Recently, a former employee of the Atlanta Hawks filed a wrongful termination/racial discrimination lawsuit against the basketball team. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits various forms of race discrimination, including discrimination based on race, sex, religion or national origin. Further, to encourage employees to speak out against discrimination, Title VII also protects against retaliation for complaining of discrimination. This means that even if the underlying discrimination is not proven, you may still maintain a claim for retaliation if your employer takes negative action against you for voicing your concerns about potentially discriminatory conduct.
In this instance, according to the lawsuit, the security manager asserted that employees were to give preferential treatment to white celebrities, but not black celebrities, and that this caused “duress during official events.” The discrimination suit alleges that white celebrities such as Adele and Bon Jovi could bypass security measures, whereas Drake and Kanye West were not allowed such privileges. Additionally, the complaint asserts that the guard was subjected to racist comments and suffered retaliation as result of his complaints of racial discrimination. A spokesperson for the Atlanta Hawks has denied the allegations.
For more information or if you believe that you have suffered any form of discrimination, please contact the Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.