*Clinton Tucker was not happy with his employer naming a paint color after him. Perhaps he would have felt differently if the name was something of a more complimentary nature like, “Totally Tucker” or “Cool Clinton.” But he felt the name given to a deep chocolate paint color that held his name was racist, and when he let his employer, Benjamin Moore Paints, know it offended him, he was fired.
Now Tucker, a New Jersey resident, has filed a lawsuit against his former employer.
Clinton Tucker managed online sales for Benjamin Moore, a company owned by the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Tucker was not amused by the names of several of the company’s paint colors, “Clinton Brown,” “Tucker Chocolate,” and “Confederate Red.”
“Being a black man named Clinton Tucker, the plaintiff found this to be extremely racially offensive,” reads the complaint, filed in Essex County Court.
According to Tucker, the executive management at the paint company knew that he was offended by the paint names, but didn’t take him or his complaints seriously. What they did do instead was terminate him — allegedly unlawfully — in March 2014.
Tucker worked on a project to create a new line of paint colors. One of the shades was given the name “Tucker Chocolate.”
The company already had a color named “Clinton Brown.”
A co-worker pointed out the names of the two paint colors, which together contained Tucker’s first and last name, and thought it was funny, according to the lawsuit.
“Tucker found it to be repulsive,” the complaint reads.
“Coupled with ‘Tucker Chocolate,’ it was racially offensive and demeaning to Clinton Tucker.”
Tucker claims that in a meeting in which employees were asked about their favorite Benjamin Moore colors, he turned to a supervisor and said “well you know my least favorite colors.”
A colleague then spoke up, saying “if you think that is bad, what about Confederate Red?”
“Confederate Red” is another Benjamin Moore paint whose name seemingly references the southern side of the U.S. Civil War.
“Despite Mr. Tucker’s repeated complaints and protestations to [Benjamin Moore] management about these appallingly racial color names, no action was ever taken,” Tucker’s suit reads, pointing out that the company still sells the paint colors at its stores and online.
Tucker made other allegations, including that the company has a “toxic” work environment that is hostile to minorities.
An admitted homosexual, Tucker, 34, knew that he did not fit into the traditional culture of the company when he joined them in 2011. Approximately 10 of Benjamin Moore’s New Jersey headquarters’ employees were black and only one was homosexual, the suit claims.
The “toxic” work environment also disregarded Tucker’s request to take off to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Benjamin Moore Paints has yet to comment on the issue.
Read more about this at Yahoo News.