Anthony Quarless, 47, worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for 28 years and was the head of security. He claims that he was pressured to hire a white assistant over an equally qualified and more experienced black applicant. He also claims he was allowed to investigate crimes committed only by minority workers and was forced to punish a black employee differently than a white one.
In this last example of apparent race discrimination in New York’s garden, a white employee was suspended for stealing coins from a fountain, while a black employee taking cash from the gift shop was not only fired, but handcuffed and marched through the lobby, according to the New York Post.
“The rule in employee discipline must always be ‘consistency,'” said David Perecman. “Managers need to dole out discipline in equal amounts for equal behaviors or risk discrimination claims.”
Quarless contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2009 to complain, and was fired in July of 2010. According to his complaint, he was fired in part because of his age.
An employer commits race discrimination when job decisions are made on the basis of race or when seemingly neutral job policies disproportionately affect members of a specific race. If the allegations made by Quarless are true, they would fit the description for race discrimination in New York.
“Federal and New York laws protect all races equally and prohibit workplace racial discrimination. All employers need to get the message that workplace race discrimination will not be tolerated,” said Perecman.
In New York, workplace discrimination law is designed to protect employees from age and race discrimination. All employees, regardless of color, are entitled to equal rights and equal protection against race discrimination and age discrimination at work.
As importantly, employees cannot be punished for opposing or reporting their employer’s suspected violations of federal and New York state laws. If an employer fires, demotes, or otherwise punishes an employee for whistleblowing in New York, The Perecman Firm can help the victim recover compensation for the retaliation.
“It appears that Quarless may also have been retaliated against after he complained about the race discrimination in New York,” civil rights violation lawyer Perecman said. “If this proves true he may also be entitled to compensation for that retaliation.”
If a person believes that he or she may be the victim of race discrimination or age discrimination, they should contact The Perecman Firm so that experienced New York civil rights violation lawyers may assess the situation and provide legal advice on how to protect civil rights.