Woman suing BNY Mellon for racial discrimination after being fired over Facebook post about Antwon Rose protesters

By Terri Hill | November 19, 2018

A former analyst at BNY Mellon alleged in a lawsuit filed in Pittsburgh federal court that she was terminated because she is white, the day after she made a Facebook post critical of protesters who were blocking streets after the Antwon Rose shooting.

Lisa Ellis, said Nicole Manns, a black BNY vice president of human resources, pushed for her firing by urging people to contact BNY’s ethics hotline, the lawsuit alleged.

In the filing she said, “Manns targeted Ellis because she was a white person who criticized the protesters.”

However, BNY Mellon maintains Ellis was fired because she violated its code of conduct when she made the Facebook post.

In a June 30, post Ellis wrote “Total BS. Too bad he didnt [sic] have a bus to plow thru,” in response to a Bell Acres councilman who was charged with reckless driving after driving through a group of protesters on the North Shore.

According to the filing, the bank changed the reason for firing Ellis in response to her unemployment claim saying, she was fired because her performance was unsatisfactory.

The complaint alleged that Manns’ boyfriend, Adam Lewis boasted on Facebook that “my woman” is the one at BNY who could get Ms. Ellis fired and sent the post to Ms. Manns.

A BNY Mellon representative refused to comment when asked why the reasons the bank gave for firing Ellis have changed.

Ellis alleges that the unsatisfactory performance claim is just a pretext and “she was an exemplary employee who had consistently received favorable performance reviews during her three-year tenure at BNY Mellon.”

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

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