- "Racially motivated damage” has been discovered at an office belonging to a Black construction foreman at the $1.4 billion Las Vegas Convention Center expansion jobsite, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
- General contractor Turner/Martin-Harris, a joint venture between Martin-Harris Construction and Turner Construction Co., is offering a "sizable reward" for information leading to the identification of those responsible, according to the LVCVA, and has launched an internal inquiry. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department also is investigating the incident.
- In a statement to Construction Dive, a Turner spokesperson said the JV has suspended work at the site "to send a message about how serious we take this behavior and to provide time for every worker on the site to participate in anti-bias training. Work will resume when training is complete."
This incident comes in the wake of other recent acts of racism on construction jobsites since May as protests, first sparked by the death of George Floyd while under arrest by the Minneapolis Police Department, continue in response to the Floyd death and other police actions perceived as discriminatory.
While there are no further details yet about the Las Vegas incident, racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, as well as the appearance of nooses, have been reported recently on other construction projects around the country.
Peter Davoren, Turner’s CEO and president, recently told Construction Dive that the general contractor has a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior. This summer, racist graffiti was discovered at two of the company's major projects in Ohio — a $1.7 billion Facebook data center project in New Albany and the FC Cincinnati soccer stadium in Cincinnati — and Turner shut those projects down while all workers underwent antibias training.
Davoren said that the overwhelming majority of its subcontractors, clients and workers are supportive of Turner's response to these incidents but that it was forced to terminate a subcontractor on one project for refusing to cooperate with an investigation spurred by the action of one of the subcontractor's employees.
Whether an incident requires a shutdown or not, he said, all are addressed using the company’s zero-tolerance policy and a strategy focused on "active caring," Davoren said.
“When you have a community on the jobsite that’s actively caring for each other, you’re safer,” he said.