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Fire department accused of years of workplace discrimination

Most Wisconsin employees expect to be treated with fairness and dignity in the workplace. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still very much alive. Many people continue to be passed over for promotions, given unjustly negative performance reviews and subjected to other forms of discrimination.

An out-of-state fire department is currently fielding allegations of ongoing and ingrained discrimination against black employees. Multiple employees filed suit against their employee, citing instances of discriminatory compensation, promotion practices and hiring. This suit follows a complaint made with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about a year ago.

One of the workers pursuing the lawsuit claims that she was purposely kept in a low position with insufficient compensation because of her skin color. She is currently employed as a computer specialist, a job which she has held for approximately 30 years. Her starting pay was $69,000, which she claims was significantly less than the $92,000 her predecessor -- a white man -- made. The suit also claims that she has been given only two raises during her time of employment, and that she was evaluated only three times. White applicants, however, were apparently hired into higher-ranking positions and given opportunities for growth without having to demonstrate their credentials.

It can be difficult for Wisconsin workers to reconcile a job that they love doing with the ongoing discrimination that they might face while at work. Many workers feel powerless to affect change, and unfortunately suffer through months or even years of workplace discrimination. No matter how long a person might have dealt with harassment and discrimination at work, they may take action against their employer in the form of a lawsuit. Not only can most victims achieve just compensation, but many are able to implement real changes in their workplace, protecting future employees from suffering similar acts of discrimination.

Source: amny.com, "FDNY discriminates against black employees, passing them over for raises and promotions, lawsuit says", Alison Fox, Dec. 6, 2017

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