Black Bus Driver Sues Hasidic School Over Firing

An African-American bus driver for a haredi Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn filed a $2 million lawsuit against the school alleging discrimination.

The lawsuit by Willis Baker against the U
of Boro Park was filed recently in U.S. District Court in New York, according to Newsweek, which first reported the lawsuit on Tuesday. Baker was the only African-American bus driver at the school from July 2014 to December 2014, according to the magazine.

Baker said in the lawsuit that he was referred to as “monkey” and “blackie” by student, who also threw objects at him while he was driving, and that Yanke Schaefer, who hired him, called him his “monkey friend” in front of others. The suit, which also names Schaefer, also alleges that Baker was required to clean and service buses driven by the non-African-American drivers, the only driver ordered to do so, and he was not paid for the additional work.

The lawsuit also claims money was deducted from Baker’s paycheck for accidents that he says never occurred. He was fired after a car scraped itself against his bus while making a wild turn.

Baker says he was denied back wages and overtime pay.

Schaefer denies the accusations and says that Baker had at least five accidents with his bus.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Black Bus Driver Sues Hasidic School Over Firing

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close