This summer the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) faced a lawsuit for racial discrimination. The Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney filed a lawsuit that alleged a pattern of racial discrimination and retaliation.
Details of the Racial Discrimination Violation
According to the article released by the Department of Justice, NYCDOT supervisors for nearly 10 years participated in racial discrimination by:
- Tolerating use of racial epithets
- Systematically excluding racial minorities from preferred assignments
- Discriminating against minority employees for promotions
The discrimination was brought to the DOT management’s attention, but instead of taking proper corrective action, they retaliated against employees who made the allegations.
Fleet Services, a unit within NYCDOT employs an estimated 200 employees in various trades including machinists, auto mechanics, electricians, blacksmiths and engineers. All personnel in this unit reported to an executive who regularly and flagrantly referred to African American employees as “monkeys,” “niggers” and “gorillas.” Another example of the executive director’s conduct included responding to an African American’s request for a cell phone by saying, “that nigger gets nothing.”
The Executive Director verbally threatened and also threatened physical violence against an employee who accused him of discriminating against racial minorities.
The lawsuit demanded that the executive director be demoted, suspended and removed from his position as NYCDOT EEO counselor. The counselor decided to retire. However, his second in command who had also been involved in and tolerated the discrimination was promoted into the Executive Director position.
In a settlement agreement, the city agreed to pay more than $1.3 million to individual employees.
The settlement provisions included:
Offering monetary compensation to 14 individuals entitled to relief, which consisted of back pay and compensatory damages awards within a range of $60,000 to $168,000. The complainant who brought the claim to the EEOC’s attention would receive $150,000 and attorney’s fees.
Do You Face Allegations of Discrimination?
Employers dealing with discrimination issues should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Stephen Hans & Associates cam advise the best legal action for you to take as an employer.