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Labor & Employment

Suit by Fired Lawyer Cites Cubicle Assignment, Fat Jokes

Posted Apr 27, 2012 6:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Only one person out of a group of 50 lawyers at an AIG subsidiary was forced to work in a cubicle, according to a lawsuit.

That person was the plaintiff, the only African American among the group, according to the complaint. The Huffington Post has details of the suit filed in New York federal court on Wednesday by Earl Brown, who also says he was subjected to crude and inappropriate jokes and remarks while working at AIG Investments. Brown had to share the cubicle with assistants and paralegals, while all the other lawyers got offices, he alleges.

A New York Post story describes Brown as “an obese black lawyer” and focuses on allegations that he was subjected to fat jokes. In one instance, the suit says, Brown’s boss yelled, “Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Fat Albert!” In another, Brown’s boss told employees to grab a bite to eat before Brown cleaned out a platter.

Brown also cites his boss's suggestion to "take Earl with you" when getting a document signed because "with this brother behind you, he can scare anyone into signing quickly," according to the Huffington Post account.

An AIG spokesman said the suit was “baseless and without merit.”

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