By Jerzy Shedlock for The Columbian.
Published: October 25, 2018.
A Vancouver man who’s worked at Larch Corrections Center for nearly 20 years is suing the Washington Department of Corrections, alleging racial discrimination and a hostile work environment.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court, claims that 57-year-old Sidney Clark, a corrections counselor, has been passed up for numerous training and promotion opportunities, and he remains concerned about losing his job amid health problems caused by mistreatment.
Clark, who is black, says he’s been targeted by Larch staff for more than three years, with Superintendent Lisa Oliver-Estes, who is white, at the center of many of his complaints.
Oliver-Estes “runs Larch and is the ringleader behind the blatant discrimination and retaliation Mr. Clark has experienced for the last few years as a Larch employee,” the lawsuit states.
Private attorney Yaida O. Ford, based in Washington, D.C., is representing Clark. Ford said Clark, as a government employee, was required to pursue numerous regulated grievance options before he could either have an administrative hearing before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or sue his employer.