A marketing executive who was fired for being a white male and replaced by two woman, one of whom was black, as part of a diversity goal, has been awarded a $10 million dollar discrimination payout.
David Duvall sued Novant Health in North Carolina after working there for five years as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication and receiving plaudits for his contribution.
However, Duvall was terminated shortly before reaching an anniversary that would have secured him a higher severance pay than he was given.
As part of the company’s “diversity and inclusion program,” Duvall was “replaced by two women – Kate Everett, a white woman who had worked with him and was promoted to take the role of Chief PR and Communications Officer and Vicky Free, a black woman who was given the role of Chief Marketing Officer,” reports the Daily Mail.
Duvall’s attorneys argued that he was fired “because he was a white man” and was sacrificed so the company could meet its five year plan to boost diversity by 2020.
“They said he wasn’t the only white executive fired; in his complaint, he says the Chief Legal Officer, Medical Group President, Chief Information Officer, Patient Experience Officer and President of Haymarket Medical Center were all replaced either by a black person or a woman in the 12-18 months after him.”
After a jury were convinced by the argument that Duvall was terminated for no other reason than his race and gender, the former exec won a $10 million reverse discrimination lawsuit.
“The jury was clearly sending a message to punish Novant for doing this,” Fox 46 Charlotte’s Seema Iyer said.
“Duvall was a strong advocate of diversity at Novant,” said S. Luke Largess of Charlotte, Duvall’s attorney. “We believe the punitive damages award is a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees in order to achieve greater diversity in the workforce.”
As we previously highlighted, a prestigious art museum in Chicago fired hundreds of unpaid volunteers and replaced them with paid workers because they were too white.
A similar thing happened last month when the English Touring Opera (ETO) kicked out half of its orchestral players in an effort to prioritize “increased diversity in the orchestra.”
This is another reminder that the only form of ‘acceptable’ institutionalized racism is targeted against white people.
The fact that Duvall won however should set a good precedent that makes this less likely to happen in future.