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PwC Partner Says His Lack of Whiteness Stifled His Pay; Sues Firm

Ahhhhh, the race card. Just when you think it’s maxed out, another swipe is attempted.

Dunstan Pedropillai, is a partner in PwC’s London office who early in his career was labeled ‘a rising star’ and a ‘star performer’ is suing the firm because, he claims, he doesn’t fit in with the ‘collegiate club-like corporate culture.’ Simply put – his lack of whiteness and Britishness is holding him back. But things weren’t always this way, it seems. The firm reportedly went out of their way to admit him as a partner a year early in 1997. Everything was going swell until he returned from Japan in 2001 when all of a sudden his non-pale face, seemingly, started affecting his career:

‘The original culture of the firm is an extremely strong collegiate club-like corporate culture which has its roots in Anglo-Saxon male culture, which is the major composition of the firm.’ Of his return from Japan, he said: ‘It was as if they had already formed a view that I was not a ”member of the club” or that in some way my face did not fit. The firm felt they could not put me in front of blue-chip top tier clients – they felt as a non-white I didn’t look right.’

Of course it was entirely possible that Dunstan was slipping a bit:

By 2003 his rating at the firm had dropped to the bottom level available for a partner. In 2004 he received a bad appraisal for dating a colleague, Marina, now his wife, without revealing the seriousness of the relationship to his boss.

So we all know that dipping your pen in the company ink, while potentially tricky (not to mention common), is NBD and Dunstan was ultimately given a pass on this but still wasn’t satisfied and that’s when decided to threaten the firm with a suit. This was received rather coolly by PwC, who reciprocated with their own threat to fire him if he went ahead with the lawsuit slapping. He called P. Dubs bluff (apparently he still has his job) and now PwC is taking the gloves off, saying that Dunstan just started sucking and he should be thanking his lucky stars that he still has a job and his £933,480 salary:

Suzanne McKie, representing PwC, said the firm denied that Mr Pedropillai’s career stalled because of his ethnicity and put it down to his ‘poor people skills’. She said that the poor global economy meant Mr Pedropillai’s unit grew only marginally, and that two of his white peers were made redundant, while another, who had returned from working abroad at the same time as Mr Pedropillai, had been forced to move to Australia because there was no work for him in London. She said the £100,000, or 12 per cent, pay cut received by Mr Pedropillai last year was roughly in line with the eight per cent salary drop received by partners across the board and that he had a low role grade because he refused to accept any negative feedback.

£1million accountant who blames racism for limiting his pay [Daily Mail]

Area Man Claims Racquetball Court Turned Church Lost Tax-Exempt Status Due to His Lack of WASPyness

We’re a little late getting to this story but whatevs. George Michael of Lake Bluff, IL is suing the town and the Land of Lincoln after the tax exemption of his home was revoked.

You see, George has an extremely ill wife (who is also religious) and he turned his racquetball court into an Armenian Church so they could worship in the comfort of an extremely high ceiling with transparent back wall. His brother got ordained online to perform the services, and voilà! A tax-exempt house of worship. At first, the Illinois Dept. of Rev. was cool with it but a judge wasn’t as accommodating, claiming that the Michaels are trying to dodge property taxes of $80k a year.

The Michaels took exception with this, arguing that Lake Bluff would prefer a more WASPy community and sued them claiming their lack of WASPyness. The Trib reports him saying, “I don’t think they want anything other than Anglo-Saxons in Lake Bluff.”

Whether Lake Bluff is trying to keep the nabe WASPtacular is not clear although the lawsuit does allege that “[he] heard someone use an unspecified racial slur ‘toward’ his daughters as he dropped them off at school.”

Lake Bluff of course doesn’t buy it and claims that GM is just trying to pull a fast one, sayeth the town’s attorney, “The church’s establishment was an ‘inappropriate attempt to escape the same property tax responsibilities that every other property owner in Lake Bluff is required to comply with.’ ”

Maybe Lake Bluff is on to something because we find out that something that isn’t up for debate is George Micahel’s overdue taxes. A sum that he, admittedly, might not be on top of:

Michael, a former executive at a Chicago bank taken over by the federal government this spring, denied that he founded his in-home church to avoid paying about $80,000 in taxes a year. He is willing, he said, to settle the bill.

But his tax tab remains unpaid, said Lake County Treasurer Bob Skidmore. Michael, who runs a real estate company, owes more than $239,000 in taxes from 2007 through 2009 and missed his first due date in June, Skidmore said.

Asked about that, Michael said his mail service is unreliable and he hadn’t seen the bill.

“I better check into it,” he said.

Blaming the WASPy mail carrier. That’s classy.

Man who turned mansion into church alleges bias after losing tax break [CT via TaxProf Blog]
Racquetball Court Turned Church Loses Tax Exemption [Web CPA Debits & Credits]