You talk about vengeance.
A New Jersey school groundskeeper is suing the district where he works, alleging his bosses only promote employees with Italian last names.
Brian Taylor said the Wayne Township Public School District rolled right past him for better-paying jobs despite decades of “superior” performance, according to court papers cited by nj.com.
Taylor alleges his managers promoted two men of Italian heritage while he got bumped to a lower-paying gig, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 9 in Superior Court of Passaic County.
“[The district] was either oblivious to this nepotism or simply didn’t care,” the suit states.
Taylor — who earns $57,676 annually and has worked for the district for 27 years — then got an offer he couldn’t refuse.
According to the lawsuit, he was involuntarily moved in September 2019 to a custodian position that didn’t allow for as much overtime, while his groundskeeping job was handed over to a supervisor’s brother-in-law from Italy.
“[He] helped various relatives of his minions get jobs with the district, such as wives, children, a brother-in-law and a god son,” the suit states, adding the relatives all had Italian surnames.
When Taylor’s union rep filed a complaint about the transfer — and he got back his groundskeeping job in June 2021 — the district allegedly exacted its own revenge.
“[He] suffered the intended harsh sting of retaliation and discrimination,” according to the suit.
The suit alleges the school district violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act by retaliating after Taylor’s discrimination complaint. He’s seeking an unspecified amount for the resulting mental distress and humiliation.
The board of education’s attorney, John Geppert Jr., denied any discrimination.
“The Wayne Board of Education vigorously disputes all allegations made by Mr. Taylor and looks forward to presenting the district’s case in court,” Geppert told nj.com. “The district’s administrators and the board of education have always acted appropriately and in full compliance with all laws in this matter.”
The town of Wayne, with a reported population of 54,717 five years ago, included 14,810 Italian Americans.