Black Employee Fired After Her Boss Said Her Braids Look “Ghetto”
Katherine Lemire, a former special prosecutor for the New York Police Department, says that she was removed from her job at Michael Stapleton Associates for standing up for a black colleague who had braids in her hair.
Lemire says that she spoke up on behalf of her work mate, Chanissa Green, after one of the vice presidents of the company issued a statement saying that women employees are not allowed to wear braids in their hair.
According to the allegations, here’s what he said: “When someone like me… sees someone with a style like that, we think ghetto – not professional. I’ll tell you what’s beautiful: my daughter, with blond hair and blue eyes.”
Lemire, who has filed a lawsuit, says that the probe into the discrimination was botched by the company and another employee was also fired as a result.
But the company is indenial. In a recent statement to the Daily News, company official George Harvey said, “MSA categorically denies that Ms. Lemire was subjected to any retaliation. The complaint… is full of inaccurate and baseless allegations. The company intends to vigorously defend this case.”
Via her lawsuit, Lemire is seeking back pay, compensation for damages and corporate reforms.