FDNY Employees Filing $150M Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Firefighters train at the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) training academy on May 9, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Daniel Nigro as the new Fire Commissioner during a ceremony at the FDNY Academy. Nigro, a retired fire chief and a veteran with more than 30 years experience, was named chief of department after the Sept. 11 attacks which killed then chief Peter Ganci.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Two years after settling a $98 million lawsuit for racial discrimination, the New York Fire Department (FDNY) will be getting hit with another $150 million discrimination lawsuit.

On Wednesday, ten former and current employees announced they filed a complaint against the FDNY for being unfairly discriminated against when it came to pay and advancement in positions.

The complaint filed by the employees states that “the Department has engaged in a pattern and practice of systemic, ongoing, continuous an intentional discrimination against them [black employees] for a period including, but not limited to, the past twenty years from the year 1996 until the present day (2016).”

John Coombs, an advocate for civilian employees said black employees are earning less than white employees.

What we find is that individuals, who are educated and more experienced and entitled longer are repeatedly discriminated against when it comes to salary, promotion and opportunities to advance, they are left out, even when most of them have received ‘excellent’ evaluations. That is wrong.”

Frances Dempsey, 62, is 41 year employee of the FDNY said she is being paid far less than her white employees in the same position.

“I have been an administrative manager for 15 years. There have been three white male managers hired sometime after me in the same civil service title. Even though I have been in the title for a much longer period of time and have received commendations from the Fire Department for my work performance … three are paid $25,000, $30,000 and $35,000 dollars a year more than me in the same title.”



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