Posted on April 20, 2005

Radio Salesman Awarded $600,000 In Racial Hostility Complaint

Maryclaire Dale, AP, Apr. 19

PHILADELPHIA — A former salesman for the Philadelphia Eagles Radio Network was awarded $614,000 in a discrimination case after being given a book that advised blacks selling to whites not to wear Afros or African-style clothing.

“It’s been a very tough road, standing up for what you believe in,” said plaintiff Shawn Brooks, 34, a native of Camden, N.J., who said his family is of mixed race.

Supervisors at the radio network, which is affiliated with WYSP-FM, distributed an advice book called “New Dress for Success” by John T. Molloy in May 2001, Brooks said. The book also advises Hispanic salespeople to “avoid any hair tonic that tends to give a greasy or shiny look to the hair; this also triggers a negative reaction.”

Brooks complained to a supervisor, but got no response, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission found. He resigned less than a year into the job, despite the potential to earn $130,000 a year in salary and commissions.

The commission awarded Brooks $614,000 on Feb. 28.

“This is the most egregious case of published documentation on stereotyping and bias toward race, gender and religion in the workplace the commissioners have seen in a long time,” commission Chairman Stephen A. Glassman said.