NASCAR Faces New Discrimination Lawsuit

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst ISeptember 24, 2008

This past weekend, NASCAR quietly dismissed two officials named in a $250 million dollar discrimination suit filed by former official Mauricia Grant.

As if that lawsuit, which is pending, isn't problem enough, now it seems another official is “coming forward” with a discrimination complaint.

Dean Duckett, who like Grant is a former technical inspector, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Duckett alleges a hostile work environment, racial discrimination, and wrongful termination. He began working for NASCAR in 2001 and was fired as a Cup Series inspector on November 14th of last year.

On Saturday he told The Associated Press he brought the lawsuit against his former employer because they refused to give him his job back.

How are the two lawsuits connected? Grant actually named Duckett in hers, alleging harassment. It also says Duckett was fired for his use of “aggressive language toward a white co-worker.” She also claims he dumped water on another female official to simulate a wet T-shirt contest.

“She lied about that part,” Duckett explains to The Associated Press. He, however, does admit that he was suspended two weeks for the incident. He also says Grant is telling mostly telling the truth.

According to Duckett, his problems began last November tenth, during a heated argument with a fellow official in which Duckett said “I ought to cut you.” Duckett now says he “don't carry no blades or nothing like that,” and says it “basically came out in the heat of the moment.”

Duckett was sent home the next day by NASCAR, and ultimately fired.

I have the same issue with Mr. Duckett that I ranted about in my article about Ms. Grant several months ago. Just because you were fired doesn't mean you can allege racism—and, in Grant's case, sexual harassment—and sue NASCAR for millions and millions of dollars.

Isn't threatening to cut an employee enough grounds to get you fired? And regarding Grant, her background contained a restraining order an ex-boyfriend filed against her, was jailed twice because of a DUI arrest in 2004 and 2005, and was charged with driving with a suspended license the month she was fired from NASCAR.

However, they say she was reprimanded for repeated tardiness and an incident in which an altercation occurred between Grant an a track official at Michigan International Speedway who asked to see her credentials.

NASCAR has yet to issue a statement on the second discrimination lawsuit filed against them.