Christian Cooper via Facebook/Screenshot by NPR
Amy Cooper, the white woman who received widespread backlash in 2020 for calling police on a black man birdwatching in New York’s Central Park, lost her case against the employer who fired her following a the incident.
In May 2021, Cooper filed suit against her former employer, investment firm Franklin Templeton, where she worked as a portfolio manager.
“Following our internal review of the Central Park incident yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company said. society.
She was fired the day after she called the police about Christian Cooper (they are unrelated) after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, in a part of the park where dogs must be kept on a leash.
In her lawsuit, Amy Cooper alleges that she was fired because of her race and gender, and that Franklin Templeton defamed her and caused her emotional distress.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams dismissed Cooper’s claims of racial discrimination, finding that Franklin Templeton never referenced his race in any of their statements, but made “condemnations of racism”.
Amy Cooper also claimed she was held to a double standard in her job because of her gender, after three male staff members were not fired following allegations of sexual harassment and job training. insiders, as well as a conviction for domestic violence.
But Abrams ruled that the circumstances of Cooper and his colleagues, such as position, experience and performance, would have to be similar for his claims of sex discrimination to be valid.
“The misconduct in which plaintiff’s proposed comparators allegedly engaged – ranging from plagiarism to insider trading to felony convictions – is simply too different to be comparable to her conduct in this case,” said Abrams said.
Amy Cooper claims the employer failed to fully investigate the incident because it did not review the 911 call she made or the minutes of the company’s board meetings. the community regarding Christian Cooper’s alleged past encounters with dog owners.
But Amy Cooper never alleged the company failed to discuss her behavior with her, and her attorneys admitted that Franklin Templeton watched the video, which is enough to constitute an internal review, Abrams said.
“I just have to congratulate our crisis management team, it was a holiday,” Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Everyone came together. We had to spend time getting the facts. Sometimes videos can be manipulated and so you have to make sure you’ve looked at all the facts. I think the facts were undisputed in this case. , and we were able to make a quick decision.”