View Full Version : My boss harassed me for being Native American

The Bobster
03-26-2016, 07:22 AM

My boss harassed me for being Native American
By Julia Marsh and Lorena Mongelli
March 26, 2016 | 2:47am

The apartment building on West 98th Street where Anthony Tomahawk says he was taunted. Photo: Robert Miller

An Upper West Side porter named Anthony Tomahawk says his swanky building’s super mocked him for being Native American — making cruel remarks like, “I bet it’s never been this hot in your teepee :D,’’ according to his $2 million lawsuit.

Tomahawk, whose father was a member of the Mohawk tribe, says super Owen Rogers discriminated against him after he started working at the luxury co-op building at 207-215 W. 98th St., where residences go for up to $3 million, in 2011, his suit says.

Antonio Tomahawk
Photo: James Messerschmidt

When Tomahawk once commented on Rogers’ sprawling, three-bedroom apartment in the 90-unit building, the super snidely replied, “Is this bigger than your reservation?” :p according to the porter and court documents, which were filed Friday.

Tomahawk, 52, lives in Woodside, Queens. His father’s tribe is under the Iroquois Confederacy, which was traditionally rooted in New York state. He said his mother was Puerto Rican.

Tomahawk said that after Rogers switched his schedule in 2014 from Tuesday-Saturday to Thursday-Monday, the porter complained. He said it meant he could no longer have weekend visits with his 11-year-old daughter. He is divorced from her mother.

But Rogers balked, he said.

“I’m chief of this tribe,’’ Rogers told Tomahawk, the suit says.

Tomahawk said the overnight shifts, followed by daytime visits with his daughter, were grueling. They meant he had no time to sleep.

As a result, he suffered weight loss, severe headaches, dizziness and chest pains, according to court papers filed by his lawyer, Arthur Schwartz.

“Go see your medicine man,” :D the unsympathetic Rogers cruelly joked to Tomahawk, his suit alleges.

Tomahawk tried making his case to the building’s residents but was suspended without pay after writing a letter to them, the suit says.

He had to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to get his job back, his suit says.

Tomahawk said the building’s management company, Akam Associates, tried to get him to drop the labor charges in exchange for returning to work. He refused and reported Akam to the NLRB for coercion, he said.

“I want my regular schedule back,” said Tomahawk, who is suing Rogers, the building and its management company.

Rogers and a rep for Akam declined comment. The condo’s president, Donald Watnick, did not return messages.

Tomahawk’s lawyer, Schwartz, lamented his client’s position.

“Doormen and porters are subjected to horrible abuse in too many buildings. Minorities, especially Native Americans like Mr. Tomahawk, are victimized even worse,” Schwartz said.