A woman dubbed “Central Park Karen” lost an appeal after an appellate court refused to reinstate a lawsuit against her former employer.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan declined to reinstate Amy Cooper’s lawsuit on Thursday in a 3-0 decision. She argued her former employer Franklin Templeton illegally fired her on the basis of race and defamed her by branding her as a racist, according to Reuters.
Amy went viral on social media for calling the police on Christian Cooper in May 2020 after he asked her to put her dog on a leash. She called the police on Christian and claimed an “African American man” was “threatening” her while she was walking her dog in Central Park. Christian was in the park bird watching and recorded the encounter. The incident happened the same day George Floyd was killed by police.
Amy claimed that Christian was an “overzealous” bird watcher and the incident had nothing to do with his race.
She was fired the next day from Franklin Templeton where she worked as an insurance portfolio manager. The company did an internal investigation and released a statement that read “We do not tolerate racism of any kind.”
She was also charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in July 2020 with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. The charge was eventually dropped after she attended therapy sessions on racial bias.
Christian chose not to cooperate in the DA’s investigation to pursue charges against Amy in 2020.
Amy originally filed the lawsuit in May 2021, but it was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams in September 2022. She claimed that she was also being discriminated against by her former employer because of her sex and the company defamed her and caused her emotional distress.
Amy argued that three male staffers kept their jobs following allegations of sexual harassment, insider trading, and a domestic violence conviction, according to NPR.
“The misconduct that Plaintiff’s proposed comparators allegedly engaged in — which runs the gamut from plagiarism to insider trading to a felony conviction — is simply too different in kind to be comparable to her conduct in this case,” Abrams said in a statement back in September.
The decision on Thursday upheld Abrams’ dismissal. The appeals court also added that Franklin Templeton’s statements mentioned nothing about Amy’s race.
Franklin Templeton was pleased with the appellate court’s decision and stood by their stance taken in 2020 to fire Amy.
“We continue to believe the company responded appropriately,” representatives for Franklin Templeton said to Reuters.
Christian is set to host a new television show called “Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper,” premiering on National Geographic later this month.