NYU employee files discrimination lawsuit against the university

He claims to have regularly faced discrimination since or around 2008

As reported by Washington Square News today Shem Semei Garrett, a painter at NYU, filed a lawsuit against the university on Tuesday, claiming that he has regularly experienced racial discrimination in the workplace since or around 2008.

In allegations outlined in the lawsuit, he claims to have experienced “unlawful discrimination in violation of federal law based upon race and color,” which include being called racist and derogatory terms by Paint Shop Foreman Nick Nikolaidis. He also references an incident with ex-colleague Chris Diglio, wherein Diglio showed Garrett a noose hung over a pipe in a work area while laughing.

Garrett started working for the university in 1989 and is currently still employed by the university. He is in the only black employee in the majority Greek utility department at the university and desires affirmative relief for “back pay for lost overtime opportunities, compensatory damages” as well as reimbursement for attorneys’ fees and costs that he may have accumulated during the pursuit of the lawsuit. He claims that not only did these instances of discriminatory harassment cause him stress and depression but also affected his interpersonal relationships and work performance at the university.

This discrimination lawsuit comes on the back of a gender discrimination lawsuit filed earlier this year by former NYU professor Dr OraLee Branch against the university and a few of her fellow colleagues for, “among other things, gender discrimination, retaliation and breach of contract.”In her lawsuit, Dr Branch cited an incident in which one of her colleagues told her that “women did not belong in science” and that “she was just a ‘girl’ who was ‘naïve and delusional’ if she thought she could succeed in science.” NYU local reported that the university was going through litigation on this matter last month.