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(BPRW) Black Ex-PulteGroup Employee Slams CEO Ryan Marshall for Downplaying Racist “Noose Meeting”

(BPRW) Black Ex-PulteGroup Employee Slams CEO Ryan Marshall for Downplaying Racist “Noose Meeting”

(Black PR Wire) “On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Ryan Marshall acknowledged racism within PulteGroup, although he has fired just one of the players in the racist and discriminatory scheme our lawsuit made public,” said Richard Turnbow, plaintiff in the case Turnbow v. PulteGroup. “He also has not sent me or my fellow litigants an apology. We lost our employment because we were targeted, lynched, harassed and terminated or chased from PulteGroup. The Atlanta office is a mess and it’s ran by the CEO. The buck starts and stops with him.” 

Turnbow continued, “However, in a message sent companywide Tuesday, May 9, CEO Marshall passed responsibility alleging an organized conspiracy against him or sought to downplay the racism by saying that one of the incidents, the ‘Noose Meeting,’ was in 2019. 

Ryan Marshall doesn’t care about equality or diversity. His statement proves that much!

Apologize and let us get on with our lives. Put an end to the legal games. 

We appreciate the thousands of messages over the internet and messages from our former colleagues at PulteGroup.” 

Turnbow is one of three Black former PulteGroup employees that have secured legal representation by the highly reputable Zausmer Law Firm in order to pursue CEO Ryan Marshall and other named PulteGroup senior executives in a sweeping conspiracy to reward personal loyalty over merit and, in some specific cases, white employees over Black employees.  

PulteGroup’s Jim Zeumer, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, told Lansing CBS affiliate WLNS Channel 6: “Our company leadership is committed to ensuring an environment of inclusion where all people are respected and valued. What is depicted in the images is despicable and has no place in our company nor in our society. The allegations are not consistent with our values and corporate culture.” 

The case is being pursued under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan, where PulteGroup was founded in 1950 and maintains its registered office. PulteGroup is a Fortune 500, publicly traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “PHM” ticker symbol. PulteGroup is the third-largest homebuilder in the country.  

The 22-page lawsuit was filed May 4, 2023, in Ingham County Circuit Court. The complaint alleges that managers engaged in “unlawful retaliation in the form of termination” when Black employees reported misconduct on the part of Pulte executive Patrick Witzigman, who is alleged to have acted as a lieutenant in the scheme and had racist interactions with all three Black plaintiffs. Witzigman’s conduct was given a pass or endorsement because he was a loyalist to COO Brandon Jones, who himself was recently terminated after the PulteGroup Board found wrongdoing and actions that violated their Code of Ethical Business Conduct (PDF). The lawsuit, case number 2023 – 0287 – CD, can be accessed online here.  

Senior Executive Brandon Jones received “fast-tracked” promotions and is personal friends with CEO Ryan Marshall, the lawsuit alleges. The complaint outlines a workplace conspiracy wherein the CEO had his executives, and managers who reported to them, filter out Black employees who spoke out about unlawful conduct perpetrated by their supervisors that did not align with PulteGroup’s public image, specifically, by the hands of Witzigman.

 When the respective human resources and legal departments were used by employees, rather than punishing Witzigman for his unethical and unlawful behavior, they engaged in Marshall’s grand coverup and retaliated against Black employees. 

Not once did Pulte’s “Diversity Board” (led by CEO Marshall) or the Ethics Committee (led by General Counsel Todd Sheldon) correct these civil rights violations because these entities were set up to fool shareholders, employees and the public. 

Each of the three plaintiffs can demonstrate that they were treated with prejudice, that normal recourse for reporting discriminatory or predatory practices was not actually available to them, and that they were terminated or forced out by managers loyal to CEO Marshall or one of his top lieutenants. 

Even more explosive, plaintiffs have provided the court with photographs of the “lynching noose” and made public, for the first time, what is internally referred to as the “Noose Meeting” among PulteGroup employees. 

Plaintiffs are considering additional legal remedies and invite all whistleblowers and those discriminated against by PulteGroup managers or executives to join their pursuit of equal treatment.

 

Contacts

Mike Nowlin | Cell: 989-450-0855
Mario Morrow Sr. | Cell: 313-806-0818

The content and opinions expressed within this press release are those of the author(s) and/or represented companies, and are not necessarily shared by Black PR Wire. The author(s) and/or represented companies are solely responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the content of this Press release. Black PR Wire reserves the right to reject a press release if, in the view of Black PR Wire, the content of the release is unsuitable for distribution.

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