Bank Sued After Firing ‘Biggest Loser’ Star

     DETROIT (CN) — Challenging her recent firing from Comerica Bank, a former contestant on television’s “The Biggest Loser” claims in court that she was routinely harassed because of her weight and race.
     Early on in her Aug. 16 complaint, Carla Triplett notes that she “is a beautiful, full-figured, African-American woman.”
     After 18 years working for Comerica — at locations in Highland Park and Dearborn, Michigan — Triplett says she took a six-month leave of absence in 2008 to compete on the weight-loss reality show “The Biggest Loser.”
     Triplett’s 128-pound weight loss was chronicled in Season 7 of the hit NBC show, but she says co-workers were unimpressed when she returned to work at 243 pounds, telling her she didn’t look “skinny.”
     When the office held its own weight-loss competition for New Year’s 2014, Triplett says she was up to 303 pounds and eager to recommit to her health journey.
     The complaint in Wayne County Circuit Court says colleagues subjected Triplett to ridicule, however, when she performed squats or modified jumping jacks “during down times at work … to prevent from sitting too long.”
     Triplett says one of her managers took a secret video of her performing squats, started laughing and forwarded the video around the office.
     Comerica fired Triplett that July, according to the complaint.
     Triplett says she was singled out over a violation of the bank’s customer-identification program that occurred because she had been following her manager’s instructions.
     That manager, the same man who filmed her squats, was not terminated, according to the complaint — nor was a co-worker who committed a similar violation the year before.
     Both men are of Arabic descent, Triplett notes, and she says her manager did nothing when she was sexually harassed by an Arabic customer.
     In addition to telling Triplett that she dressed nicely for a “big lady,” according to the complaint, the amorous customer also told Triplett that he wanted to “take [her] to heaven [sexually].” (Brackets in original.)
     Triplett says her manager regularly made derogatory comments about her being black, saying for example that she intimidated customers and calling out her interest in rap music.
     Comerica also overlooked Triplett for various promotions after she was transferred to the Dearborn branch, according to the complaint.
     Triplett seeks reinstatement and punitive damages, alleging retaliation and discrimination, among other claims.
     She is represented by Felicia Brock, an attorney with I.A.B. Attorneys at Law in Redford. Brock declined to comment on the case.
     Media relations for Comerica have not returned an email requesting comment.

%d bloggers like this: