Watch CBS News

Racial Discrimination Complaint Filed Against FDNY, $150 Million Lawsuit Expected

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been filed against the New York City Fire Department, alleging discrimination against civilian employees.

Attorney Greg Smith announcedWednesday that 10 black civilian employees have filed a complaint with the EEOC, alleging that they are being denied promotions and pay increases due to racial discrimination, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

"These disparate, racist treatments of our city workers, FDNY, needs to stop," Smith said. "And the only way we can stop it is to make our voices known, to put the full weight and force of the law behind it."

Smith says a $150 million class action lawsuit is expected to be filed soon. 

"And when we go through the litigation and we actually start figuring out damages for all these many years of disparate treatment through salary and compensation and promotions, it may well be more than $150 million," Smith said.

Smith says the suit will be filed within the next several weeks.

This is the latest complaint after a series of rulings to fight discrimination within the FDNY over the last several years.

In March 2014, a $98 million settlement was reached between the city and a black firefighters' group that had sued New York City, alleging discrimination.

In June 2013, five female Emergency Medical Service officers announced a $1 million settlement of a 7-year-old gender discrimination lawsuit against New York City, breaking what their attorney called the department's "female firewall." EMS is part of the Fire Department.

In May 2013, an appeals court ruled that the FDNY must undergo court supervision for five years to ensure it doesn't discriminate against blacks and Hispanics in its hiring practices.

In the fall of 2011, federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis appointed an independent monitor to oversee the recruitment, testing and hiring of new firefighters for at least 10 years.

The FDNY did not immediately return calls for comment.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.