A Denver heating and cooling company routinely discriminated against what one employee called “colored” people, according to an undercover investigation by a television station this week.
Acting on a tip from an employee with the company, KDVR sent a producer undercover to apply for a job at Mile High Heating and Cooling. A hidden camera captured what happened next.
As part of training, the producer was shown a piece of paper with a list of zip codes to cold call offering service. The neighborhood of Montbello, however, was marked, “never call,” according to KDVR.
A manager told the producer that the company did not service Montbello. The station reported that she laughed and said “we call it Mount Ghetto.” She then said that it was a “colored neighborhood” and that people there did not pay their bills, the station reported.
The station also interviewed Pam Jiner, a black woman in Montbello who called Mile High for service and never heard back. (The station called the company shortly after Jiner, offered a different zip code, and was immediately connected to a dispatcher.)
“It blows my mind. It blows my mind. Who would do something like that? Single out a race and a community?” Jiner said.
“It is racism, clearly. Blatant, outright racism.” she added.
The station tried to follow up with the manager who made the comments about “colored people,” but she instructed them to “speak to the owner.”
The company is owned by Kevin Dykman, who KDVR reported has convictions for theft and DUI, and his son, Kasey Dykman.
The Dykmans released a statement on Thursday: “Insensitive comments, or anything that goes against our culture of respect and inclusion, is simply not tolerated.”
The statement also said the company had fired the manager who was shown on the video making the comments.
Local community leaders have organized a boycott of the business and asked for citizens to come forward if they have been discriminated against by the company for a potential investigation by the state.
Watch the report, which includes the undercover footage, below: