Discrimination in the workplace is alive and well and continues to hamper the careers of women, people of color, and others. However, sometimes people exposed to discrimination have the courage to push back. For example, five female officers working for the New York Probation Service recently filed a discrimination case in Manhattan federal court against their employer on charges of being “paid less and promoted less than white male officers in the past.” Plaintiffs include black and Latin American officials represented by the Probation Officers Union.
Police officer; Image courtesy of cocoparisienne via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
The lawsuit states: “Women of skin color make up the majority of the agency’s officers, but are currently paid significantly less than men when the probation department was mostly made up of white male officers.” Plaintiffs Jean Brown, Tanga Johnson, Tara Smith and Cathy Washington, who are Black, and Emma Stovall, the Hispanic, go on to claim they have “been underpaid for years, despite being asked to do more jobs without getting real promotions. “Johnson was in the job for 36 years before retiring in 2019.
Dalvanie Powell, president of the United Probation Officers Association, said of the lawsuit: “Our work has been undervalued for too long because our members are predominantly women and people of color.”
“We understand that the city will have to make difficult budget decisions in the years to come. But this economic downturn has disproportionately affected women and people of skin color, and it would be immoral to continue discriminating against wages in order to balance the budget … The city can either be part of the problem or part of the solution and support hardworking officials doing the essential job Afford. “
The lawsuit goes on to say that the city’s probation officers have historically been white men. “Now, however, over 90% of the agency’s officials are ignorant and 80% are women.” For this reason, “in recent years, color officers have had to do more work with less support and less pay.”
“When current and past parole wage rates are analyzed, it shows [the agency has] Engaging in any pattern and / or practice of probation wage suppression, along with various promotion and other employment practices that have adversely affected women and people of color employed in the DOP. “
Five female Black and Latina officials say they are underpaid and undervalued by the NYC Probation Dept in a federal discrimination lawsuit
UPOA v City of New York and NYC Department of Probation