An African immigrant that attends New York University recently received $210,000 in a lawsuit settlement after he was continuously called a “monkey” and “gorilla” by his supervisor.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in September 2010, states that NYU library employee Osei Agyemang was treated like an animal by his boss for more than two years. Agyemang’s accent was mocked by his boss as “gibberish” and he was continuously told to “go back to your cage”, “go back to he jungle” and asked if he wanted a banana.
The employee complained several times about the harassing attacks, but because he was ignored, the lawsuit ensued. The ridicule did not end until his request for a transfer was approved.
“This suit shows that ugly harassment and retaliation can happen anywhere, even at a prestigious university,” said EEOC attorney Gilliam Thomas, who represented Agyemang in the case.
New York University said that the occasion was a “rare” one and that they would be enhancing their anti-discrimination policies. The supervisor that verbally abused Agyemang no longer works at the institution.