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Apple Hit With Discrimination Lawsuit

TMO Reports - Apple Hit With Discrimination Lawsuit

by , 1:00 AM EDT, May 23rd, 2005

A former employee at Apple Computer has filed a discrimination suit against the company, alleging she was wrongfully terminated after complaining of being paid less than her counterparts.

Former human resources compensation consultant Shaune Patterson alleges she was suspended for one month and then wrongfully terminated after complaining that her white counterparts, who were junior to her, were making higher salaries than she was.

"Patterson alleges that the suspension came one day after she complained of racial discrimination," a press statement said. "Patterson alleges that one of Apple's managers wrote a memo describing her as a "rather obese-sized black lesbian."

"Apple discounted my client's achievements, choosing to base the decision to discipline not on her performance, but rather on her size, race, and sexual orientation," Mr. McCoy said in a prepared statement.

The suit was filed last week in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco by Waukeen McCoy, of the firm McCoy & Associates. Mr. McCoy alleges the suit "may be one of the largest discrimination lawsuits filed against Apple Computer by a Lesbian," although court papers show the former employee is suing for unspecified damages, The Mac Observer has learned.

The Web site for Mr. McCoy's law firm describes him as "one of the most feared and revered attorneys in San Francisco."

Mr. McCoy also claimed a similar suit against Apple in 2001 was "one the largest racial discrimination cases in U.S. history," when an unnamed former employee sought $40 million in damages after being fired for bringing a friend to his place of work. Mr. McCoy claimed his clients "white counterparts" hadn't been disciplined or fired for bringing a friend or family member to work and said, "we also believe he was getting less pay than his white counterparts as well."

Mr. McCoy was the lead plaintiffs' attorney in one of the largest U.S. racial discrimination suits, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Corporation, the parent company of Wonder Bread, which rendered a verdict for $132 million in August of 2000.

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