A black woman in the Savannah, Georgia, car rental business is speaking out after a racist email was sent to a colleague.
Car rental companies in the state of Georgia have been struggling to keep up with the surge in car rentals, and the majority of people renting them are African-American.
“We’re struggling with how to accommodate all of our customers,” Savannah resident Katelyn Dillard said.
“You have to be able to accommodate everyone.
Black people aren’t going to want to rent a car if it’s white.
It’s not going to work.
I’m the first black person that’s in the room.
I feel uncomfortable.”
Dillard, who is white, is a mother of three and the wife of a Savannah-area pastor.
She said the email was forwarded to her by a coworker who claimed she had a black client, and suggested that she hire her as a car rental agent.
Dillard, a full-time job woman who is currently pursuing her MBA, said she has been asked several times by her boss about her experience as a black woman hiring a car, and she felt that she had to do something.
“She wanted to get my response, because she was the only one that she could talk to,” Dillard told Newsweek.
Dillard said she found the email to be racist.
She called the company immediately, and they said that the person who sent the email should not have been in the company, and that the employee who received the email has been suspended.
She told Newsweek that she felt uncomfortable with hiring a black man as a rental agent, and felt that the company needed to do more to make sure that it didn’t happen again.
“I feel like they need to be proactive in making sure that no other employee feels that way, and also to make it very clear that no black person should be hired as a driver,” Dillian said.
“We were working really hard to keep it from happening in the first place,” she added.
“It’s not like I was the first one to have a problem, so I’m not asking them to be more proactive, but I would hope that they’re going to have more transparency about the situation.”
Dillon said she was concerned that if she reported the incident to the company and tried to terminate the employee, she would have to pay for the rental car herself.
She added that if the company is not proactive about how it handles discrimination, there is a high chance that black people will continue to be targets of discrimination.
“If you don’t have an attorney, I would think that it’s better to have an employee who has the authority and a clear conscience,” Dillons attorney, Chris Burden, told Newsweek in an email.
“If the company’s going to be looking to hire a black person as a company owner, I hope that it is going to start looking at its own policies.”
The company said that they were not aware of the racist email, and are investigating it.
A representative for the company told Newsweek they are “working with the law firm and law enforcement” to determine whether there is any additional liability, and said that if there is, they would look into it.
“The law is on our side, and we have to live with it,” Diller said.
The situation is not the first time that Dillard has experienced discrimination.
When she started working at a car leasing company in 2014, she said that she was told by a supervisor that she should not hire any African-Americans as drivers.
Diller was upset that the supervisor told her to not hire anyone.
She said that one of the other black drivers was also told not to hire her.
In the past, Dillard and her co-workers have also received racist messages, but she said they were the exception to the rule.
“It’s hard to believe that we would not get that kind of racism,” she said.