American Express Ex-Employee Claims He Got Fired for Being White, Media Says
© AP Photo / Mark LennihanAmerican Express logo
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
A complaint filed by Netzel argued that his termination was “the direct result” of him being an older white male, which is apparently “demographic the company specifically sought to reduce in managerial positions” like his own.
Brian Netzel, a 62-year-old former client manager for American Express in Arizona, has claimed that his employment with the company was terminated due to him being white and because of his opposition to the company’s “diversity agenda,” as The Washington Times puts it.
According to the newspaper, Netzel filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October and entered mediation with AmEx last week.
“My termination was the direct result of me being an older white male, a demographic the company specifically sought to reduce in managerial positions like my own, and indirect retaliation for my stated opposition to AmEx’s racially discriminatory and hostile policies,” Netzel’s complaint said
American Express reportedly introduced “training based on critical race theory” following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, and ordered the company’s employees to “undergo ‘anti-racist’ training sessions in which they were compelled to identify their ‘privilege’ and define themselves by ‘race, sexual orientation, body type, religion, disability status, age, gender identity [and] citizenship.'"
27 October 2021, 21:11 GMT
David Pivtorak, Netzel’s attorney, also mentioned that AmEx cited his client’s social media posts during termination, as well as “a private text discussion he had with a friend over whether Popeye’s or Chick-fil-A had superior fried chicken.”
“I had posted jokes critical of the ‘woke-ism’ taking over the country and also been critical of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the street in Manhattan outside of Trump Tower,” Netzel said.
Pivtorak also noted that his client’s position in the company was eliminated by “another executive who would profit by dismissing White employees”, rather than by Netzel’s “direct supervisor for cause,” with the attorney saying: “There was an extremely shady procedural aspect to all this.”
Meanwhile, AmEx reportedly insisted that Netzel’s claim is “without merit,” with company spokeswoman Leah Gerstner arguing that they have “a longstanding commitment to living our company values, which includes fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where all colleagues feel welcome and heard and have equal opportunities to thrive.”
“Our diversity, equity and inclusion programs are singularly about upholding this commitment, and are not based on any specific theory, nor are they targeted to a specific group of employees,” she said. “Advancement and compensation within our company is based solely on individual business and leadership performance. Any characterization of our company and culture to the contrary is just wrong.”