PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A black manager claims bosses of a pet store subjected him to racist comments and then replaced him with a white man who had tattoos of a Nazi eagle on one arm and a Confederate flag on the other.
Clayton Wright says he had an exemplary record at the Monster Pets chain, which hired him in October 2003. He was promoted to manager of the store’s fish department, then to manager of the West Philadelphia store.
But he says B&J Pets and Aquariums dba Monster Pets and its co-owners Brian Fennell and Jim Zornes subjected him to racist comments and acts. He claims the bosses told workers to “watch black people in the store because they steal more than they buy.”
Wright says he was the lowest paid of the chain’s six store managers, the rest of whom were white and had less experience than he did.
When he asked if his lower pay were because of his race, he says, he was transferred to New Jersey and put on probation. When he asked a second time, he says, he was fired. He says his replacement “has a tattoo of the Confederate flag on one arm” and “a tattoo of the black eagle, an insignia of Nazi Germany, on the other arm.”
Wright seeks reinstatement, front pay, back pay, and punitive damages for racial discrimination, wrongful firing and retaliation. He is represented by Richard Swartz with Swartz Swidler of Cherry Hill, N.J.