NY Times: New York City Discriminated in Paying Managers, Commission Finds

In what must be a highly disconcerting report for the progressive De Blasio administration:

A federal commission on fair employment practices found that New York City has engaged in a broad pattern of discrimination, paying minorities and women substantially less than their white male counterparts, and recommended on Monday that it pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back wages and other damages.
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Specifically, the commission found that “structural and historic problems” have resulted in the pay of minorities and women being suppressed.
“This rate of pay is much less than their white male counterparts’ in similarly situated jobs and titles,” according to the commission’s findings.
After completing its investigation, the federal commission recommended that the city enter into conciliation efforts with the panel. If the city fails to make an offer by April 17 and enter conciliation talks, the matter will move to the Justice Department, which would most likely file suit against the city. (continue reading)

It will be very interesting to see what happens before the April 17 deadline.

The Dugger Law Firm, PLLC Has Filed a Sex Discrimination Class Action Against the NYC Department of Education, Principal Rashaunda Shaw, Ast. Principal Dayne McLean, and Ast. Principal Sharon Spann


The Dugger Law Firm, PLLC and The Law Office of Daniela Nanau, P.C. have filed a sex discrimination class action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education, Globe School for Environmental Research (“Globe”) Principal Rashaunda Shaw, Globe Assistant Principal Dayne McLean, and Globe Assistant Principal Sharon Spann. 

Plaintiff Lisa B. Deleo alleges violations of Title VII, the New York City Human Rights Law, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The amended complaint alleges that Assistant Principal McLean repeatedly sexually harassed Ms. DeLeo, culminating in a confrontation in which Assistant Principal McLean sexually gyrated in front of Ms. DeLeo while she was alone in her office.  In addition, the amended complaint alleges that, following Ms. DeLeo’s complaints of harassment, the New York City Department of Education, Principal Shaw, Assistant Principal McLean, and Assistant Principal Spann retaliated against her because of her complaints.

The amended complaint also alleges that the New York City Department of Education, Principal Shaw, Assistant Principal McLean, and Assistant Principal Spann have created and/or permitted a sexually hostile and retaliatory hostile work environment for non-management female employees at Globe.

Ms. DeLeo seeks certification of a class of all non-management female employees at Globe, from January 2012 through the resolution of the lawsuit, against the New York City Department of Education, as well as Principal Shaw, Assistant Principal McLean, and Assistant Principal Spann in their individual capacities. 

The case is Deleo v. New York City Department of Education, No. 15 Civ. 00591, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Dugger Law Firm, PLLC & Outten & Golden LLP File Sex Discrimination Class Action Against Connecticut Department of Correction

On January 14, 2015, Denisha Davis filed a sex discrimination class action complaint in the District of Connecticut against the Connecticut Department of Correction. 

The lawsuit follows earlier litigation in Easterling v. Connecticut Department of Correction, in which a federal court held in 2011 that the state fitness test violated Title VII and found for the job applicant plaintiffs.  The new lawsuit alleges that the state’s revised physical fitness test – which modified only one aspect of the test from a 1.5-mile run to a 300-meter dash – continued to have an adverse impact on women.

 The press release is available here.

The Ten Largest Discrimination Settlements of 2013

From Inside Counsel the top ten largest discrimination settlements of 2013.

Topping the list is:

"$160 millionMcReynolds, et al. v. Merrill Lynch & Co.
The largest settlement of 2013 has its roots eight years earlier, when in 2005, broker George McReynolds accused Merrill Lynch & Co. of giving white brokers more lucrative accounts while denying black employees equal pay and career advancement opportunities. McReynolds filed a lawsuit on behalf of 700 black brokers who worked for Merrill. Before the suit was settled out of court in August, it had seen two appeals in the Supreme Court and survived Merrill Lynch's acquisition by Bank of America in 2009."  (link)

It is also gratifying to see a case I worked on for several years with my prior firm at #8.

"$3.1 millionEasterling, et al. v. State Of Connecticut, Department Of Correction
Similar to the Chicago case, this suit alleged that the a physical fitness test composed of a 1.5 mile run required by the Connecticut Department of Corrections was not a business need, and that it discriminated against female candidates. As a result over 200 women who applied for a Correction Officer position in 2004 o4 2006, were certified for the class. The settlement was finalized in July." (link)

(*small correction to IC - the Easterling class totaled 124 class members not 200)

Eric Holder: Subtle Racism is the Greatest Threat to Racial Equality

Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder cited subtle forms of discrimination as the greatest danger to racial equality today:

"Speaking during the commencement ceremony at Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore, Holder referred obliquely to a series of racially charged episodes that have “received substantial media coverage” in recent weeks — an apparent reference to the controversial comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. But Holder also said that the “outlandish statements that capture national attention” obscure a more troubling reality.

These outbursts of bigotry, while deplorable, are not the true markers of the struggle that still must be waged, or the work that still needs to be done,” he said.

“The greatest threats,” he said, “are more subtle. They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.” (link)

The Attorney General backs me up on the importance of confronting non-explicit racism:

"Holder spoke broadly about the struggle for racial equality and what he suggested was the failure of some to fully grasp the degree to which minority groups can be marginalized. He took direct aim at the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, who famously wrote in a 2007 opinion that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

“This presupposes that racial discrimination is at a sufficiently low ebb that it doesn’t need to be actively confronted,” Holder countered. “In its most obvious forms, it might be. But discrimination does not always come in the form of a hateful epithet or a Jim Crow-like statute. And so we must continue to take account of racial inequality, especially in its less obvious forms, and actively discuss ways to combat it.”  (link)

Today's speech was given on the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Civil Rights rights desegregation decision.

The full transcript of the speech is available here.