Lawsuits Allege Racial Discrimination at Bank of America and Cantor Fitzgerald
Two separate lawsuits have been filed in New York against Bank of America and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald alleging racial discrimination.
Jack Mitchell, an African-American who worked at Bank of America between 2007 and 2008, claims the bank was in the practice of placing black employees in the branches located in low-income neighborhoods. He further alleges that Bank of America maintained an “apartheid system” with the belief that white clients would not want to be served by African-American employees.
Mitchell was fired in retaliation for complaining about the bank’s practices and is now seeking damages of not less than $10 million.
The other lawsuit was filed by Jermaine James, an African-American employee of Cantor Fitzgerald. James claims that in his four years at the company, colleagues would make “monkey noises” when he was around and use the N-word on occasion. He further alleges that the manager responded to his complaints by suggesting that James transfer to a branch where he could “be around his own people.” When James asked what he meant, the manager responded, “black people.”
James also claims he was fired for speaking up against the company and is asking to be rehired. He is also seeking punitive damages, bonuses, and back pay.
Federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s race or national origin. California law, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment because of race or ancestry.
If you have been improperly discriminated against at your place of employment, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.