After the national coverage of Trish Doolin's encounter with KeyBank, Doolin posted a Facebook update stating she received an official apology from the bank.
"24 hours later and I have just received an apology via phone from the executive office at Key Bank..."
In September, Trish Doolin relocated to Seattle, Washington, to work as a job captain of architecture at Nelson Inc. Upon moving to the northwest state, everything seemed to be going well — until Doolin attempted to deposit her paycheck and was hit with what she feels was nothing short of discrimination.
On Wednesday morning, Doolin went to KeyBank to deposit a check. Nelson had just moved to Washington and the employee direct deposit accounts had not been set up, so she needed to deposit her check in person.
After arriving at the bank, Doolin deposited her check with a banker and then left to continue on with her day. Just a few minutes after dropping off the check, Doolin received a phone call from the banker instructing her to come back to the bank because there was a problem with her check.
As Doolin started to talk to the banker, who Buzzfeed identified as Thor Loberg, it became very clear that there was suspicion about whether or not she was actually employed by Nelson. Doolin recounted her experience in a Facebook post that was later shared by Twitter user "Sugar."
“He asked my profession, and then asked why the company’s headquarters were in Philadelphia,” Doolin told Buzzfeed News. “Then he asked if HR could verify that I was an employee there.”
The banker then phoned Nelson’s HR to verify her identity. The entire time, Doolin was told that this was “for the bank’s safety.”
Doolin was then told the bank would place a hold on her paycheck for nine days because her account had not been open for 30 days and the bank needed to verify the funds.
“When I realized that I was defending who I was, trying to prove to someone I didn’t know who I was, I knew I was being discriminated against,” Doolin said to Buzzfeed. “It was just completely demeaning.”
At the end of the day, Doolin returned home from work and phoned the bank again to speak to someone else regarding her experience. She spoke to a woman who did everything but defend the actions of the previous banker.
“I can assure he is far from racist,” the woman told Doolin. “He would have done that to any other customer.”
The woman then released Doolin’s funds into her account when she saw that it had been open for 29 days. Although Doolin did eventually get her money and was not physically harmed by the experience, it doesn't change the pain it felt to be viewed as a threat.
“I live in a world where, no matter what’s in my brain or purse, no matter how I wear my hair, no matter how fabulous I look when I walk out the door, I’m still black,” Doolin said. “People still clutch their purses when I walk past.”
As a result of the story, KeyBank released an official statement defending their actions and denying any racism or discrimination.
“As a company, KeyBank values diversity within our organization, our communities and our clients. We do not tolerate discrimination. Client confidentiality means we cannot speak to any specific client’s situation. We can however, describe our Funds Availability Policy regarding client deposits and holds that may be placed on client deposits. Generally speaking and in compliance with applicable law, we advise clients who are new to KeyBank that we may place holds for a short period of time on their deposits during the first 30 days after they open their account with us. ”
Doolin said she plans to switch banks this weekend and has not yet informed her job of her experience.
(Photo: Trish Cole Doolin via Facebook)