City Building Department accused of discrimination

We continue this week with a similar topic to what we discussed in our last post. This time it involves the City Buildings Department. The department is facing a lawsuit from a handful of people who say they were repeatedly passed up for promotions due to being minorities.

One man, who has been with the department for almost 27 years, said he hasn’t received a promotion in two decades. In 2012 the veteran electrical inspector, a refugee from Haiti, was finally told that he was getting a promotion. After coming back from vacation, the man learned that he had been transferred by a supervisor and that the promotion was given to a white man. The white man allegedly had less education and less experience.

He later learned that he was transferred by a supervisor who didn’t like immigrants from the Caribbean or blacks and felt there were too many of them working in the department, the lawsuit claims. That supervisor also allegedly said “none of them” would ever be promoted because the man complained about this decision.

There were other instances of alleged discrimination as well. One man suffered an on-the-job injury and was recovering for five months. After returning to work, his work car was taken away and given to a white employee. The lawsuit claims that the man’s boss assumed that the man faked his injuries. He was also passed over for promotions numerous times.

Another man involved in the lawsuit says he, too, was passed up for a supervisor promotion. He was initially told that he was the best candidate for the position and would receive an offer within two weeks. He never heard back and eventually found out the job was given to a white employee.

The lawsuit has been filed with the Manhattan Federal Court. It is sad to hear that this type of discrimination could be rampant in the City Buildings Department. A person’s skin color or ethnicity should have nothing to do with their qualification for receiving a promotion.

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