From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
Sept. 1 — Merrill Lynch managers and human resources personnel in Indiana refused to investigate a black employee’s repeated complaints of race bias and instead disciplined him unfairly, forcing him to quit, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court ( George v. Bank of Am. , S.D. Ind., No. 1:16-cv-02349, complaint filed 9/1/16 ).
Cornelius George alleges he was constructively discharged from his position as a Merrill wealth management banker after complaining that managers set more difficult performance goals for him than for his white co-workers.
In response to his repeated complaints of race discrimination, he was issued an unjust written warning for bogus performance deficiencies, he says in a complaint filed Sept. 1 against Bank of America, doing business as Merrill Lynch.
Despite his pleas that the company at least look into his allegations that he was being singled out and treated differently because he is black, Merrill Lynch refused to investigate and instead issued him a second performance warning, George asserts.
George sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, asserting claims for racial harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and race discrimination under Title VII and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981).
The end result of his complaints was that he was “placed under a microscope by management,” George asserts. In addition to getting written warnings, he was also put on a performance improvement plan, he says.
“Similarly situated non African-American employees whose performance and actual sales numbers were worse than Plaintiff’s did not receive similar discipline,” according to the complaint.
Moreover, the second written warning was issued even though George’s sales numbers improved after the first warning, the lawsuit alleges.
George complained to Merrill Lynch that a manager was repeatedly berating him and wanted to remove him from his position because he is black, he alleges. He was also denied promotions based on his race, he says.
A second manager allegedly told George he didn’t want to hear the accusations of mistreatment and that he was tired of “battling” with George.
The atmosphere of discrimination, retaliation and harassment became so intolerable, George says, that he had no choice but to resign.
Merrill Lynch declined Bloomberg BNA's Sept. request for comment.
John H. Haskin & Associates represents George. No attorney has filed an appearance yet for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch.
To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of the complaint is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/GEORGE_v_BANK_OF_AMERICA_NATIONAL_ASSOCIATION_Docket_No_116cv0234.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)