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Apple sued for racial and sexual discrimination

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A former Apple Computer employee has filed a lawsuit charging the company with discrimination among other charges. The employee, Shaune Patterson, worked as a human resources compensation consultant. Lawyers for Patterson say this may be one of the largest discrimination lawsuits filed against Apple by a lesbian.

In an amended complaint recently filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Patterson alleges she was suspended for one month and then subsequently wrongfully terminated from her position, after she complained that her white counterparts, who were junior to her, were making higher salaries than she was.

Patterson alleges that the suspension came one day after she complained of racial discrimination.

Patterson, on May 16, 2005, amended her original complaint to include claims of sexual orientation and genetic characteristic discrimination. Prior to her one-month suspension, Patterson alleges that one of Apple’s managers wrote a memo describing her as a “rather obese-sized black lesbian.”

“Apple discounted my client's achievements, choosing to base the decision to discipline not on her performance, but rather on her size, race and sexual orientation,” said Patterson’s lawyer, Waukeen McCoy.

San Francisco-based lawyer, Waukeen McCoy was the lead plaintiffs’ attorney in one of the largest U.S. racial discrimination suits, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Corp., which rendered a verdict for US$133 million in August of 2000.


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