A 61-year old white woman has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Baltimore prosecutor’s office alleging that she was fired in 2010 based on age, race, and gender discrimination. Antoinette E. Swiec is seeking $400,000 in compensation from the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office on each of two counts. She claims that she was fired because African American employees in the division she worked wanted her out.
Swiec was the office manager of the Firearms Investigation and Violence Enforcement Unit and had been working at the Baltimore prosecutor’s office for more than 25 years. She supervised a four-person clerical staff that was “exclusively African American and predominantly young.” Her reporting authority, Matthew Fraling was also African American.
Swiec claims that the staff “had difficulty in conforming to the requirements of a professional workplace.” Her concerns were ignored and her supervisor suggested in November 2010 that she swap positions with the clerical supervisor of the Economic Crimes Unit. Ostensibly, her supervisor felt that it be better for her as “she would supervise a staff that included all white lawyers and support staff of two older black clerical workers and a white investigator.”
Her supervisor claimed that the arrangement was suggested to promote a ‘better mix.’ However, when Swiec did not accept the offer, a personnel liaison asked her to reconsider the move as she would no longer be required to “deal with youngsters.”
She was fired within a week of the suggestion for improperly contacting a judge’s chamber. According to Swiec, her nephew was serving on a jury and she wanted to meet him, but to be sure called the judge’s chamber on the advice of a prosecutor to learn when the trial would break.
She was admonished by the judge for making the call.
However, her termination left her flabbergasted. The lawsuit states, “The circumstances of this alleged termination had no basis and were pretextual.” Swiec claims that there are no professional rules that mandate calling a judge’s office could lead to termination of her job. The lawsuit alleges, “The desire of the defendant employer was to satisfy the desires of the staff to see plaintiff removed as their supervisor one way or the other.”White Woman Alleges Baltimore Prosecutor’s Office Terminated Her for Her Race by Harrison Barnes