Former New York City Workers Win Thousands Of Dollars In Discrimination Lawsuit

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April 2, 2013 ‐ By Candace Smith
Battery Park City from the sky. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Battery Park City from the sky. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Public Enforcement Patrol officers who filed a discrimination suit in 2011 are finally getting justice as Battery Park City will pay them thousands of dollars — $165,000 to be exact — to settle their case.

In 2011, the 13 minority officers were transferred from their post and replaced by lighter-skinned officials. That’s a big enough problem, but just as significant are the racist slurs that the officers said were directed at them by some of the privileged  Battery Park City residents and themselves. Swastikas and the N-word littered public property, leading the workers to believe that the graffiti was directed to their attention. This prompted the workers’ lawsuit. Each worker (both the originally employed and replacement workers) will receive $8,000, although one worker, George Parker, will receive $14,000 due to claims that a white resident chased him after being asked why his dog was off the leash. It appears that the Battery City Park Authority, employers of the PEP officers, did not step in to alleviate the problem, but rather masked it in hiring new workers.

The disrespected and discriminated get paid, but the problem still remains. You can’t erase racism and ignorance with a check. What will happen next? Even the lawyer who represented the disgraced PEP workers, Linda Cronin, believes this to be true, stating that “the settlement didn’t address the ‘blatant disrespect.’”

“The lawsuit alleged that the outrageous and despicable comments made towards the minority officers (and) the hostile work environment … have gone unchecked,” says Cronin in the NY Daily News article.

As diverse as the residents of New York City are, it’s sad to see how alive racism still is in one of the most exciting places on Earth.

 

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