Racist Ruins Bank Of America's Vaunted "Spirit Day"

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This didn't go over so well.

What not to wear on Halloween: A white hood, over your head, at the office, before an African-American, especially if you work for one of the nation's largest banks. I know. I should not have to say this. Yet this is allegedly what happened at Bank of America's mortgage office in Greenwood Village, on "Spirit Day," Sept. 17. An e-mail had circulated through the office days earlier: 'Wear your wacky hats Join in the fun!" Richard Brown, an assistant vice president, allegedly took the invitation as an opportunity to don garb that at least one person perceived as Ku Klux Klan attire. Brown didn't return my phone call or e-mail to tell his side of the story. Bank of America spokeswoman Kelly Sapp said the bank takes discrimination claims seriously, that the matter is under investigation, and that appropriate action will be taken. "We don't tolerate attire of any sort that could be considered offensive in the workplace," she said. "Based on the facts as we currently understand them, we do not believe judgment consistent with Bank of America's standards and expectations was demonstrated." Lisa House, 44, a mortgage closer who worked as a contract employee, said she was on her way to the supply room when the sight of a hooded man terrified her. "It wasn't a hat," she said. "It was a mask. And I just sort of froze."

[DP]

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