Michael Schmuely, owner of Books for Less, a wholesale bookseller in Brooklyn, will pay $180,000 to 21 former employees to settle a federal race discrimination lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged that Schmuely frequently used the “n” word and referred to the warehouse as a “plantation.”
Several white employees who worked in an office on Hall Street in Brooklyn and in the company’s warehouse in Blawnox, Pa., also claimed they were targeted for retribution after they supported claims of discrimination by black co-workers.
Schmuely did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to undergo one-on-one counseling. He also agreed to donate 1,000 books about civil rights and African-American culture to a charitable organization as part of the settlement.
- Tell hiring managers: No subjective comments about candidates in notes
- Get input from several managers before firing problem worker
- Beware firing for 'spreading rumors' about bias
- Draw the line between 'tough talk' and harassment
- More courts lose patience with frivolous claims; they're asking failed litigants to pay up