Race Discrimination Class Action Against New York City Settles for $21 million

Employment discrimination cases do not resolve themselves overnight. In 1999, twenty employees of the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in both hiring practices and promotion decisions. After approximately nine years of litigation, New York City has agreed to pay more than $21 million to settle what has grown to become a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 3,500 former and current workers.

Beginning in December 2006, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund helped coordinate the effort to reach a settlement with the City. Theodore M. Shaw, of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, had this to say:

Today’s settlement is a clear victory for those who were denied equality in the workplace for so long. L.D.F. commends the black and Latino workers of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation who stood up to this injustice and had the courage to fight for change.

In reaching such a successful result, the plaintiff’s relied on well-known economist, Dr. Stephen A. Schneider of Nathan Associates, Inc., who testified as an expert witness on the issue of liability and damages.

To read more about the settlement, visit the New York Times article entitled, City Settles Parks Bias Suit for $21 Million.