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Another Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against FDNY

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A lawsuit filed against the Fire Department of New York accuses the agency of discriminating against black employees and job seekers in its ambulance and civilian support staff operations.

The suit comes almost four years after the department agreed to pay $98 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit from black firefighters.

The latest suit has seven plaintiffs, all current employees. They call themselves the "FDNY Seven." One works in the ambulance service and the others are in non-uniform positions.

It alleges the FDNY discriminates by hiring fewer black employees overall, particularly for higher-paying job categories, and paying black employees in civilian positions less than white workers in the same positions. 

One of the plaintiffs, Stephanie Thomas, said she has worked for the department for decades without a promotion.

"I've been an employee of the New York City Fire Department for almost 30 years. Came in as a civilian, civil service. Took a test, passed it. To this day I'm still level one," Thomas said.

"I was promoted eight years ago into my current position. At the time I was offered an amount of money 33 percent less than what my white predecessor was making when he left," said plaintiff Annette Richardson, who is a director in the department's human resources bureau.

Attorney Cyrus Mehri said they're seeking fundamental changes in the department and back pay. He is asking a federal judge to make it a class action lawsuit. He believes there could be thousands of people who could qualify to join.

The city's corporation counsel said the allegations are not new and that parties have been discussing the issues in the complaint.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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