mr. John Puopolo) in late 2007 advising him, he wants me gone! This was the communication between my boss and the director! They had the power, motive, and opportunity to terminate me, and the timing was perfect.
Every manager knew that the Reduction In Force (RIF -a lay off) was coming up in 2008. Verizon knew this would be a great time to get rid of me. They were patient, and were going to make it look as though it was not premeditated. Verizon gave me a 2007 end of the year “performance rating,” so it would look as though Mr. Paul McCarthy and Verizon did not have it out for me. Verizon did what I thought they would do, as they did use it in that fashion. If Verizon made it look like Mr. Paul McCarthy and Verizon wanted to get rid of me, why would they give me such a good evaluation?
For that simple reason – to throw the ignorant off the trail! This is no different than a person planning a criminal act. They plan the act and plan how to cover it up, and so did Verizon. In reality – Verizon destroyed me and my family, and Verizon is covering it up. Verizon is still trying to cover up all that they did to my family and I as it continues with money, power and connections!
I had already lost trust in Verizon’s investigations from 2004 on, but was forced to once again request their assistance as this was so out of control and I wanted it on record as well.
In the fall of 2007, I opened an investigation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office – Labor Department, as to the continued bullying and harassment. The investigation was opened due to Mr. Paul McCarthy intentionally withholding my pay. Mr. Paul McCarthy was often withholding my pay and I would never find out about him not submitting my pay until pay was not deposited. This would prevent my family from receiving a check on several occasions and had to wait. As we were paid bi-weekly, this meant my family had to wait a whole month for my check.
During the investigation from the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office on these issues, Verizon sent a response to the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office, that the reason for my pay being delayed was, that I did not submit my timesheets weekly like other managers. I provided the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office proof from Verizon, stating that management submitted timesheets on a bi-weekly basis, on Monday mornings. In my department, we would receive bi-weekly reminders (through email) to submit the timesheets directly from Mr. Paul McCarthy’s staff’s office.
Finally in the fall of 2008, right before I was terminated from Verizon, I received a “Right to Suit letter” from the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office. This would allow me to file suit with Verizon for their illegal actions for the intentional withholding of my pay several times as a form of bullying, discrimination and retaliation.
I was wrongfully terminated in November of 2008 and it was covered up by a layoff.
The lies were endless and fighting Verizon has been an emotional battle for me and my family. It’s hard, because they know I don’t give up. I cannot give up when I know I’m right and have been violated. “Verizon Raped My Family” and violated our lives in ways, and will never be repaired.
Once I was notified of this termination, as a last resort, I pleaded with Verizon’s CEO Ivan Seidenberg and other corporate head in the company. I asked them to please look into my termination as I know that it was based on retaliation and not poor performance, as Verizon stated.
I was terminated in November of 2008 but was still on the books until December of 2008. I sent a letter along with other documents to prove harassment, bullying, retaliation and racism to Verizon Headquarters CEO – Ivan Seidenberg and his staff, asking for help, but never received a response. CEO Mr. Ivan Seidenberg and the other corporate heads had the time and the power to see that what I was stating was true, but refused to come to my aid.
All Verizon management at the end of each year receives bonuses based on their performance for that past year. Like always, I was entitled to my bonus. In 2008, I was to receive about $11,000, and was expecting it. When I did not receive my earned bonus for my work performance, I called Verizon Human Resources in New York. I was advised by Verizon Human Resources in New York (after they pulled my name up on the computer and noticed that I was riffed), that if I sign a document stating that “I will not pursue a lawsuit against Verizon for my termination,” Verizon will release my bonus. I expressed to them that this was wrong, I believed that it was extortion. I was entitled to my bonus based on my performance each year and being riffed had nothing to do with it. I was threatened by Verizon to sign a release or no bonus. Verizon is dead wrong!
Verizon is still holding my 2008 bonus check for work performed and is holding it over my head in exchange for a signature. It’s never going to happen. Verizon is certainly not the company people think they are.
In the end, I knew the whole time that I was not being heard based on a few things. One, it was certainly because of my race/color while working for Verizon in Massachusetts. Two, it was for reporting internally and externally unethical and illegal practices against the very connected and powerful Verizon managers.
I remained calm, maintained professionalism and was patient when making my complaints with the proper corporate chain of command (and later, after I was terminated all the way up to the Verizon CEO – Ivan Seidenberg, asking for help and was also ignored) and getting nowhere. I tried everything I could, in the best possible manner that I knew. I did it with hope and patience, but Verizon failed me.
It was sad to learn six years later in depositions that when I made my first complaint to Verizon Ethics – Equal Opportunity Officer Mr. Paul McGovern in 2005, that they lied to me. Mr. McGovern admitted that he never investigated Mr. Malcome Benvie or Ms. Anne Best, the two perpetrators that were giving the racist and abusive treatment to me and other Verizon employees as well as creating a very hostile work environment. Mr. McGovern stated that his investigation was completed much earlier than expected. For almost two years to the day… February 2005 – February 2007, Verizon Ethics – Equal Opportunity Officer Mr. Paul McGovern kept stringing me on and advising me that he was still working on it. He never indicated to me that advised me that he indeed closed out the investigation in a short period of time, or gave me the results from it. He also never indicated to me that he had never spoken to the two perpetrators that I made complaints about. I had no other option but to continue my fight with external sources.
I filed with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and then understood why Verizon was lying to me for two years. There was a timeline when filing complaints at the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination / Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Verizon kept stringing me along because I had two years to file with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination from the time of my complaint with Verizon. Anytime over that, my complaint was a wash. I would not have been able to have any case beyond those two years. Verizon proved to me that they had no intention of resolving this investigation or at least allowing me to know that they did close it out. They were actually hampering the investigation and creating intentional roadblocks to allow me to receive justice. Verizon’s Mr. Paul McGovern was using his knowledge, ability and his position to manipulate justice. Verizon’s Mr. Paul McGovern the Equal Employment Officer in Boston, was questioned in depositions of being knowledgeable of the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination / Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filing procedures and he admitted to being knowledgeable of it.
Around March of 2010 I filed a law suit in Superior Court (and is now in Federal Court in Boston) against Verizon after waiting almost three years for Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (now five years into these claims after the Verizon/ Equal Employment Opportunity internal complaint was filed) to provide me with an answer. As the timeline for filing in court was closing, we were forced to pull it out of Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and turn it over to an attorney to proceed forward and put it into the legal system.
Verizon did not conduct / Equal Employment Opportunity investigations in an appropriate manner, and further allowed horrific and mistreatment of a black Verizon Employee.
I had learned throughout this ordeal that in the pursuit for justice, that you can have all the proof in the world and still lose. Our judicial system is not perfect, but I still want the opportunity to tell my story to a jury if the Federal Court Judge grants me one.
In the last four years of my career at Verizon as a manager (from February 2004 – November 2008), as a black manager I have been a victim of enormous and continued bullying. Discrimination, harassment, intimidation tactics, racism, endured racial comments, racial jokes, belittlement being forced to endure demeaning behavior and language. I was ignored when reporting unethical behavior and abusive treatment to upper management and corporate compliance departments like Verizon Ethics and Corporate Security. I was threatened physically, targeted, falsely accused of a crime, my work sabotaged, un-voluntarily relocated (7 times in 2 ½ years and verbally attacked. My pay was intentionally withheld several times, my annual bonus withheld, unequal treatment, diminished development and diminished opportunities. I was moved regularly, yelled at, called names, harassed at my home while being out sick. I was so belittled, treated with the utmost disrespect, given low ratings and my pay was being withheld. I was then removed from duty call out list, advised to do my caucasian peer managers work and were given lower raises and bonuses than them. I was denied of justice, forced to do extended work and harassed till no end, been the butt end of a conspiracy and my technicians attacked in a retaliation method to reduce my team’s productivity and demoralize my team. I was given unfavorable performance evaluations, treated like a criminal, been thrown out of meetings for no reason. I’ve been embarrassed due to being treated horribly in front of peers, isolation and stripped of responsibilities which dramatically reduced my income to support my family. My employment was threatened, sworn at, called a liar as well as my morals and values questioned. I was called psychotic, called pathetic, harassed at home on my property while I was out ill, while on my property. I endured repulsive behavior, forced to endure hostile treatment, forced to sit in the back of the room in meeting as a punishment, forced to be in a hostile environment and consistently retaliated against and in the end wrongfully terminated, because I choose not to accept this brutal behavior from Verizon.
All along, I maintained great performance rankings compared to my immediate and extended peers in New England. When Verizon terminated me in November 2008, they stated I was not productive and finished “last” under my boss as productivity was concerned. Luckily, I have printed out EVERYTHING Verizon ever gave me, including productivity measurements and accomplishments. In the eleven years of my career, I was always a productive employee and manager well above standards compared to my peers, and most certainly NEVER LAST.
Verizon altered their reasoning for a total of five times from the time I was terminated to the present. Each time I had proven Verizon wrong in their documented reasoning for my termination. Then they would change their story. Now, after all the response letters to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, responses to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office, in depositions and mediations they are looking for a “legal reason” for my termination.
Now, the reason Verizon terminated me was because my boss (Mr. Paul McCarthy) was embarrassed that I had reported him to interior and exterior agencies for unethical violations. To be terminated for embarrassing your boss is not illegal, and that is Verizon’s new view.
No Verizon, you are right. You can terminate anyone at anytime for just about anything and most of it is illegal. But to continue to alter lies to cover up the truth is manipulation and it is unjust.
Verizon has never been consistent on the reasoning of my termination in November of 2008. The reason is simple. They have no real reason except it being retaliatory.
1. (Unknown Date – Prior to the Rif –Leveling session) Director Mr. John Puopolo had previously approved a form called “Verizon Reduction in Force – Business Case Form – Management” and on it he based his decision on my selection on:
a. Performance Information
b. Personal Knowledge.
– We proved Verizon wrong using their own data. So they changed their reasoning to #3.
2. (November 13, 2008 – separate document) I received a folder dated November 13th 2008 listing all the managers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island detailing why they were chosen for the Reduction In Force (RIF). In the folder it stated that I had:
a. “Inconsistent Performance, cannot handle increased responsibility, rated “D” on mid-year evaluation, and rated on talent grid as “#2” compared to peers, missing productivity, ranked last in Area Operations Manager (AOM’s) turf.”
b. Also stated that the employees that were allowed to stay:
- Ratings and rankings higher than those selected to leave
– We proved them to be wrong using Verizon’s own data. So they changed to another reason – reason #3.
3. (January 14, 2009) Dennis Hogan’s response to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD):
a. “Performance and results alone was used to determine “Dias” selection as a RIF candidate. The criteria to remain was performance based only which been addressed by outstanding charge. Dias was not meeting ALL of his objectives, specifically in productivity and cost reduction, hours to place telephone poles as well as hours to place both copper and fiber optic cable. Dias was aware of his objectives and his inability to meet them.”
– We proved them wrong again. So Verizon changed their story again to version #4.
4. (Spring 2011 in Deposition) Verizon stated that another Area Operations Manager – female manager – backed up all of Mr. Paul McCarthy’s statements about me and that I was a poor manager in the leveling session that the Director Mr. John Puopolo conducted. A leveling session is where the Verizon management gets together to decide just who they will lay off at the Reduction In Force (RIF) and why.
a: I decided to track this female Verizon Area Operations Manager (by now retired) down, and ask her face-to-face what Verizon stated, and she agreed to provide my attorney with an affidavit stating otherwise. So we proved them wrong again and dropped on their lap an affidavit from the Area Operations Manager, testifying that she never did such a thing and in the letter stated great things about me.
– We proved them wrong again in mediations, so Verizon changed their story again to version #5.
5. Now that Verizon had that retired female manager’s affidavit in their laps, once again they were strapped as to why they terminated me. So Verizon in mediation came up with another reason for my termination that they claimed is LEGAL. Verizon is now stating that I was terminated that because I challenged my boss (Mr. Paul McCarthy), and he was embarrassed, so he terminated me. Verizon then stated to me, “that’s legal to do.”
– They keep trying to come up with a different lies because we provide documentation to contradict their lies. How can the LAW allow this to happen?
To further illustrate the audacity of Verizon, after everything they put my family and I through, Verizon was facing a strike in August 2011 from it’s union employees and reached out to former management employees for help.
I received a letter dated August 12, 2011 from Verizon’s Vice President Mr. Alfred Torres from Human Resources. In partial it stated, “As a former Verizon management employee, we are reaching out to you to request your support in coming back to Verizon to help us through this. If you are interested in a temporary work assignment, we’ve set up a special website to capture your information.”
The changing of their position on my termination should be illegal and is certainly beyond belief. This is ludicrous on how Verizon so-called maintains their perfect reputation. To keep lying and flip-flopping in the manner that Verizon is doing, is totally disgusting and unacceptable.
Rape is a valid word as to what Verizon continues to do to my family and I. It’s beyond rape, and it’s beyond belief an acceptable behavior as to what they did and continue to do to my family and me.
I did what I was instructed to do as an employee to Verizon and it was covered up and I paid the ultimate price for honesty.
The reports to Verizon’s management, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Human Resource Department or Corporate Security of unethical treatment and / or abuse are to be completed with absolutely no recourse or retaliation, as Verizon and Federal Law states. Verizon has an internal site for managers and a specific section is the Verizon Managers Responsibility. It states: “A manager’s responsibility – We earn credibility with our customers, business providers and co-workers by keeping our commitments, acting with honesty and integrity and pursuing our company goals through honorable conduct. As a manager, you have the added responsibility of creating an open and supportive environment where direct reports feel comfortable asking questions and raising concerns. Ethical behavior does not imply happen; it is the product of clear and direct communication of behavioral expectations, modeled from the top and demonstrated by example. At Verizon, everyone should feel comfortable to speak up about ethical concerns and to report suspected and actual violations of the Code without fear of retaliation.”
I was bullied, punished, harassed, retaliated upon and discriminated against then ultimately terminated for reporting unethical acts to the internal and external authorities. Verizon still refuses to acknowledge behavior, and continues to concoct stories to avoid justice deserved, or claim responsibilities for these poor acts.
Why? Because they have the money, power, and connections to never be held accountable. Why post statements like the “Manager’s Responsibility” and not adhere to your own rules and regulations?
Many may question, “Why are you writing this letter if indeed you did the necessary steps and you are now in Federal Courts, in summary judgment, awaiting a possible civil suit trial?”
It was the Verizon attorneys that pushed me to this level and now I am exposing Verizon to the world. It was Verizon’s attorneys continued ignorance, threats, bullying, and possible judicial prejudice that incited me.
I am writing this letter as a person that is frustrated. I want the world to know what Verizon did to my family and the pain my family and I have suffered through seven plus years as I was forced to stand up for what was right.
I cannot go on with my life knowing I was bullied for so many years, only to lose because of power, connections and money. I cannot go on without knowing I made a difference to someone. I cannot walk away without letting the world know how my family was raped by Verizon.
My life has changed so much in the past few years. I have personally suffered from many things, and my health condition has altered dramatically. I suffer from acute stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and have endured loss of vision. I have been hospitalized a few times for stress and loss of vision and so much more. I am not the same person I was before these abusive acts from Verizon. I loved life and everything was perfect. I get through the day to support my family because that’s what I am suppose to do.
Why this press release now? For seven years the system has failed my family and I. Seven years ago this fight for justice began (when my daughter was in 6th grade, now she’s in college). I did what I was supposed to do and put these immoral, unethical and illegal issues into the hands of many with the authority within Verizon to take proper action and resolve it. I never expected cover ups, protection of the guilty, lies, conspiracy, perjury, tampering with evidence and a lack of justice. What I received was retaliation instead.
The people that I have “contacted, and have documented proof, emails and return receipts” of reaching out to in Verizon were:
- Verizon boss Area Operations Manager (James Fennell) Brockton Massachusetts in 2004 / 2005 – did nothing!
- Verizon Director (Robert Glynn) in Providence Rhode Island in 2004 / 2005 – did nothing!
- Verizon Corporate Security (Debra Lombard / Joseph Osediacz) in Boston Massachusetts in 2005 – did nothing!
- Verizon Equal Employment Opportunity Officer (Mr. Paul McGovern) in Boston for 2 years since February 2005 thru February 2007 – did nothing!
- Verizon Human Resource (Mary O’Leary) in Boston Massachusetts in 2005 – did nothing!
- Verizon Director (Maryanne Ryan) in Providence, RI. in 2007 – did nothing!
- Verizon Director (John Puopolo) in Boston Massachusetts in 2007 – did nothing!
- Verizon Corporate Security (Debra Lombard / Joseph Sheehan) in Boston Massachusetts in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon Director (John Puopolo) in Boston Massachusetts in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon Human Resource (Eileen Cannon) in Boston Massachusetts in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon Head of Security (Michael Mason) in New York in 2008– did nothing!
- Verizon Head of Equal Employment Opportunity (Eileen Cannon) in Boston Massachusetts in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon President & COO (Dennis F. Strigal) in New York in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon President (Virginia P Ruesterholz) in New York in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon EVP & COO (Robert Mudge) in New York in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon SVP / General Manager (Ellen Corcoran) in Boston in 2008 – did nothing!
- Verizon CEO (Ivan Seidenberg) in 2008 – did nothing!
All of these Verizon managers had the opportunity to do the right thing and “step up to the plate” but chose to look the other way as I once was advised to do, or else. No one wanted to say, “Mr. Dias was treated inappropriately and something has to be done about it.” This went all the way up to the CEO of Verizon Mr. Ivan Seidenberg.
Verizon had full knowledge of the abuse and chose not to do the right thing that would have lead to justice so much earlier, without full exposure in this matter. Power, and the belief that you are untouchable is not the way to run a company.
“Martin Luther King once said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much as involved in it as he who accepts to perpetrate it. He, who accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.”
Now, I am in the judicial process and so far, they have not failed me and progress has been made. All I want is for my peers in a jury trial to hear my story and let them finally decide. We were granted a trial by a judge but a new judge is taking on the case, and I hope the initial request will be respected and justice against Verizon will continue in court.
I finally decided to write this letter and come to the media out of disappointment and what I see as a threat and further bullying from Verizon attorneys. Enough is enough. It was July 8, 2011 on the 23rd floor overlooking the Boston Common, where I truly hoped this would come to an end, but it did not. After seven years of disappointment, I wasn’t going to hold this all in any longer.
Late winter of 2010 my attorney filed in Superior Court in Massachusetts, and right away Verizon moved it to U.S. Federal Court in Boston per request of Verizon file number 10-CV-10496-NG. Supposedly, Verizon has the legal rights to do so as they are a diversified company operating in more than one state. But attorneys that I have spoken to state that Verizon moved the case into Federal Court because companies like Verizon benefit in the decisions that are made at that level in cases like mine.
This corporate bullying has to end and the justice system needs to help the little people.
Up until now, the system (prior to being in the judicial system) it has failed my family and I. Verizon and their attorneys made me realize the power they have to tie the system up and intentionally exhaust my rights as a regular citizen of this country. I have don’t have the financial backing to fight back for the long haul. Verizon assured me that they have unlimited funds and access to beat me down and I am meaningless to them. Verizon continues to bully my family because they can.
Our justice system is not perfect as we saw with the O.J. Simpson case, Casey Anthony and many other cases. We were witnesses while viewing it on television. It proved to me that proof and reality differs from twisting and clogging up the facts. Each word and sentence gets picked on and twisted to the benefit of the translator. Verizon is a household name as they can and will continue to beat my family down until they put us in the grave. They will walk by and spit on me as they pass. The ignorance of Verizon continues to stand and that was why I will not back down.
This is why I want to let the world know about my fight – win or lose. I want other companies to use Verizon as an example of how not to treat their employees. I want employees to know that they are not alone and that they can be heard. If I lose, I still want my story to be heard. I want people to know that Verizon did not care.
I want people of all colors, nationalities, religions, sexual preferences, rich and poor, customers and non-customers of Verizon to know this. I want large and small businesses to use this as an example of how not to allow yourself to be put in this situation.
Corporate America needs to stop the bullying that tears down the productivity of this country. We need to stop hurting one another, and help in the rebuilding of this country. It starts at home, and ends up as the evil sins in our communities. Bullying is in our schools, on the playgrounds, and at our work environments. Protecting bad kids only lead to protecting bad employees, then this will only lead to destroying our culture and working families. It will lead to harming productivity in every workplace in every company. It hurts the souls of each man, woman, and their families as it has hurt mine.
I know the economy is bad and so many are in the same situation financially because they lost their jobs, and my heart goes out to them, believe me. If I was laid off in December of 2008, because I was truly a bad performer, then I would be fine with that. Or, if the company had good reason to let me go that’s one thing but that wasn’t the case. My so-called lay off (termination) was out of spite, revenge, race and retaliation as well as a cover up to finally get rid of me. This I cannot accept, for this I will fight forever. It is wrong, dead wrong, what Verizon did to an honest and good employee. It was wrong that they chose to protect so many for unjust and unethical wrongdoings.
I am both upset and furious at Verizon when I see the pain and suffering my family of how we struggle each day just to put food on the table, pay our bills and still try to keep the kids involved in community sports – to try and have a normal life. I am saddened that they avoid picking up the house phone due to the overwhelming bill collectors and attorneys calling because I cannot pay the bills. I am saddened that I cannot afford the simplest things in life for them. I am saddened that we have to reach out to family and friends for help.
We have had to postpone and/or delay picking up my wife’s medication (for treatment of cancer) including medication for the children and myself as well. We have been without medical benefits numerous times.
We are limited on our food budget and can only spend a very minimal amount a month on food. My family is not eating as healthy as when I was employed at Verizon. Family members have dropped off food for me and my family as they never had to do this ever before.
Our life is no longer simple and far from what it than it use to be. Verizon has created a mess for my family, and the sacrifice is hurtful to them as they do not deserve it.
I am going to launch an International Campaign against Verizon to let their past and present employees know they need to unite and stand for their Human Rights. I will ask them to stand together and hold Verizon accountable for the hostile and unhealthy environment that Verizon has full knowledge of condoning. I have recently requested the Federal Government and State Agencies (U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Equal Employment Operations Commission, U.S. Attorney General’s Office and Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office), to look into the numerous workplace violations including criminal charges on perjury, the tampering with evidence and conspiracies both locally and across the country that the Verizon management employees have made past and present concerning unethical and immoral behaviors that are being overlooked because they can. I am going to write senators and congressmen in this country to step in and take a look. Verizon can be used as the prime example for change to a healthier and safer work environment throughout our country.
Look at the recent lawsuit Verizon had and lost for violations of the American Disabilities Act because of the poor treatment, they gave to disabled Verizon employees. Abuse of Power! In fact, look up all their lawsuits (the ones that became public knowledge) and see that it was all about Verizon’s disrespect to either their employees or the consumers.
I am going to unite the Verizon workforce on their legal obligations to hold Verizon accountable for “Willfully having the knowledge of creating an unworkable and hostile work environment for all races, colors, religions, sexual preferences and nationalities, as well as covering up internal investigations.”
I will let every company know how not to end up like Verizon. The answer is simple –RESPECT! We were taught from the time we were born to treat people with respect. It’s not difficult and it does not cost a dime. You treat your valuables with respect. You have a family – respect them. You have employees – respect them. Not hard, is it?
I am in the process of writing a book so that it can inspire law journals, companies, colleges and universities touching on corporate bullying and employment discrimination cases.
I have waited seven and a half years now for Verizon to do the right thing and they never did. They continue to not do the right thing or take responsibility for their actions. I lost those quality years with my family that we can never regain. I lost years that could have made them even better than they already are. I lost years of sleep and peace of mind. I lost years of hope and the ability to support my family. I lost years of being able to go to work loving what I do and coming home happy. I lost years of special moments with my wife and family. I lost the time that each Verizon perpetrator had with their family; I did not have with mine.
People, each day in Corporate America wakeup to go to work and somehow have to deal with some kind of violence in the workplace. They are bullied, harassed, retaliated against, are the butt of racial slurs and jokes, gay and lesbian comments, and gender discrimination. They are simply beat down because the powers to be feel they can. Most ignore it for all the right reasons, their livelihoods are threatened as mine was and still is. Some do have the guts to stand up and report it but suffer with the recourse and act out in a violent manner. I choose the right way, as I choose to fight in a non-violent manner using the system anticipating it will work.
The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health states that Homicide is the second highest cause of death on the job after motor vehicle accidents. That amounts to every 3 cases to 10,000 workers. Over 2 million workers are assaulted each year and 2, 000 people are murdered.
Why are these numbers so high? The reason is that companies like Verizon do have policies that are in place to help prevent violence in the workplace, but they just do not practice them. Most times I’ll bet that the perpetrators, like in my case, are highly connected and protected in the company, so they will never be held accountable. They are the upper managers that look down on their employees that are powerless. Employees are pushed so much each day and can no longer take the abuse, so they snap. They lose control of themselves as they feel they have no other option but to stand up for themselves. The sad part is that some of them chose to do it in the manner that causes additional pain and suffering to other families for their wrong choices.
No person should ever have to go to work to support their family and get pushed to the limit that they harm or kill someone else. I blame companies like Verizon. I blame them for allowing immoral employees get away with murder. I could have been a statistic like so many others, but I did not! I always thought of my family first, and went in each day taking so much abuse, that I finally decided to do the right thing. So many people think of acting out violently, but it is more important not to act on it.
You do not only hurt the intended person that has caused you harm, you have also impacted their families and yours. Bad decisions like that are often made and that’s not the correct way to resolve it. Too many innocent people get hurt by one bad act, so my advice is to never do that act. You have choices. Make good ones. Do not hurt people – just treat them right.
Look at the children in the world killing other children and themselves because they were harassed and bullied and no one stepped in to help them. They were emotionally distraught, and in their little world felt they had no choice. But they did. Even though the system at Verizon failed me and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination failed me, my family never did. I did what was right and held myself to a higher standard and always will, but Verizon did not. As the past has been so distasteful with Verizon, my future seems bland as I have so many hard decisions to make as to our families finances. I am so tired, but will not give up – even though the odds are against us.
I was stripped of my emotional well-being, my normal daily activities including my social life as well as my close relationships have dramatically suffered. I lost a promise of a great opportunity to provide for my family and retire with peace of mind and with dignity, only to have it stripped from me in an intentional and reckless manner.
Our story will hopefully help to reduce and or eliminate corporate corruption, bullying, discrimination, hostile environments, racism and harassment within workplaces. Our story will hopefully motivate the Federal agencies to seek justice and punishment against Verizon for their corruption, cover-ups and the tampering with evidence, perjury, deceit and lies during my Equal Employment Opportunity and Corporate Security investigations.
This is unacceptable from Verizon to target me, with malicious intent to create harm to me and my family. They had full knowledge of their actions, decisions and poor behavior. What, was even worse is that Verizon Executive Management, Verizon Equal Employment Opportunity, Verizon Corporate Security, Verizon Human Resources and all the way up to the CEO had full knowledge of this and continued to cover it up after I notified them. Not one of them, having knowledge of my situation helped. They were obligated by their positions (as well as I was to) to help prevent evil to manifest.
Can you imagine a child being harassed, bullied and dealing with any racial or hurtful comments at school? Seven and a half years later, that child is still being harasses, and you’re still dealing with getting a resolution from the school department! Is this how we will begin to deal with the bullying in schools as well?
We cannot push this aside, we as adults need to stop and think, “How will our actions affect that person and their family?”
Every one of us at some point is held accountable for every act and decision we make in life. Not one of us is perfect, but taking responsibility for your actions is important. It transcends a true meaning of who you are, or what you become as a person or an entity.
“A great man once said: “All that we are is the result if what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
I believe that God has provided me with enough strength to get through each day, with a belief that justice will be served.
I teach my children that God will take care of us. We have seen so much heartache but we will get through this. But we will never forget how Verizon destroyed our lives. Our lives will be lessons to others that bullying, harassment, retaliation and racism takes a toll not just on the victim, but the families as well.
I know Verizon does not care about my family or about the families of their employees. It shows in their actions. It shows in how they treat people each day. Verizon believes that because they pay you well, that’s enough. They can treat you in any manner they choose, can I say, “No you cannot.”
Usually it’s hard for any man to let go of another man, as they know first hand the responsibilities and pride a man has for his family. They know what they have striped from a man, and the devastation it will cause. My boss Mr. Paul McCarthy, terminated me in two minutes and laughed at me in the process and with a smirk on his face, said, “Good By.” As it was taken he won and I lost.
This injustice of racial prejudice is against my Constitutional Rights as a citizen of this country to the highest level.
In the end, my termination was deliberate with intent to create harm as Verizon denied me of my dignity, future opportunities, freedom and rewards as a minority employee of their company. It was done in bad faith. Verizon’s actions were malicious and with utter disregard for my rights and were directed with intent to create harm. I was punished by Verizon for telling the truth and making a stand for what was right, and that was being treated unequally compared to my caucasian peers, and for pursuing my legal rights under the law. I did this by reporting such illegal and unethical acts directed towards me which in fact, violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII. Since I have abided by the law, I should be protected by the law.
I never intended to go this far, all I wanted was my job that I loved doing. I just wanted to work in a hostile free environment and be treated equal. As time went on, I had realized upper management did not want to hear the truth, and they still don’t. I was targeted, hunted down and assonated by Verizon management.
I have been asked time and time again by so many people: “What do you really want out of all of this?” From 2004 (when this all began) up to the present (October 2011), in seven and a half years it never changed – it’s still the same. I am looking for “Accountability and Justice.”
If it takes going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, then that’s what it will take. I will find a way.
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Verizon – “Can they hear me now!”
Neal W. Dias
Email address: Fightingfor7years@hotmail.com
Blog Address: justicefor7’s blog
On Facebook: Neal Dias
Justice for 7 = 7 family members I am fight for and for the 7 years I have been fighting justice.
Can you please place this article in the paper and also place my email address and blog page.
External Complaints / Civil Suit Filed for: Discrimination, Racism, Retaliation, Harassment (Bullying), and Wrongful Termination
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS – Docket Number: 10-CV-19496-NG
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination First Complaint – Docket Number: 07BEM00589
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission / HUD First Complaint – Docket Number: 16C-2007-00987
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Second Complaint – Docket Number: 08BEM03277
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission / HUD first complaint – Docket Number: 16-2009-00288
Below are Verizon Contacts:
Verizon President & COO
Mr. Lowell C. McAdam
One Verizon Way
4th Floor – Room E037
Basking Ridge, NJ. 07920
Verizon Executive Vice President Corporate Human Resources
Mr. Marc Reed
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007
Verizon EVP & GC Legal
Mr. Randal Milch
140 West Street
New York, NY. 10007
Verizon New England President of Legal
Ms. Donna C. Cupelo
125 High Street
07 Floor Room 714
Boston, MA. 02110
Verizon Business Code of Conduct:
How can I a good ethical manager who followed proper protocol when it came to reporting bad behavior from bad employees and perform well in the company, get terminated?
The business code of conduct states, “I was not supposed to be retaliated against and I was.” I did all the right things for the company and my family and yet, I am torn.
Page 2 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section “Discrimination or Harassment. It states, “If you believe you are a victim or a witness of discrimination or harassment, you must report it to your supervisor or Human Resources Business Partner, or make a confidential complaint to the VZ Ethics and EEO Guideline. You may also address the suspected discrimination or harassment directly with the person engaging in such conduct if you are comfortable doing so and you believe the conduct is unintentional.”
Page 3 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section “Confidential Reporting and No Retaliation. It states, “Reports and complaints will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and by the company’s need to properly investigate the situation. Verizon prohibits retaliation against employees who, in good faith, submit or participate in the investigation of any complaints. If you believe you or others are the subject of retaliation for reporting suspected misconduct or participating in an investigation, you must report the matter to the VZ Ethics and EEO Guideline or the Legal Department.
Page 4 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section 1.2 “Discrimination and Harassment. It states, “Verizon has a policy of zero tolerance for discrimination, sexual harassment or other unlawful harassment based on age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other legally protected category under federal, state or local law. Harassment includes but is not limited to, racist, sexist or ethnic comments. Jokes, gestures, or any action or statement creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Page 4 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section 1.3 “Workplace Violence. It states, “We all deserve to worm in an environment that is free from violence or hostility. Verizon will not tolerate any threatening, hostile or abusive behavior by employees in the workplace while operating company vehicles or on company business, or by persons on company property, and will take immediate and appropriate action against offenders, up to and including termination and referral for criminal prosecution. Damage of property is also prohibited.
To talk to the Verizon employees that I managed or were my peers in the garages that had to work under me, you can go to these locations below.
Verizon Garage at 1690 Main Street Brockton, MA. 02301 (Installation and Maintenance Department)
Verizon Garage at 481 John Hancock Road Taunton, MA. 02780 (Construction Department)
Verizon Garage at 1043 Pearl Street Brockton, MA. 02301 (Construction Department)
Verizon Garage at 240 Cherry Street Plymouth, MA. 02360 (Installation and Maintenance Department as well as the Construction Department)
Verizon Garage at 15 Currant Road Fall River, MA. (Installation and Maintenance Department) – covered garage at times