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


“On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Ryan Marshall acknowledged racism within PulteGroup, despite the fact that he has fired only one of the players in the racist and discriminatory scheme revealed by our lawsuit,” stated Richard Turnbow, plaintiff in the case Turnbow v. PulteGroup. “He has also not apologized to me or my co-defendants.” We were fired or pursued from PulteGroup after being targeted, lynched, bullied, and terminated or harassed. The CEO runs the Atlanta headquarters, which is a shambles. He is responsible for everything.”

“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 claiming that one of the incidents, the ‘Noose Meeting,’ occurred in 2019.” Turnbow continued. Ryan Marshall is unconcerned with equality or diversity. That much is demonstrated by his statement! Please apologize and let us to move forward with our lives. Stop playing legal games. We appreciate the millions of messages on the internet and from former PulteGroup colleagues.”

Turnbow is one of three Black former PulteGroup employees who have hired the highly regarded Zausmer Law Firm to pursue CEO Ryan Marshall and other named PulteGroup senior executives in a sweeping conspiracy to reward personal loyalty over merit and, in some cases, white employees over Black employees.

“Our company leadership is committed to ensuring an environment of inclusion where all people are respected and valued,” Jim Zeumer, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications at PulteGroup, told Lansing CBS station WLNS Channel 6. What is represented in the photographs is abhorrent and has no place in our organization or in our society. The charges contradict our principles and business culture.”

The complaint is being prosecuted in Michigan under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, where PulteGroup was founded in 1950 and has its registered office. PulteGroup is a Fortune 500 publicly traded corporation that trades under the ticker symbol “PHM” on the New York Stock Exchange. PulteGroup is the country’s third-largest homebuilder.

The 22-page lawsuit was filed in Ingham County Circuit Court on May 4, 2023. According to the complaint, 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 accused of acting as a lieutenant in the scheme and having racist interactions with all three Black plaintiffs. Witzigman’s behavior was excused or endorsed since he was a loyalist to COO Brandon Jones, who was recently fired after the PulteGroup Board of Directors discovered misbehavior and activities that breached their Code of Ethical Business Conduct (PDF). The lawsuit, with the case number 2023 – 0287 – CD, is available online here.

According to the lawsuit, senior executive Brandon Jones obtained “fast-tracked” advancements and is personal friends with CEO Ryan Marshall. The complaint details a workplace conspiracy in which the CEO had his executives, as well as managers who reported to them, filter out Black employees who spoke out about illegal behavior by their supervisors that did not align with PulteGroup’s public image, specifically at the hands of Witzigman.

When employees used the various human resources and legal departments to penalize Witzigman for his unethical and illegal activities, they engaged in Marshall’s great coverup and retaliated against Black employees.

Pulte’s “Diversity Board” (headed by CEO Marshall) and the Ethics Committee (directed by General Counsel Todd Sheldon) never corrected these civil rights breaches because these institutions were created to deceive shareholders, employees, and the public.

Each of the three plaintiffs can show that they were treated unfairly, that normal avenues for reporting discriminatory or predatory practices were not available to them, and that they were fired or forced out by managers loyal to CEO Marshall or one of his top lieutenants.

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

Plaintiffs are investigating additional legal options and welcome all whistleblowers and those who have been discriminated against by PulteGroup managers or executives to join them in their quest for equal treatment.

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