A Bank Wouldn't Cash This Woman's Paycheck Because They Didn't Believe She Was An Architect

Mark Pygas - Author

Nov. 18 2019, Updated 2:27 p.m. ET

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Trish Doolin is an architect from Kirkland, Washington, who says that an employee at her local KeyBank branch discriminated against and humiliated her by calling her work because he didn't believe she was an architect.  

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Doolin claimed in a Facebook post, shared by her friend Sugar on Twitter, that she had just deposited her paycheck when she got a call from her bank. She claims that she was summoned to the manager's office, was accused of forging the check and had to sit there while he phoned human resources at her work to verify her employment.  

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Doolin told BuzzFeed that she had just moved to Seattle a few weeks before the incident and that she was using the branch because her direct deposit hadn't been set up by the design firm which she just started working for.  

“I went in, deposited my check, and went about my day,” the 37-year-old said. Fairly quickly, she received a call from the bank saying there was an issue with the check and was asked to return.   

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An employee took her into a cubicle, where he had already pulled up her design firm’s website on his computer. 

“He asked my profession, and then asked why the company’s headquarters were in Philadelphia. Then he asked if HR could verify that I was an employee there..."  

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When her company didn’t answer the phone, the man said that they would need to keep the check for nine days to verify the funds because her account had only been opened for 29 of the 30 days required. At no point did he ask for her ID. 

Doolin left the branch and went home. She called the bank, and talked to a woman who ensured her that the employee who had refused to cash her check "is far from racist."  

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The funds were eventually released, but Doolin says that the female employee “made sure to tell me that she was sorry that I was ‘having a bad day.' At the end of the conversation, she told me, ‘Go have a drink or something.’” 

KeyBank apologized to Doolin, saying in a statement that it's typical to place a hold on deposited funds during the first 30 days of a new account:

“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. ”
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But Doolin isn't happy and is planning to switch banks this weekend.

“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. People still clutch their purses when I walk past.”“When you’re black, you can’t go marching around saying, ‘I’ve been discriminated against. It’s that silent pain. You can still hurt, but just don’t do it too loudly.”

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