Three more plaintiffs have joined a class-action lawsuit filed in August alleging that American Express subjected White employees to “racially discriminatory” policies that fostered a hostile work environment.
“Since the filing of this lawsuit my firm has been inundated with calls from former and current Amex employees from all around the country who read the allegations of the complaint and couldn’t believe how accurately they described their own experiences with the company,” attorney David Pivtorak told FOX Business.
Wed Aug. 23, Pivtorak filed a class action on behalf of former Amex employee Brian Netzel and potentially thousands of other similarly situated employees following what the complaint described as “an avalanche of bad things coming to White people in that company once George Floyd was killed.”
The lawsuit alleges that Amex implemented “anti-racism” policies throughout its corporate structure in the wake of Floyd’s death that “gave preferential treatment to individuals for being Black and unambiguously signaled to White employees that their race was an impediment to getting ahead in the company .”
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In an amended complaint, three new class representative plaintiffs allege discrimination similar to that which Netzel described.
Netzel told FOX Business at the time his complaint was filed that Amex’s racial policies flooded the workplace with “a tremendous amount of animosity.” He alleged White employees were unfairly punished or passed over for promotions, while some Black employees were promoted merely to meet racial quotas, and that some felt empowered to “root out in McCarthy-era fashion people who didn’t agree with this overall philosophy. “
In his original complaint, Netzel alleged that his female manager, who is Black, would “aggressively harass and berate White employees” and that Amex was not only aware of her behavior but provided financial incentives to executives to reduce the number of White employees.
One of the new plaintiffs, who resides in a different city than the original plaintiff, claims to have been subjected to racial harassment and discrimination from that same manager. Another alleges to have been harassed and denied a promotion on racial grounds by a different manager. All three of the new plaintiffs say they were forced to resign from well-paying positions in the company to escape its racially toxic environment.
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“It’s hard to put into words how racially toxic that working environment must have been, from top to bottom, where you can just hear it in these people’s voices. I only hope that more employees come forward to challenge these abhorrent practices because that is how we will finally bring the wrongdoers to justice,” attorney Pivortak said.
Amex did not provide comment on the amended complaint but denied the claims of the original suit, with a spokesperson telling FOX Business at the time: “The allegations made about our company in the lawsuit are false and without merit. We have a longstanding commitment to living our company values which include fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where all colleagues can thrive.”
“Advancement, hiring, and compensation within our company is based solely on individual qualifications, business, and leadership performance. Any claim to the contrary is wrong, and we do not provide any incentive for behaviors that discriminate against or favor any group of employees, ” the spokesperson added.
Amex has faced previous allegations of discrimination. Nick Williams, a White male who served eight years as a manager of business development at Amex until he was suddenly let go in March 2021, turned down a six-figure settlement offer after refusing to sign paperwork forbidding him from speaking out against the credit card behemoth.
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In 2021, five current and former employees told FOX Business on condition of anonymity that the company engaged in “reverse discrimination” against White employees and steeped the workplace in the tenets of critical race theory. Amex categorically denied the accusations at the time.