A former employee at Arnett & Foster has sued the firm, saying the accounting firm discriminated against her and terminated her employment because she was dating a black man.

Rebecca Marsden filed suit earlier this month, charging the firm, its executive director and the presiding member of its accounting and auditing department with disparate treatment, according to an account in the Charlotte Gazette. She said the firm did not let her take a day off during tax season to attend a wedding in April 2006, but gave another employee a week off in March.

She said she was also warned about her phone and Internet usage, and told to remove personal files from her work computer and change the wallpaper on her screen, which showed a picture of her fiancé. When Marsden checked the firm's computer servers for other files, she said she found family photos of other employees, as well as music, porn, and even a KKK video stored there. Marsden complained about the files to the firm's executive director, who asked if she was offended by the KKK video because her husband is black. Four days later, she was fired.

Rick Brown, an attorney at Bowles Rice who represents Arnett & Foster, said the firm denies the accusations.

"Arnett & Foster has hired me to defend them in the lawsuit," he said. "They deny the allegations in the complaint. They will respond to the complaint and they will handle the matter through the court system."

Marsden's attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

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