A Black man on Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s executive leadership team has filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing the organization of discrimination.
Samuel Ricarlos Mitchell, Jr. alleged in the lawsuit that he has faced a “campaign of discrimination” since he was hired as interim chief operating officer in September 2021. He was brought on permanently in April 2022.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jacquelyn Marrero told The Daily News in a statement that “the spurious allegations” were false.
Planned Parenthood of Greater New York has not responded to requests for comment.
According to The Christian Post, Mitchell says that PPGNY required him to have “a disproportionate number of background checks due to his age, race, color, disability, and gender."
The lawsuit lists PPGNY and others who hold executive or board member roles, including Wendy Stark, Andrea Hagan, Anne Davis and Gillian Dean, as defendants.
Mitchell says that in October 2021, Hagan found out that Mitchell was an ordained pastor and felt like other board members insinuated that Christians “were not welcome to work for PPGNY.”
He also said board members tried to investigate his church and its pro-life beliefs.
When Mitchell filed a formal complaint in October 2021, he said Hagan “began disproportionately and excessively monitoring and micromanaging" him.
In November 2021, he says employees mocked him for his southern accent and his stutter.
Then in August 2022, he said the board decided on hiring a white co-worker to hold the interim CEO role instead of him. He said the organization had a “long-standing policy” that put the “second in command” in line for the promotion.
According to the complaint, PPGNY staff also allegedly used “racist terms” to refer to him, calling him “angry, aggressive, and out of control.”
Mitchell said he heard Dean once refer to a Black executive at the organization as a “loud black woman.”
"This lawsuit is meant to shine a light on the discriminatory and retaliatory employment practices that permeate the organization and bring justice to Mr. Mitchell for the unrelenting discriminatory practices he has and continues to endure," the lawsuit reads.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Andrew Burton/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.