CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 14, 2009: Five Caribbean American men claim they were discriminated against because of their race and are suing Merrill Lynch.
The five men, who are not named, filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court recently, claiming discrimination by Bank of America Corp`s Merrill Lynch unit.
The men, according to Reuters News, claim that while they were supposedly fired because they could not perform their jobs, they were actually fired `because of their skin color and because they spoke with accents that pegged them as `foreign.“
The men said they had worked for between six and seventeen years at Merrill`s headquarters at the World Financial Center in New York, under contract with American Building Maintenance Inc but `ultimately` under Merrill`s supervision and control.
But they claimed that after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Merrill employees made derogatory comments about their Caribbean accents, and ordered them to attend an `English for Professionals Pronunciation Workshop` at nearby Pace University.
The five want their old jobs back, compensatory and punitive damages, and other remedies.
Representatives of Bank of America and ABM declined immediate comment, saying they had not reviewed the complaint.