Former AAMCO executive Jerome Staley filed a federal suit against the company alleging they practiced racial discrimination and paid him less than white employees, according to NBC News. He claims his pay was thousands less than other executives.
In the suit, Staley said he’s been working at the company since 2018 starting off as a regional manager then climbing the ladder to vice president of operations. Per the suit, he was also the first Black executive employee at the company. However, in 2021 he learned he was earning $40,000 less than his white counterparts, leading him to report the finding to the higher ups.
In response, Staley said he was told by the CEO, James Gregory, that “he makes enough.” However, following this correspondence, Staley said his $11,000 bonus was withheld because he didn’t “sufficiently train his team.” Yet, his territory ranked No. 1 in performance.
Predominantly white companies have often built a reputation for responding hastily to racial discrimination allegations. If these allegations are true, it’s only another example of the hundreds of Black employees who face retaliation when they stand up about such mistreatment.
Read more about Staley’s suit from NBC News:
He said the larger reckoning that prompted a wave of American companies to re-examine the racial makeup of their boardrooms and increase diversity hiring is still awaiting other businesses where employees of color are being taken for granted.
“Black lives only matter when they want to make it a mission statement,” Staley said Wednesday, “but they don’t matter when they have to pay out of their own pockets.”
Staley has since given up his attempt to become a co-franchisee and is now employed with Public Storage’s corporate offices. His lawsuit, which claims his civil rights were violated, is seeking compensatory damages.