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US Attorney Files Discrimination Claim for NYC DOT Employees

By Leeds Brown Law | January 27, 2017

US Attorney Files Race Discrimination Case Against Transportation Department

Employment discrimination is unlawful. When employers make decisions based on characteristics like race, gender or disability, victims often pay dearly, suffering emotional and financial injuries that can make life quite difficult. When workplace discrimination occurs, victims have rights to file claims against the perpetrators. With the help of administrative agencies and experienced legal representation, a claim can result in a significant financial recovery via a negotiated settlement or trial.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C. our attorneys understand the hard work that goes into winning employment discrimination cases. We have spent decades helping employees protect their workplace rights with skill and dedication. Our professionals possess a deep understanding of the complex rules and regulations that apply to nearly all employment situations. If you work in New York City, Long Island or any of the surrounding counties and are experiencing sexual harassment, race discrimination or retaliation, let the attorneys at Leeds Brown know. We may be able to help.

Employment Discrimination in the New York City Department of Transportation is Systemic

In a recent example of workplace discrimination, as reported by the New York Post, the US Attorney’s office recently filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT). The suit alleges that the department, while under the leadership of the former commissioner, engaged in “systemic racism” against African-American employees. The lawsuit seeks to recover financial damages for the victims and for the DOT to change its ways.

Though the suit was filed in January 2017, the allegations go back to 2007, when, according to the Post, the Caucasian executive director “demanded that his second-in-command demote a Black assistant supervisor.” The employee refused to follow his orders, and the executive director allegedly confiscated the African-American worker’s computer and arranged for his phone to stop receiving calls. When a different African-American employee requested a cell phone, the director allegedly used racial epithets to convey that he “would get nothing” and gave the cell phone to a white, less senior worker.

A new director came in 2010 who, the suit claims, began a system of refusing to pay overtime to African-American employees and giving promotions mostly to whites. While his actions were not as overtly discriminatory as his predecessor, several employees did not receive money they rightfully earned and promotions they may have deserved.

NYC DOT Cooperating with Department of Justice

The DOT says that it is cooperating with the government to help resolve the issues plaguing the department. DOT spokesman Scott Gastel told the Post that they are working to settle the matter and provide monetary compensation where appropriate. The department has also enhanced internal monitoring and made administrative changes intended to reduce instances of discrimination.

Employment Discrimination Comes in Many Forms

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York State Human Rights Law, and New York City Human Rights Law, employment discrimination is unlawful when based on the race of an individual. Discrimination can happen in different ways. For example, in the case above, the DOT may be found liable for disparate impact discrimination as well as overt or intentional racial discrimination. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when seemingly neutral policies have the effect of negatively affecting one race.

Contact Us

Call Leeds Brown at 1-800-585-4658 if you have any questions about your workplace discrimination claim. If you are the victim of an employment decision based on your race, sex, or other protected characteristic, we may be able to assist you to recover monetary damages.

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