The New York State Division of Human Rights contacted my house last week. It was Alton Wolfe’s voice on the machine. He was the specialist assigned to my case several years ago—the case in which I filed charges of disability discrimination against my employer for their failure to recognize my disability—Schizophrenia.
“Mr. Taylor, this is Alton Wolfe from the State Division of Human Rights. I have information relating to your case. Please give me a call when you have a moment,” was the message he left on my answering machine.
I thought about the meeting that I had at the State Office of Mental Health located within the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. How horrible it was for me to sit in that meeting and face the powerful attorneys that JBFCS had hired in their defense of my charges. As I look back now, I wish I had the money to hire my own lawyer for that meeting. The sad truth was, I did not, and sadder still, was the decision that Alton Wolfe and the State Division of Human Rights had made in regards to my case.
I took it upon myself to request a formal review from the Federal Government into this case after the state rejected it. With it being a disability complaint, I’m protected by not only state laws, but federal ones as well.
I explained to the U.S. Government that I found it unfair that both the State of New York and my employer, a non-profit agency that receives $85 million annually from the state to treat the mentally disabled, required that I use my personal checking account to cash checks that were used to reimburse Medicaid patients for transportation to and from treatment. I had explained during my meeting in Harlem that I became paranoid again—a sure sign of schizophrenia—after my financial institution placed a hold on my checking account for “suspicious activity”. My employer required that I cash an $8,000 check as part of my job duties, causing the bank to become suspicious. When I refused to cash anymore checks, my employer suspended me for insubordination. They claim that the reason why I was suspended was because I called them “A bunch of money grubbing whores.”
Now, does that sound like something I would say? I’m a Christian. I would never say such a thing. Anyway…
I read the letter that Alton Wolfe sent to me, prior to his phone call, the one that indicated that there was no proof that I was discriminated against, yet, he failed to mention in his determination letter, anything in regards to the fact that I was forced, during the paranoid phases of my Schizophrenia, to use my own checking account to conduct business on behalf of the State of New York.
“This is unacceptable,” I wrote to the EEOC as I explained my side of the story again. “Please review all the facts in the case. Respectfully, Charles G. Taylor.”
Mr. Wolfe’s last letter to me indicated that they found no cause of harassment or discrimination and that my case and the file on the matter had been closed.
I wondered why he was calling, but didn’t think twice about it.
I picked up the phone, called the State Office of Human Rights and left a message on Mr. Wolfe’s voicemail—it was 8 p.m. in the evening and I knew when I called he would not pick up the phone.
“Hey Alton, this is Charles, Charles Taylor. Don’t ever call my house again. If you have something to say to me, put it in writing!”
I slammed down the phone before screaming ‘BITCH’ into the phone.