The company handling the development of the Hunters Point shipyard, Candlestick Point and Treasure Island was sued Fridayby three African-American employees who claim they were victims of racial discrimination and harassment for being whistleblowers, among other allegations.
The plaintiffs are Gary McIntyre, a project manager; Clementine Clark, a community benefits manager and a member of San Francisco’s Fire Commission; and Ceola Richardson, an administrative assistant. All three employees worked for Lennar Corp. on behalf of the development project at the Hunters Point shipyard.
In addition to claiming that all three employees were subjected to racial discrimination and harassment, McIntyre and Clark say they were demoted after they alerted their supervisor, Paul Menaker, about the possibility that dust from the construction site contained toxic asbestos.
A spokesman for Lennar, Sam Singer, said the allegations are untrue. “Lennar does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” Singer said. “In fact, its leadership in San Francisco is Kofi Bonner, one of the leading African-American executives in the nation.”
Although all 500 acres of the former shipyard are scheduled for redevelopment, the work is being done in parcels, with a housing development now under construction.
Bonner, president of Lennar’s urban land division for Northern California, said Thursday, before the lawsuit was filed, that some of the company’s contractors responsible for monitoring the air and controlling construction dust “made some mistakes.” But he said that whenever the company learned of problems, it worked to fix them.
McIntyre alleges that during a large meeting in March 2006 with Lennar’s environmental attorneys and subcontractors, Menaker joked that the shipyard was so hazardous that McIntyre, who is bald, “had hair when he started working there.”
Phone calls Friday to the law firm headed by Angela Alioto, which is representing the plaintiffs, were not returned in time for deadline. The plaintiffs are seekinga financial award, including attorney’s fees.