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Redburn construction group accused of discrimination

Nov 23, 2022 12:45 am

Robin K. Cooper is reporting for the Albany Business Review Redburn Property Services, a construction arm for the prolific regional developer by the same name, has been sued by four black laborers over allegations of systemic discrimination. The workers claim Redburn and five supervisors nicknamed them the "felony crew" and regularly referred to them using racial slurs. Tony Gentry, Joseph Sherman, Abdullah McPherson and Shakeem Taylor claim they were denied promotions, paid lower wages than their white co-workers, and were often not paid for all of their work. Hired at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the men allege Redburn foremen and supervisors denied them masks, respirators and other gear despite ordering them to work at dusty and hazardous construction sites. The four plaintiffs are seeking unpaid wages as well as damages for harassment, discrimination and unlawful termination, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Jeff Buell, a principal of Redburn Development Partners, said the company is taking the complaint seriously. "The allegations in the complaint are incredibly difficult to read and fly in the face of our core values," Buell wrote late last week. "We have immediately launched an internal investigation but given the seriousness of the allegations, we are in the process of engaging outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. ... Our company and its leaders remain committed to a workplace free of harassment and discrimination." Besides Redburn Property Services, other defendants named in the lawsuit are supervisors and foremen Erik Smith, Chris Colwell, Justin Kramer, Michael Levit and John Barnes. Redburn Property Services is the construction and property management arm of Redburn Development Partners, one of the largest real estate developers in the region. Redburn was responsible for the $10-million conversion of the former candle factory on Cross Street in Hudson's 1st Ward, transforming it into the 55-room hotel called The Wick. Read more at biz journals [dot] com.