Racial discrimination suit filed against Price firm Company denies ex-employee's allegation of workplace hostility

The workplace

November 11, 1998|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

A lawsuit that charges T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. with having a "racially hostile work environment" could go to jury trial in U.S. District Court in Maryland next year, the attorney for the plaintiff said yesterday.

The lawsuit filed by Delores A. Wright, an African-American and a former associate processor with the Baltimore mutual fund company, asks for compensatory damages for back pay and loss of future earnings, and damages for mental anguish.

Paul W. Spence, Wright's attorney, said his client has not asked for a specific amount.

"We feel that her allegations are absolutely, totally false and have no basis whatsoever," said Henry Hopkins, T. Rowe's chief legal counsel.

"We're going to pursue the defense with vigor. We do a wonderful job in equal opportunity employment."

Wright filed the racial discrimination lawsuit in September. She worked in the company's Owings Mills office from August 1996 to May 1998.

The lawsuit charges that Wright "experienced, observed and/or learned of racial discrimination in job assignments, advancement, discipline, compensation and other conditions of employment."

The lawsuit also charges that the Price company "engaged in discriminatory practices against the plaintiff regarding the terms and conditions of her employment on the basis of race."

Incidents included working under a supervisor who made racially derogatory remarks and receiving a biased work evaluation that was later revised, but led to more hostility from the supervisor, the lawsuit said.

Wright suffered mental and emotional stress and took a leave in November 1997. While on disability leave, she was terminated in May 1998, according to the lawsuit.

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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