Executive ends R$ 1 million contract after being called ‘black man’

Fernanda Tiemi Tubamoto*/Estado de Minas

posted on 01/07/2022 10:23


(credit: Personal Archive/Reproduction)

Oracle, one of the largest technology companies in the country, became the target of a lawsuit after a contract to implement its software worth R$ 1 million was terminated due to a complaint of racism. The case involved Optat Consulting, an approved provider of its services and one of the provider’s clients, Juliano Pereira dos Santos, technology director and partner at Proz Educação.

During a business meeting via video call, Matheus Mason Adorno, supplier representative for Optat Consulting, said “Not there, nigga. Do you want to f* me?”.

The statement was considered racist by Juliano, who holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of São Paulo (USP), and the executive declared that he wanted his case to become a reference for other black people, stating that this was not the first case of racism. in the work environment he is faced with, but that his current occupation gives him greater openness to express himself.

“In recent years, I’ve come to understand better that situations like these are not tolerable. I think I started to assume a leadership role wherever I went and my longer hair became a reference for my colleagues of color. I have a position that allows me to talk about these things that are not negotiable,” he said.

Contract termination

Juliano explains that he had to schedule a meeting in October 2021 with Optat Consulting, a software implementing company, to discuss values ​​after some basic implementation errors appeared in a project after six months of work. According to the executive, these failures would be Optat’s responsibility, but he recognized that a portion could also be Proz, so he said that the company would be willing to bear part of the loss to “start from scratch”.

Optat proposed charging BRL 230,000 to redo the work that would take around 1800 hours to complete, but Proz expected the software implementer to commit to paying half of the damage, but the company refused.

The executive then stated that he exposed his name when hiring Optat’s work, but that he would alert the companies under his services about the problem they were facing. That’s when Matheus Mason Adorno replied “Not there, nigga. Do you want to f* me?”

“The citizen (Matheus) was extremely aggressive and rude when talking, in an attempt to discredit me”, declared Juliano, who points out the treatment as racism. “There’s no excuse, I don’t deal with racists. That was a crime and it wouldn’t be like that. If it came from a friend, black, and if we were talking in a family environment, it wouldn’t be a problem, but in the context of a white person I don’t know, with whom I am not intimate, discussing with me a considerable sum of money, is clearly acting in a way that demoralizes me, and that is unacceptable. It is very simple to separate one thing from the other”, he adds.

Consequences of the case

Juliano also says that, in addition to a bad feeling, the termination of the R$ 1 million contract generated stress and extra costs for Proz Educação. “An important project for my company was stopped. The reason is legitimate, but it is a defeat not to be able to implement the project, I was very upset. I do not rule out structural racism, since we (the black population) always have to demonstrate that we are capable “, he explains.

The director filed a complaint for racial slur and wants to be compensated for moral damages both by Oracle do Brasil and by the representative of Optat Consulting, Matheus Mason Adorno.

Proz Educação stated that “as soon as it received the report of the episode of prejudice, it made the decision to terminate the contract with the service provider, notifying the organization and taking the appropriate measures”. It also informed that “it supports its employees in any situation of discrimination experienced in the business environment”.

Oracle Brazil, which owns the contracted software, said that it “promptly offered support to the person directly affected by the facts described and has offered them the necessary support. Furthermore, Oracle has made itself available to collaborate with the competent authorities in any investigations and, in March 2022, informed the company involved in the facts that it would discontinue the contractual relationship”, in addition to having a “non-negotiable” commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Optat Consulting, which implements the Oracle system, reported that “it became aware of what happened at the meeting and took all appropriate measures to investigate the real facts, immediately suspending Mr. Matheus Mason”. However, according to the company, the internal investigation heard witnesses who “said that there was no alleged crime”. The company also says that it will respond to the process for “clarification of the truth” and that “it will file the appropriate legal measures”.

*intern under the supervision of sub-editor Diogo Finelli.

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