A Pittsburgh woman claimed the Bank of New York Mellon fired her for being white — after she made Facebook comments opining about crowds of anti-racist police brutality protesters being killed.
Pittsburgh's Tribune-Review reported that Lisa Ellis, a former analyst at the BNY Mellon, has filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer for violating her civil rights and discriminating against her due to race.
Ellis claims in the suit that the company violated her rights by firing her "without notice and without conducting an investigation."
Her termination came July 3 after she made a comment on a Facebook thread about a councilman from a nearby town who drove his car through a crowd of people protesting the Pittsburgh police shooting of Antwon Rose, an unarmed black teen.
"Total BS," the former BNY employee wrote in the lengthy Facebook thread. "Too bad he didn't have a bus to plow through."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that in her suit Ellis accused Nicole Manns, a vice president of human resources at BNY who is black, of "orchestrating" her firing because she's white.
"Manns targeted Ellis because she was a white person who criticized the protesters," the suit claimed.
Ellis also claimed that Manns went on the same Facebook thread, which had more than 2,000 comments, and encouraged people to call the BNY hotline about her.
The fired analyst's lawyers argued that her comments had nothing to do with race and rather were about her anger at protesters for blocking the streets and belief that the councilman should not have been charged with reckless driving for plowing through them.
"It's true that Lisa regrets her choice of words," Vincent Colianni, Ellis' lawyer, said in the suit. "But it was never meant as an attack or a criticism of Antwon Rose or his family or the protesters."