The PJ Tatler

White Men Can't Sue for Sexual Discrimination

I have no idea if the allegations against Archie Comics CEO Nancy Silberkleit by her male co-workers are true or not. They are bizarre, reports the NY Daily News. Five male co-workers allege that she interrupts meetings shouting “Penis!” whenever they talk instead of using their names, among other nutty antics. As you can imagine, the men have a problem with this.

[H]er fellow CEO, Jonathan Goldwater, filed suit seeking her ouster her in 2011, charging she was unstable and threatening to run the company into the ground.

That case settled last year, with an agreement that Silberkleit would have limited interactions with the employees, and that a go-between would represent her interests with the company.

The dispute erupted again earlier this year, when the go-between Silberkleit selected, Samuel Levitin, filed papers in Westchester  Surrogate’s Court charging that she’d become unhinged – and even wanted to tart up beloved characters Betty and Veronica. He said she needed to be removed altogether.

Silberkleit responded with claims Levitin had sexually harassed her – and demanded that he get the boot. That case is still pending.

Then in October came the $32.5 million suit by the Archie employees. They’re seeking a court order keeping her two miles away from the office, and say her “deliberate and disturbed campaign of outrageous conduct” has them so freaked out an armed guard’s been posted in the office.

Archie Comics is a family-owned business, she inherited the job, so she can’t just be voted out and dispatched. She has her lawyers arguing in court that the whole case should be thrown out, because of who her accusers are:

The co-CEO of Archie Comics’ says she couldn’t have discriminated against her underlings –  because they’re white men.

In papers filed in Westchester Supreme Court, Nancy Silberkleit’s lawyer says a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against her earlier this year by a group of Archie Comics employees should be tossed in part because white guys aren’t members of “a protected class.”

Do you have to be a member of a “protected class” to be treated fairly under the law? Is that where we are now?