Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Call someone "Buckwheat" and it can cost you a million
A lawyer who represents federal employees who have been discriminated against said the payment of $900,000 by a federal agency to an employee whose feelings were hurt by a race-tinged “Little Rascals” reference appears “monstrously excessive” based on past precedent.
He said it could have been designed to prevent a wider, public investigation that would have exposed more serious misconduct at Ginnie Mae, the mortgage agency within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Ginnie Mae Chief Operating Officer Mary Kinney once called a black employee “Buckwheat,” a minstrel-like character from the 1930s films. A subordinate later authorized the nearly $1 million taxpayer lump sum payment last year to secure a promise from the offended woman that she wouldn’t file a public lawsuit.