| NEW YORK, July 20
NEW YORK, July 20 Two separate lawsuits alleging
racial discrimination were filed in federal court in New York on
Friday, against Bank of America and investment bank
Jack Mitchell, who is black and worked as a manager at Bank
of America from February 2007 to July 2008, alleges the bank
maintained an "apartheid" system of business allocation,
believing white clients would not want to be served by African
Under this system, Mitchell alleges, employees such as
himself were routinely assigned to branches in low-income black
communities, negatively affecting his compensation. Mitchell
claims he was fired in retaliation for complaining about "the
bank's racist practices."
Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin declined to comment
on the suit but said that "diversity and inclusion are part of
Bank of America's culture and core values."
Mitchell is seeking damages of not less than $10 million.
Also on Friday, Jermaine James, a black employee of Cantor
Fitzgerald from October 2004 to July 2008, filed a suit alleging
pervasive racial harassment condoned by the bank's management.
He claims colleagues made "monkey noises" in his presence and
that one co-worker said he would be "enjoying his weekend where
there won't be any niggers."
According to the complaint, when James protested that
discrimination was preventing his advancement at the bank, his
manager told him he needed to transfer office locations in order
to "be around his own people." When James asked what he meant,
the manager responded, "black people."
A spokesperson for Cantor Fitzgerald was not immediately
available for comment.
James claims he too was fired for raising the allegations
and is asking to be rehired. He is also seeking back pay,
bonuses, and punitive damages.