A former Benjamin Moore employee has charged the company in a lawsuit with marketing racially offensive paint colors.
The plaintiff, an African-American man named Clinton Tucker, 34, alleged in court papers that he was wrongfully fired for complaining to management about two Benjamin Moore colors named “Clinton Brown” and “Tucker Chocolate.” He also apparently took exception to “Confederate Red.”
Tucker, who joined the company in June 2011 in the digital marketing department in its New Jersey headquarters, quickly came to the conclusion “that he was not part of the traditional culture of the company,” the Courthouse News Service reports.
In his legal filing, Tucker claimed, “After complaining at other times and openly expressing his repeated disdain to the offensive color names, he claims ‘no action was ever taken by Benjamin Moore to change the names of these colors and they remain on Benjamin Moore’s web site and are still sold on the open market with these racially offensive names,'” the Consumerist reports.
Benjamin Moore fired Tucker in March 2014, although his two white assistants kept their jobs, the lawsuit claims. Tucker also charged the company with passing him over for promotion, not paying him for overtime, and denying his request to take off Martin Luther King Day.
Tucker is seeking money damages for discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment.
On Benjamin Moore’s website, Clinton Brown is described as “A childhood favorite treat matures into adult style chic in this perfectly balanced chocolate candy bar brown. Delicious with no added fat or calories,” while Tucker Chocolate is portrayed as “Capturing the 1798 color requested by St. George Tucker for his home facing Courthouse Green, this deep brown is classic and understated.
Tucker’s attorney told The Daily Caller that “Yes, the allegation is the colors were named after my client.”
Benjamin Moore has yet to issue a comment about the discrimination lawsuit that according to the allegations paints a negative picture of the company.
[image credit: Bradley Gordon]