Bangladeshi Pro Bono Client Wins Settlement in Discrimination Case

December 18, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb won a settlement for pro bono client M. K., who was allegedly terminated from his employment as a busser at midtown restaurant Trattoria Dell’Arte on the basis of his race. M. K. claimed that upon his return from an approved leave to Bangladesh in 2006, a new manager at the restaurant refused to allow him to return to work, stating that the restaurant would be hiring “no more Bangladeshis.”

With the help of the Urban Justice Center, M. K. filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2007. The EEOC dismissed the case and issued a right to sue letter in January 2009. Cleary Gottlieb then took over the case, filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in April 2009 that alleged discrimination on the basis of race and/or national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York City Human Rights Law, and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. After some discovery, defendants agreed to settle the case for a substantially larger amount than an earlier offer made before the EEOC.