Daryl Robinson used to work for Marriott Vacations Worldwide as a sales executive. He resigned from the company and sued Marriott for racial discrimination, failure to prevent racial discrimination, and retaliation. He seeks punitive and compensatory damages.
In his lawsuit against his former employer, he alleges that he was expected to dance for other employees and endured the humiliation of use of the Buckwheat character in a company meeting.
Mr. Robinson’s director of sales asked him to dance during sales meetings, frequently when Michael Jackson songs were playing. Mr. Robinson found these requests humiliating and intimidating.
Management also engaged in a team-building exercise that asked employees to bring in their baby pictures, and the team would guess which picture matched the adult. Mr. Robinson’s mother was the only person who had baby pictures of him, and she lived out of state. He also was the only black person in the office, so he decided not to participate.
In response, Mr. Robinson’s sales manager said that she would pick a photograph for him, and brought up a picture of Buckwheat on her computer. Mr. Robinson walked out of the meeting and told his supervisors that he found the picture “devastating.” His anxiety increased exponentially, and he was forced to quit, according to the lawsuit.