Baltimore’s State’s Attorney’s Office Sued for Employment Age and “Reverse” Discrimination
Atoinette E. Swiec, a 61-year-old white female who has worked for the Baltimore’s state’s attorney’s office for 25 years, is suing the office for alleged age and race discrimination.
Swiec’s was an office manager of the Firearms Investigation and Violence Enforcement Unit in 2010, where she supervised a four-person clerical staff that she described as “exclusively African-American and predominantly young,” with all but one person in their 20s.
Swiec reported to FIVE Division Chief Matthew Fraling III, a black male in his 40s. When Swiec voiced concerns to Faling that her staff “had difficulty in conforming to the requirements of a professional workplace,” he suggested that she swap positions with the clerical supervisor of the Economic Crimes Unit, “where she would supervise a staff that included all white lawyers and support staff of two older black clerical workers and a white investigator,” her complaint states.
The arrangement was described as “promoting a ‘better mix,’” according to the lawsuit and Swiec was told that she should strongly consider the switch because she would no longer “have to deal with the youngens.”
Swiec however refused the switch and a week later was fired for improperly contacting a judge’s chambers. Swiec’s nephew was serving on a jury and she wanted to meet him for lunch. On the advice of a prosecutor, Swiec called the judge’s chambers to find out when the trial broke for lunch.
According to the complaint, there are no professional rules against such contact and the circumstances for Swiec’s termination appear to be pretextual. The complaint further alleges that “the desire of the defendant employer was to satisfy the desires of the [FIVE] staff to see plaintiff removed as their supervisor one way or the other.”
Swiec is seeking $400,000 in compensation on each of her two counts alleged against the office.
As today’s workplace becomes ever more diverse, changing landscapes can create different types of employment discrimination, including “reverse” discrimination. If you feel that you have been wrongfully discriminated against by your employer, please contact Khorrami, LLP for more information.