On March 25, 2021, Nick Williams received a call that he had been terminated from the only company he ever loved working for. The company terminating him, American Express, completely blindsided Nick with the news. He was the #1 sales performer in the entire country 3 out of the last 8 years. He was respected among his peers. It was inexplicable how he could be fired given his consistently stellar year-over-year performance.
The allegation that American Express implied caused his firing was his refusal to service a Black woman client, who had been behaving extremely rudely to him and his colleague (who was a Black man). The woman filed a discrimination complaint with Amex CEO Steve Squeri, who then sent a team of nearly a dozen lawyers to grill Nick and attempt to coax confessions from him about his alleged racial bias.
After a 73-day interrogation process, without ever explaining the charges against Nick or why they were justified, Amex fired him, separating him from the career he loved.
Nick began to do a little research. He found out American Express had been financially incentivizing hiring managers to fire white employees under their new bonus program. The program gave a 15 percent bonus to executives who hired and promoted on the basis of racial “equity.” White men like Nick were considered “overrepresented” and needed to be culled to maintain the politically correct ratio of minorities and women. Nick later found out the practice was widespread throughout the company.
As Williams pushed back while he was being terminated via Webex by a senior leader and friend who had been reading from a script Amex legal counsel prepared. In response, the leader continued reading from a script and offered Williams $100,000 to sign a Release of Claims and move on. Williams retained legal counsel immediately, and the American Express severance package (“payoff to be silenced”) grew to the amount of $200,000 over the course of the 21 days he was given to sign it. Yet, Nick stuck to his principles, becoming the only one of his group of fired peers to refuse the money. American Express retaliated against him by canceling all of his personal and business credit cards, blacklisting him from all credit card processors, crippling his and his family’s ability to accept any form of credit card at their family owned business, The Winterset Cidery.
Nick has since spent over $100,000 of his personal money to file a lawsuit against American Express. American Express has tried to wait him out, and now he is out of money. Nick has partnered with Color Us United to launch a public campaign to raise the necessary support to keep his important lawsuit going. Important for Nick, he also wants the chance to tell his story—and let the public, not American Express lawyers, judge what is right.
Nick is going public with his lawsuit against American Express because he knows what they did to him was unjust. He has been granted the right to sue by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). American Express destroyed the career Nick loved and enjoyed for the sake of wokeness.
Nick is a father to four half-Filipino kids and two French Bulldogs. When he’s not parenting, he is pouring love out upon his community. He is the most generous, most attentive, least racist person you could ever meet. He has mentored minority Amex employees and has advocated for Spanish immersion centers in his community. His coworkers praise him as a vocal leader —one who stuck his neck out for the company he loved. In his spare time, Nick coaches his son’s 9U baseball team, and he also co-leads a youth group at his church. He also served five years working for the Boy Scouts of America out of college and achieved his Eagle Scout in 1996.
In other words, Nick is an example setter. His lawsuit is an inspiration to us all.