New York University has settled an EEOC national-origin discrimination and harassment suit that alleged a library worker was subjected to racial stereotypes and criticism.
A Ghanaian native filed the suit, alleging that his supervisor in the mailroom at the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library regularly referred to him as “monkey” or “gorilla.” He mocked the man’s accent, calling his language “gibberish.”
When the man complained, the university was slow to investigate and took only token steps to rein in the supervisor. Then the supervisor allegedly retaliated against the worker by fabricating evidence in order to discipline him. When the university failed to act again, the man filed the complaint with the EEOC.
NYU decided to settle before the case went to a jury. It will pay the man $210,000 in lost wages and compensation for emotional distress. It will also implement universitywide anti-harassment complain procedures and appoint an equal employment opportunity coordinator to monitor compliance.
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