Former Executive Sues CBRE, Alleging Racial, Gender Discrimination
A former senior project manager for CBRE has filed a lawsuit against the company claiming she was mistreated because of her race and gender.
Patreece Butchee, a 45-year-old African American woman who lives in Waldorf, Maryland, filed suit Dec. 28 against CBRE in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, and is seeking over $300K in damages.
Butchee began working for CBRE in 2008 and in 2017 was promoted to senior project manager and placed on a new account based out of the firm's Arlington, Virginia, office.
While working on that account, Butchee claims a representative for the client consistently yelled at her in meetings and described her using racial stereotypes, according to the lawsuit. She also claims she was yelled at by her immediate supervisor at CBRE.
"Plaintiff was subjected to constant yelling, berating, and disparaging comments by a client from 2017 to 2019 because of her race," the lawsuit alleges.
Butchee also claimed she was not given the same level of bonuses, title, resources and programming as her white male counterparts. She reported her complaints to human resources and was told that it was her own fault she was being treated poorly, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also said she asked to switch accounts but had her request denied.
The plaintiff and her attorney, Andrea Smith, did not respond to requests for additional comment. CBRE provided the following statement on the lawsuit.
"We investigated the plaintiff's allegations thoroughly and found no evidence of a hostile work environment or retaliation," a CBRE spokesperson wrote in an email to Bisnow. "Further to the complaint, the plaintiff received all compensation due to her. We will defend our position vigorously through the legal process."
The lawsuit said Butchee took medical leave after being diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder, which the doctor said was aggravated by her job.
On May 21, Butchee sent a letter of resignation to CBRE, according to the lawsuit. That same month, she began working for Wells Fargo, according to her LinkedIn page. She filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Sept. 30 and was issued a right to sue letter, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit requests a trial by jury and seeks $307K in compensatory and punitive damages related to seven counts: hostile environment based on race, disparate treatment based on sex, retaliation for reporting racial discrimination, retaliation for reporting sex discrimination, Equal Pay Act, Whistleblower Protection Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.