Black Worker: I Was Fired Over 'Racist' Paint Names

Ex-Benjamin Moore employee is suing the company

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 30, 2014 5:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A former worker at Benjamin Moore paints says he got fired after complaining about "racially insulting" paint-color names like "Clinton Brown" and "Tucker Chocolate"—and he's suing the company for it, the Daily Caller reports. Clinton Tucker, a black 34-year-old who identifies in the suit as gay, claims the "Tucker Chocolate" paint was named after him. He says a co-worker at the New Jersey office joked that with "Clinton Brown," the two paints contained both his names. "Tucker found it to be repulsive," the suit says.

When he complained about "Tucker Chocolate" at a meeting "with at least eight people including his supervisor, this was met with awkward silence," according to the lawsuit, Courthouse News reports. Tucker—who had worked in online retail marketing for nine years and launched an online campaign for the company—also claims that his request for a day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was denied, and a superior "just mockingly smirked at the plaintiff" when the day came. Tucker says he was denied promotions and unfairly terminated in March. No word yet from Benjamin Moore on the legal action.

This image provided by Benjamin Moore shows a fan deck of paint colors that consumers can look through at a hardware store to help them decide what color paint to buy.
This image provided by Benjamin Moore shows a fan deck of paint colors that consumers can look through at a hardware store to help them decide what color paint to buy.   (AP Photo/Benjamin Moore)
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