Browsing Tag

discrimination

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Ex-CEO fired for alleged LSD use files discrimination suit, says startup sacked him for being Asian

  • Justin Zhu, co-founder and former CEO of Iterable, has filed a federal lawsuit against the company, citing anti-Asian discrimination.
  • Zhu was fired from the cross-channel marketing platform in April 2021 over a 2019 incident that allegedly saw him take LSD before an important meeting.
  • The $2 billion startup cited violations in company policy as grounds for terminating Zhu, but the ex-chief executive believes he was ousted for his East Asian background.
  • In his complaint, Zhu details anti-Asian experiences in the company, including being told that he did not look like a CEO.
  • The former chief executive also allegedly heard comments that he was “not passionate enough,” “not forceful enough,” “conflict averse” and needed “more presence,” which all “fell along the lines of common stereotypes about Asian Americans.”
  • Zhu has since co-founded Stand with Asian Americans, a national advocacy group that tackles workplace justice issues for Asian Americans.

Justin Zhu, co-founder and former CEO of cross-channel marketing platform Iterable, has filed a federal lawsuit against the company, citing anti-Asian discrimination.

Zhu is credited for spearheading the startup toward a $2 billion valuation last year. But just as he was taking the company to new heights, he was abruptly fired for a 2019 incident in which he allegedly took LSD ahead of an important meeting with investors.

Antioch mayor apologizes to Chinese American Navy veteran for discrimination 82 years ago

  • Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe has officially apologized to Alfred Chan, a 98-year-old World War II Navy veteran who experienced discrimination at a restaurant in 1940.
  • Recalling the incident in a recent video, Chan says the restaurant staff refused to serve him and his two friends.
  • “That’s how bad it was in those days,” he says in the video. “But it’s improving. It’s improving, from then on. Very gradually.”
  • “I’m sorry that you had to experience that in my city,” Thorpe, a fellow Navy veteran, said in the official apology given at Chan’s senior home in San Leandro, California, on Nov. 18. “But today, we want to rectify that.”
  • Antioch became the first American city to formally apologize for the mistreatment of Chinese residents and for driving them out of the city between 1850 and 1870. Other cities soon followed, including San José, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe has officially apologized to a Chinese American Navy veteran who experienced discrimination in the California city around 82 years ago.

Thorpe met with Alfred Chan, a 98-year-old World War II Navy veteran, in a senior home in San Leandro, California, on Nov. 18 to personally apologize on behalf of the city. Thorpe also presented Chan with a copy of the commemorative resolution.

Retired Asian captains sue NYPD over alleged promotion bias

nypd Asian captains
  • Four retired Asian police captains are suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) over alleged bias after they were passed over for promotions beyond the rank of captain.
  • Lawyer John Scola, who represents the plaintiffs, aims to cite in the case a 2018 internal NYPD report that found that most of the police force’s top officials were not aware of why they were promoted — or passed over — in the first place.
  • The report, released by an NYPD lawyer and three deputy inspectors, found that between 2015 to 2017, Asians spent on average 7.2 years as captains before getting promoted to deputy inspector, the longest period to remain in such a rank out of any other race group.
  • A promotion for the same rank for Black men and women took an average of 3.3 and 2.9 years, respectively, while Hispanic men and women spent 3.8 and 5.4 years as captains before being promoted.
  • For white men and women, they spent 6.9 years and 4.2 years as captains on average, respectively.

Four retired Asian police captains are suing the New York Police Department for discrimination when deciding to promote its officers. 

Lawyer John Scola, who represents the plaintiffs, aims to use a 2018 internal NYPD report that found that most of the police force’s top officials were not aware of why they were promoted — or passed over — in the first place.

Pfizer defends exclusion of Asian and white applicants in fellowship, says it’s ‘non-discriminatory’

  • Pfizer is standing by its fellowship program accused of discriminating against Asian and white applicants, saying it reverses “the effects of historical discrimination in the workplace.”
  • The nine-year program, known as the “Breakthrough Fellowship Program,” aims to boost the company’s diversity but is limited to “Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic and Native American” applicants.
  • Do No Harm, a nonprofit composed of medical professionals, filed a suit against Pfizer last month over the program, alleging that it violates multiple civil rights laws against racial discrimination.
  • Pfizer on Tuesday rejected Do No Harm’s claims as the nonprofit attempts to block the company from proceeding with accepting applications into the program.
  • Pfizer said the program “provides a legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for the use of racial selection criterion” and that there is “strong public policy in favor of voluntary affirmative action plans.”
  • The suit against Pfizer comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear the affirmative action cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, which also allege discrimination against Asian and white applicants.

Pfizer has defended its fellowship program accused of discriminating against Asian and white applicants, saying it reverses “the effects of historical discrimination in the workplace.”

The nine-year program, known as the “Breakthrough Fellowship Program,” aims to boost Pfizer’s workforce diversity but is limited to “Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic and Native American” applicants. It begins with a 10-week internship at the undergraduate level and culminates in employment with the company after a fully-funded master’s degree.

Texas A&M reaffirms support of diversity program accused of anti-Asian, anti-white discrimination in class-action suit

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
  • Texas A&M University (TAMU) passed a resolution on Monday endorsing its Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship Faculty Fellows Program Plus (ACES Plus), which is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging anti-Asian and anti-white discrimination.
  • The resolution was passed 54-12 by the university’s Faculty Senate, which conceived it last month in the wake of the suit to “reaffirm” their “commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
  • ACES Plus seeks to hire faculty from “underrepresented minority groups,” which a memo defined as “African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians.”
  • The program is set to be implemented across the TAMU System, which includes TAMU and 10 other state-run universities.
  • University of Texas at Austin finance professor Richard Lowery, who filed the suit, said the program violates Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibit sex and racial discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding.
  • Faculty senators who opposed the resolution believe the program may actually be illegal, with one questioning the logic of even debating such a resolution amid the program’s legal woes.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) has passed a resolution endorsing its pro-diversity programs, including one accused of anti-Asian and anti-white discrimination in an ongoing class-action lawsuit.

The resolution, which was passed by the Faculty Senate, was conceived last month in the wake of the suit filed by Richard Lowery, a finance professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Several members reportedly asked the body to “reaffirm its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

K-pop star Crush denies accusations he avoided dark-skinned fans at concert

crushed by crush
  • K-pop artist Crush has responded to backlash surrounding viral footage that purportedly shows him avoiding Black fans during a recent performance.
  • In the videos, the R&B star can be seen shaking some audience members' hands during a concert performance but appears to be skipping those with darker skin.
  • Two Black roommates who claim to have been among those avoided took to Twitter to lament that they were hurt because they were both longtime Crush fans.
  • In response, Crush posted an explanation on Instagram, claiming it was a misunderstanding: “I would like to explain that I had to refrain from giving out high-fives with the fans in particular sections as a safety precaution - fans were getting too close to the fences holding up the audience section and I saw that those in the front row were getting pushed against the fence, so I made a quick judgment not to approach for the safety of my fans.”
  • Some commenters were not convinced and even brought up the time Crush wore a blackface mask on the Korean program “King of Mask Singer.”

K-pop artist Crush has denied online allegations that he discriminated against fans with darker skin during a recent performance. 

Viral footage of the R&B singer performing at the 2022 Someday Plemora Festival on Oct. 9 shows him high-fiving audience members but allegedly skipping Black fans. 

Asian women in US financial sector say bamboo ceiling prevented their career advancement, study reveals

career hurdles study
  • The Association of Asian American Investment Managers surveyed more than 600 women who identify as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and work in investment management from different backgrounds.
  • About 60% of Asian American women who work in the financial sector say their race and gender have hindered their career advancements.
  • Eight in 10 of the women noted that the so-called “bamboo ceiling” has hindered them from rising through the senior management ranks.

About 60% of Asian American women who work in the U.S. financial sector say their race and gender have hindered their career advancements, according to a new study published on Tuesday.

The Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM) surveyed more than 600 women who identify as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and work in investment management from different backgrounds.

Texas A&M faces class-action suit alleging discrimination against Asian and white men

Texas A&M lawsuit
  • Richard Lowery, a finance professor at University of Texas at Austin, filed a federal class-action suit against the Texas A&M University System on Saturday over a new fellowship program geared toward diversifying its faculty.
  • The program, dubbed as Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship Faculty Fellows Program (ACES) Plus, seeks to hire faculty from “underrepresented minority groups” that exclude Asian Americans.
  • Lowery, who is white, claims that ACES Plus violates Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibit sex and racial discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding, as well as Section 1981 (42 U.S.C. § 1981) and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
  • Lowery is represented by America First Legal, a nonprofit co-founded by former Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller and former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell.

The Texas A&M University System has been hit with a federal class-action suit accusing it of discriminating against Asian and white men in a new fellowship program focused on diversifying its faculty.

Richard Lowery, a finance professor at the University of Texas at Austin, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Saturday. He is represented by America First Legal, a nonprofit co-founded by Stephen Miller, who served as a policy adviser for former President Donald Trump, and Jonathan Mitchell, a former Texas solicitor general who helped write the state’s six-week abortion ban, as per the Texas Tribune.

Amazon discriminating against Asians, whites in grant program, class action lawsuit says

  • A new class action lawsuit is accusing Amazon of discriminating against Asian and white applicants through its so-called “Diversity Grant.”
  • The grant awards a $10,000 stipend to Black, Latinx and Native American entrepreneurs to become delivery service partners, leaving Asian and white applicants to “foot the entire bill for their startup costs,” the suit said.
  • Plaintiff Crystal Bolduc, a white woman, “seeks to represent a class of all past and future applicants" to the program “who have been subjected to racial discrimination” and wants Amazon to pay them damages.
  • Bolduc’s suit also cited Amazon’s “Black Business Accelerator,” a separate initiative that grants Black-owned businesses $500 in credit, as another case of “unlawful racial discrimination.”
  • The suit contends that Amazon has violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which forbids racial discrimination in contracting.

Amazon is discriminating against Asian and white applicants in a grant program for delivery start-ups, a new class action lawsuit claims.

Dubbed the “Diversity Grant,” the program awards $10,000 stipends to Black, Latinx and Native American entrepreneurs to become delivery service partners, leaving out Asian and white hopefuls to “foot the entire bill for their startup costs,” according to the suit.

Asian American attorney says she was passed up for promotions because of her race in federal lawsuit

An Asian American attorney based in Darien, Connecticut, has launched a federal lawsuit against her former employer for allegedly discriminating against her due to her race and sex.

Michelle Lee, who worked at Darien-based Portfolio Advisors for about 15 years, claims she received “racialized comments” and “repeated sexual remarks and advances” from colleagues at the firm. Supervisors who knew some of such incidents allegedly failed to provide a remedy.

Pfizer excludes Asian, white applicants from 9-year scholarship program

  • Pfizer is excluding Asian and white applicants from its new nine-year program for scholarships and guaranteed employment.
  • Open to undergraduate students in their junior year, the “Breakthrough Fellowship Program” will offer an initial 10-week summer internship, two years of full-time employment after undergraduate graduation, a fully-paid two-year MBA, MPH or MS Statistics program, another summer internship between the first and second years of the chosen master’s program, and finally, employment with Pfizer after graduation.
  • Lawyers have questioned the legality of the program, citing federal laws that prohibit racial discrimination in both contracting and employment.
  • However, a Pfizer spokesperson said the company has “every confidence that all of our actions comply fully with all U.S. employment laws.”
  • While banning Asian and white applicants from the new program, Pfizer also said it is an “equal opportunity employer,” citing availability of supposedly similar programs “throughout the year.”

Pfizer has excluded Asian and white applicants in its new “Breakthrough Fellowship Program,” a nine-year commitment that aims to boost minority representation in its workforce.

Available to undergraduate students in their junior year, the program will offer an initial 10-week summer internship, two years of full-time employment after undergraduate graduation, a fully paid two-year MBA, MPH or MS Statistics program, another summer internship between the first and second years of the chosen master’s program, and finally, employment with Pfizer after graduation.

Indonesian university apologizes for discriminating against non-binary new student

UNHAS VIRAL INCIDENT
  • Hasanuddin University, located in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, has come under fire after a viral video showed a faculty member dismiss a new student for identifying as non-binary.
  • Law Faculty Deputy Dean Hasrul allegedly called out Muhammad Nabil Arif Adhitya for displaying “unconventional mannerisms” and sitting between male and female students during a campus orientation.
  • Muhammad was forced to stand on stage and explain themself but was eventually ordered to leave the event.
  • Muhammad was reportedly held inside a lecturer’s room, where they had to declare themself as a male.
  • A day after the incident, University Rector Jamaluddin Jompa assured reporters that the institution is “inclusive” and “open for all.”
  • Hasanuddin University, better known as Unhas, is located in the city of Makassar, which is home to the ethnic Bugis people who recognize five genders.

A university in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi has reportedly apologized after a new student accused a faculty member of discriminating against them because of their gender — in public.

The incident reportedly occurred during a campus orientation for new law students at Hasanuddin University, better known as Unhas, on Friday. The student in question, Muhammad Nabil Arif Adhitya, was allegedly called out by Law Faculty Deputy Dean Hasrul for “unconventional mannerisms.”