Posted on October 13, 2016

Black FDNY Employees Plan to File $150M Discrimination Suit Against the Department

Erin Durkin, NY Daily News, October 13, 2016

Black FDNY employees plan to hit the department with a $150 million federal lawsuit charging they have been discriminated against on the job, they announced Wednesday.

In a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a lawsuit they plan to file later this year, 10 plaintiffs charge black workers were passed over for promotions and raises that white workers with similar or lesser qualifications received. African-American employees, most of whom are women, were also hired at lower starting salaries, they say.

They claim black workers are paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by whites.

The Fire Department previously settled a massive suit charging discrimination against blacks and Hispanics applying to become firefighters, agreeing to pay $98 million and revamp its hiring practices.

The new complaint charges racism is also widespread within the civilian ranks.

“Whenever there’s a salary increase, they’re not getting it. Whenever there’s a promotion, they’re not getting it,” said lawyer Greg Smith. “These disparate racist treatments of our city workers . . . need to stop.”