A black man fired from a New Jersey Benjamin Moore Paints store filed a lawsuit against the paint giant because he says they named a color after him and he was terminated when he complained.
Clinton Tucker, who worked on a project to create a new line of paints, says the store used his name to describe two of their brown colors: “Clinton Brown” and “Tucker Chocolate.” The suit also notes a color called “Confederate Red.”
“Being a black man named Clinton Tucker, the plaintiff found this to be extremely racially offensive,” says the complaint, filed in Essex County Court.
Tucker, 34, claims the store didn’t take his complaints seriously and then unlawfully terminated him in March.
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“Despite Mr. Tucker’s repeated complaints and protestations to [Benjamin Moore] management about these appallingly racial color names, no action was ever taken,” the suit reads. The colors are still reportedly being sold in stores and online.
“Tucker found it to be repulsive,” the complaint states. “Coupled with ‘Tucker Chocolate,’ it was racially offensive and demeaning to Clinton Tucker.”
The complaint alleges that Tucker was forced to work in a “toxic” environment where “it was clear” he wasn’t “part of the traditional culture of the company.”
He claims that he had nine years experience in online retail, but he was continuously passed up for promotion while they were given to white employees.
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He seeks compensatory and punitive damages for discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment.