A Black woman was fired after she reported a noose she found at her workplace.

Charlene Lust was helping out a co-worker at a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plant in February when she discovered a noose in the paint shop.

“I literally almost fainted. I’ve never seen one,” Lust told The Detroit Free Press. “When I saw the noose, I was like stuck.”

Lust said the feeling of shock mirrored how she felt when she once helped the police catch a child molester.

“It startled me. It felt like the moment I caught the young boy being molested at the park,” she recalled. “It was like one of those shocks.”

She took a picture and posted a video of the rope on social media. Speaking out might have cost the mother of four her job. Lust wasn’t an employee of the plant and worked for MacLellan Integrated Services, a subcontractor. She filed a complaint against her former employer, the plant and her workers’ union. The union claims it presented a complaint on her behalf.

Photography is usually prohibited, but Lust might be able to get around this rule because she was participating in a “protected concerted activity.”

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“The law we enforce gives employees the right to act together to try to improve their pay and working conditions, with or without a union,” the National Labor Relation Board website says. “If employees are fired, suspended or otherwise penalized for taking part in protected group activity, the National Labor Relations Board will fight to restore what was unlawfully taken away."

Meanwhile, Lust worries about her family’s future. Her rent is behind, and she’s facing eviction. She was also traumatized by the incident.


“It did something to me," Lust told WXYZ. "It got to the point where I did go to the doctor.”

MacLellan has not commented on the complaint, and FCA spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said she never saw the suit.

“What I can say is that FCA does not tolerate retaliation against any person who reports a violation or participates in an investigation involving a workplace incident,” Tinson said. “Such behavior is strictly prohibited and anyone found engaging in such behavior will be dealt with accordingly.”

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