Alphonso David, the former president of the Human Rights Campaign terminated by the board after he was ensnared in the Governor Andrew Cuomo scandal, sued the nation’s leading LGBTQ group February 3, arguing he was fired as a result of racial discrimination “amid a deserved reputation for unequal treatment of its non-white employees” and was explicitly told he was paid less because he’s Black.
David, speaking with the Washington Blade on Thursday during a phone interview, said he came to the decision to file the lawsuit after practicing civil rights law for 20 years and “never thought that I would be a plaintiff.”
“But I’m in this chair, I was put in this position,” David said. “And as a civil rights lawyer, I couldn’t look the other way. It would be anathema to who I am and it would undermine my integrity and purpose for the work that I do. And so I have to go through and make a very, very difficult personal decision to file this lawsuit.”
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, accuses HRC of violating new state and federal laws for terminating David, who was the organization’s first person of color and Black person to helm the LGBTQ group in its 40-year history. The lawsuit also contends HRC contravened equal pay law in New York by paying David less than his predecessor, Chad Griffin.
After a public dispute with the board in September amid an independent investigation of his role in the Cuomo affair, the HRC boards unceremoniously fired David and shortly afterward announced a still ongoing search for a new president. David was named nearly a dozen times in the damning report by New York Attorney General Letitia James,
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