by Madeleine Hubbard
Progressive insurance is being accused of alleged “illegal racial discrimination” for offering $25,000 grants to ten black-owned small businesses, but not allowing people of other races to apply for the grants, America First Legal said Thursday when announcing its lawsuit against the company.
America First Legal, a nonprofit led by former top Trump administration officials, filed the federal class-action lawsuit in Ohio on behalf of Nathan Roberts and his company, Freedom Truck Dispatch.
Roberts, who is white and has had a Progressive commercial insurance policy since October 2022, received an email from the insurer in May about a $25,000 grant being offered to 10 black-owned businesses to buy a commercial vehicle.
Because his race makes him ineligible to apply, the lawsuit states: “Roberts is suffering past and future injury in fact because he was barred from applying for this grant, and he cannot apply to become a grant recipient without subjecting himself to racial discrimination.”
America First Legal writes in the case that the grant program violates U.S. Civil Rights law because it “discriminates against non-black owned businesses.”
The case was also filed against Circular Board LLC, which operates the online resource platform Hello Alice, which partnered with Progressive to administer the grants.
Roberts is asking for an unspecified amount of damages in addition to attorneys fees and for the court to stop Progressive from having policies with racial preferences.
“All Americans deserve to be free from racial discrimination, yet major corporations across the United States inject racial considerations into every aspect of their business operations, employment practices, and so much more,” America First Legal Vice President and general counsel Gene Hamilton said.
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