Screenshot by Christian Cooper/NPR via Facebook
White woman Amy Cooper, who received widespread backlash in 2020 for calling police over a black man bird-watching in New York’s Central Park, has lost her lawsuit against the employer who fired her after the incident.
In May 2021, Cooper filed a lawsuit against his former employer, the investment firm Franklin Templeton, where he worked as a portfolio manager.
“Following our internal review of what happened yesterday in Central Park, we have made the decision to immediately terminate the employee involved. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company said.
She was fired the day she called the police on Christian Cooper (they are not related) after he told her to keep her dog on a leash in a part of the park where dogs are required to be on leash .
In her lawsuit, Amy Cooper alleged that she was fired on the basis of race and gender, and that Franklin Templeton denigrated her and caused her emotional distress.
US District Judge Ronnie Abrams dismissed Cooper’s claims of racial discrimination, arguing that Franklin Templeton never mentioned her race in any of her statements, but “condemned racism”.
Amy Cooper additionally claimed that after three male employees were not fired after being convicted of sexual assault and inside training, as well as domestic violence convictions, they were being held second-class because of their sex. Had been.
But Abrams ruled Cooper and his coworkers’ circumstances, such as status, experience, and performance, had to be the same for his gender discrimination claim to be valid.
“The misconduct that the plaintiff’s proposed comparator allegedly engaged—which runs the gamut from plagiarism to insider trading to a conviction for a felony—is simply too different to compare its conduct in this case.” It is,” Abrams said.
Amy Cooper claims that the employer did not fully investigate the incident because they failed to review 911 calls or community board meeting records of Christian Cooper’s alleged past encounters with dog owners.
But Amy Cooper never alleged that the company failed to discuss her behavior with her, and her lawyers acknowledged that Franklin Templeton watched the video, which is enough to constitute an internal review, Abrams said. .
“I just have to commend our crisis management team, it was a holiday,” Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson said in a Bloomberg interview. “Everybody got together. We needed to spend time getting the facts out. Sometimes videos can be manipulated and so you have to make sure you’ve reviewed all the facts. I guess The facts in this case were indisputable, and we were able to take a speedy decision.”