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Telephone Worker Complains Red Flag, Political Posters, Removed from Cubicle

August 11, 1987

SEATTLE (AP) _ A member of the Revolutionary Communist Party says she is the victim of political discrimination because a red flag and political posters have been removed from her work cubicle at Pacific Northwest Bell.

The dispute centers on flags, including the American flag, and whether they must be taken down if employees find them offensive.

Cynthia Whetsell, whose party advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government, put up the red flag and other items in her cubicle July 29.

One poster showed a picture of Lt. Col. Oliver North and a picture of a Nazi. The poster read: ″I was only following orders.″

At least three employees who work with Ms. Whetsell complained to management. She was asked to remove the items, but refused. Someone took them down the next day, and the 17-year company veteran claimed discrimination.

A Seattle law does prohibit discrimination on the basis of political ideology, provided the ideas don’t interfere with job performance.

Company spokesman Vic Kucera last week said he wouldn’t comment because it was an internal matter, but the company did acknowledge it had called a meeting that was to include Ms. Whetsell and her co-workers.

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