Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT PAYS OUT THE GREEN


NYC pays $21 mln to settle class action race suit
REUTERSReuters US Online Report Top News
Feb 26, 2008 18:16 EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City has agreed to pay $21 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the city's parks department discriminated against black and Hispanic employees seeking better pay and promotion, officials said on Tuesday.

The suit, filed in 2001 on behalf of 3,500 people, said that between 1997 and 2004 the department retaliated against black and Hispanic employees who complained about discrimination and neglected parks in neighborhoods that housed black and Hispanic populations.
As part of the settlement, in which almost $12 million would be distributed among the 3,500 claimants and almost $9 million paid in lawyers fees and costs, the city agreed to review its pay and promotion decisions.

"While it was a long time coming, it is a significant step in the direction of equal employment opportunity for African-American and Latino employees of the City of New York," Cynthia Rollings, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters the claims dated back some time ago and he was "satisfied" the city did not discriminate against employees.
A trial had been due to begin in November.
(Reporting by Christine Kearney; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Eric Walsh)
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