BEATRICE – Witness testimony and evidence has ended in a Gage County District Court Jury trial, involving alleged racial harassment and discrimination.
Closing arguments are set for Thursday in the action brought by Jonathan Curry against his former employer, Sanitary Garbage Company of Beatrice. Curry is bi-racial.
Former Human Resources Manager Heidi Bell Wednesday testified that one employee was fired on the spot, after using racially insensitive language. Curry’s attorney, Abby Osborn questioned Bell whether employees were told not to use such language.
:30 “on the route…correct”
Three company employees were among the final witnesses called in the trial, Wednesday afternoon. Former employee Chris Bell, who worked with Curry as a shop manager, denied ever using racially insensitive language around Curry…. including use of the N-word.
:33 “that’s point-blank”
Bell did not recall Curry ever complaining to him about other employees using such language. Bell said he disliked Curry singing rap music while wearing earphones, when he worked in the company’s recycling center…because of customers coming in.
Also called to testify were Sanitary Garbage Company drivers, Gary Izer and Dale Harrison. Izer testified he tried to break up a dispute between employees, while Harrison acknowledged the use of the N-word by another employee directed toward Curry. Harrison said that happened while the three were inside the truck Harrison was driving. He said he told them that word would not be used while inside his vehicle.
Curry was re-called to the stand by the attorney for Sanitary Garbage Company, to review details about his employment record from the time he was terminated from the garbage company in February, 2014.
Testimony ended at around 3:15 p.m., with the plaintiff’s attorney, Osborn calling Curry’s wife to the stand for short rebuttal information.
Presiding Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner told the jury to return at 8:45 Thursday morning, for closing arguments, jury instructions…then deliberations.