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Los Angeles Litigation Law Firm 424-284-2401

Longtime Employee Sues Fire Department Over Racial Discrimination


It is disappointing when your employer does not grant you a promotion for which you have applied and for which you are eligible, but you usually tell yourself, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  When this happens multiple times, though, there might be some reason for it besides random chance.  Denial of promotions or raises may be an adverse action, which it is appropriate for employers to take when employees have not fulfilled the eligibility requirements.  When the employer’s decision to deny the employee a promotion is not due to the employee’s job performance but rather to a protected characteristic of the employee, such as the employee’s race, age, or disability, then the adverse action counts as employment discrimination.  An employee of a fire department in a large California city is suing his employer and alleging that the employer discriminated against him and other employees of the fire department.  If your employer has unfairly denied you advancement opportunities in your career, despite that you having worked for the employer for many years, and you believe that this mistreatment was racially motivated, contact a Los Angeles race discrimination lawyer.

Plaintiff Attributes Denial of Promotions to Racial Discrimination and Retaliation

The plaintiff in this case worked for a fire department in a major California city for nearly 30 years, during which time he attained the rank of battalion chief.  He was one of only a few African-American employees of the fire department, and he alleges that he experienced racial discrimination, especially after he received this promotion.

As in other recent discrimination cases in California, the plaintiff in this case became a target of retaliation when he attempted to protect other employees from unfair treatment.  For example, he escalated a complaint by a woman firefighter who claimed that her supervisor, a captain, had treated her in a sexist way.  Against the plaintiff’s recommendations, the firefighter got an involuntary transfer to another department, while the captain got a promotion and a pay raise.  This was just one of several incidents where other high-ranking members of the fire department tried to undermine the plaintiff’s exercise of authority.

In 2021 and 2022, deputy chief positions became open several times, and the plaintiff applied for them, but he did not receive the promotion.  Some of the people who made decisions about the promotion were long-time coworkers of the plaintiff and had consistently treated him with racially motivated animosity.  The most recent application was in October 2022, by which time the plaintiff was already in contact with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The plaintiff reached the interview stage for the promotion and one of the interviewers was a coworker the plaintiff had mentioned in his EEOC complaint.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer discriminated against you over a period of many years.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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