Workers allegedly involved in a racist incident directed at an Asian American actor have been put on administrative leave and removed from any interaction with the public.
The announcement by Gary Lind, Executive Director of AHRC New York City, was made today on the group’s Facebook page.
“I have directed that the employees of our contractor who were initially implicated in this incident be put on administrative leave and are removed from any public interaction duties,” wrote Lind in his statement. “We will employ an outside law firm to review all of the facts that can be ascertained regarding this incident and to advise us as to the appropriate actions.”
Michael Benzinger in a Facebook post widely shared on the internet accused a janitor at the foundation of calling him a “chink” and was overheard telling a security guard that “all chinks look the same.”
Benzinger complained about the incident to who he described as the “company’s director” and received what he felt was a halfhearted written apology.
In an email made available to AsAmNews, Sharon Fong of AHRC’s personnel resource management, wrote: “AHRC is passionate in its commitment to upholding the principles of non-discrimination, and we have certainly reinforced our expectation of adherence to these principles to the lobby staff. In terms of your complaint, we followed a very strict protocol in investigating it in full, and the result is that we are unable to substantiate the allegation of discriminatory behavior directed towards you in the lobby of 83 Maiden Lane. We apologize for any negative experience you believe you had while in the building.”
After hearing about the suspension, Benzinger told AsAmNews “I’m glad to hear the janitor was put on ‘administrative leave,’ but I want the directors to be suspended without pay for at least two days and be forced to take some racial sensitivity training. The suspension seems unlikely, but the racial sensitivity training is possible.”
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