The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), responding to a complaint filed by more than 1,000 managers in the administration of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has conducted an investigation and concluded that the city systematically paid women and minorities less than their white male colleagues in similar positions. Sources say the finding could cost the city close to $300 million.
The complaint to the federal EEOC was filed by Local 1180 of the Communication Workers of America, the union to which the managers belong. Noting that the EEOC found “structural and historic problems” with the pay rates for women and minorities, Arthur Cheliotes, the president of Local 1180, called the ruling “a federal indictment of the systemic inequality of the city’s personnel practices.” He told reporters that, though the EEOC’s findings were based only on documentation from the last six years, evidence exists to show that the pattern of discrimination goes back at least 40 years.
As a part of its ruling, the EEOC recommended that the city pay back wages and other damages—the commission’s calculation of damages was $246 million. City spokespersons contend that the EEOC finding is not proof that discrimination occurred, and have called for union leaders to participate in a “cooperative and objective approach” to resolve the dispute.
The EEOC recommended that New York City initiate conciliation efforts and make an offer for settlement. If the city fails to enter into negotiation/conciliation talks, the EEOC will send its findings to the U.S. Department of Justice, which can file suit against the city. Union leaders have indicated that they are willing to have discussions about resolving the dispute without a lawsuit, but say that the starting point for the negotiations will be the $246 million recommended by the EEOC.
At Leeds Brown Law, we provide aggressive and effective legal counsel to anyone who has been subjected to unlawful discrimination at work, based on race, gender, age, disability or any other improper or illegal classification. Call us at 516-873-9550 or 212-661-4370 (toll-free at 1-800-585-4658) or send us an e-mail to schedule a meeting.