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Former Black Warehouseman Says Working at D’Arrigo Bros. Was No ‘Bowl of Fruit’

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New York Civil Rights Attorney Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., alleges in a federal lawsuit that D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York, Inc., fostered a hostile work environment by ignoring and condoning racially offensive behavior in the workplace
 April 13, 2012 (New York-NY) – Darren Smith says working at the D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York, Inc., was analogous to working on a “plantation.”

Smith, who is African American, said that he started working at D’Arrigo Bros. on June 5, 2001 and endured racially offensive behavior from several white supervisors and managers but did not quit because he feared he would not find another job in the current economic climate.
The lawsuit alleges that from June 5, 2001 through his termination, on August 5, 2011, defendants’ LARRY HETZ (Caucasian Male) and TIMOTHY HARRISON (Caucasian Male) belittled and degraded the minority male employees using racially offensive jokes, poor work assignments and no promotional opportunities.  The lawsuit alleges that defendants LARRY HETZ and TIMOTHY HARRISON along with the other Caucasian male employees would say things such as: “Why are aspirins White? Because they work; what did God say when he saw the first Black man?  Oops, I burnt one; how many Black people does it take to pave a road?  Depends on how heavy the roller is,” just to name a few.

“I was disgusted everyday experiencing how they treated us.  They treated us like slaves, throwing us scraps of food after they picked what they wanted, it was disgusting” says Smith.  “The guys would just allow themselves to be treated like garbage.”

Sanders said that the management routinely violated federal, state and city Civil Rights Laws by failing to take appropriate action to discipline offending employees.
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed suit on March 28, 2012.  The name of the case is: Darren Smith v. D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York, Inc., et al., Docket No.: 12 cv 2308.
The Sanders Firm, P.C., is a nationally recognized law firm serving the Greater New York City Area focused on cases involving Civil Rights, civil service law and immigration rights.
Read press release
Read federal lawsuit

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