Former JPMC Worker Sued Over Race Discrimination

August 6, 2003 ( - A black former employee of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s high-yield corporate finance group has charged in a lawsuit that the bank ignored his complaints about coworkers racial jokes and ethnic slurs.

According to a Dow Jones report, plaintiff Hassaun Valentine claimed that one colleague, an analyst, hummed slave hymns on one occasion and made racist remarks on an almost daily basis for a year.

Valentine, who seeks an unspecified amount in damages and a court order forcing the firm to change its practices, also claimed that an associate who supervised Valentine’s work on a bond offering repeatedly told him that slavery had been beneficial for African- Americans.

Valentine says in the suit he was hired to work for the firm immediately after his graduation from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a historically black university in Greensboro, North Carolina. His job duties included building financial models, creating pitchbooks and conducting road shows for potential investors. Valentine worked at the firm from July 2000 until his contract expired in August 2002.

Valentine contends the firm retaliated against him when he complained about the treatment, giving him no significant new assignments. J.P. Morgan “took no appropriate remedial action,” he claimed in the suit.