***UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION****
An African American woman in Oregon was shocked when she arrived at work to find a noose taped to an employee’s cubicle, accompanied by a note that read “[Employee] is hereby terminated for dereliction of duty in that she willfully and with malice failed to protect her supervisor’s office from vandalism during his absence,” the note reads.” The “termination notice,” as Washington County housing authority employee Vanessa Savage discovered, was left by someone unexpected: a supervisor.
Unsure if this disgusting act was a threat or a sick joke, Savage notified authorities of what had transpired. However, an investigation resulted in the determination that there was no racial undertone in the act of leaving an African-American coworker a noose as a gift.
Savage refuses to back down. “A noose is designed to terrorize people and there’s a historical precedent that that’s what the noose does,” Savage said. “And when you put a noose on a note that says ‘terminated, fired,’ he wanted it to have a certain impact and it did.”
Savage has been staying home from work, as something gave her the impression she was dealing with an incredibly hostile work environment. “Regarding this incident, the employee’s allegations have been received and are being thoroughly investigated by our Human Resources Division,” read a statement released by county spokesman Philip Bransford. “While the matter is under investigation we will not be able to comment further except to say that Washington County is committed to providing a productive work environment for all employees which is fair, civil, positive and respectful of each person’s dignity and is free from all forms of discrimination or harassment.”