Thirteen Sue City Over Racial Discrimination; City Denies "Years Old" Allegations

A couple of hours ago, Rudy Bush posted a lawsuit 13 Dallas Water Utilities employees have filed against the city, in which they allege all manner of racial discrimination. According to the docs, the litigants -- who are either African-American, Asian or Hispanic -- had, in 2008, taken their complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; in September, the U.S. Department of Justice opted not to pursue litigation but did issue the plaintiffs right-to-sue notices.

The suit makes all kind of allegations involving racial epithets bandied about by white city workers; it also says they've been subjected to "threats, intimidation and harassment" while on the job. Which is why, moments ago, Frank Librio in the city's Public Information Office forwarded along the city's response to the complaint, which reads, in part:

The City has not had an opportunity to review all of the allegations. However, many of the allegations concern specific incidents that are several years old, about which the City took corrective measures regarding these situations at the time the allegations were first reported. The City denies that it has engaged in any unlawful conduct. ...

DWU instituted a diversity process initiative in August 2007, conducted by an outside consultant, Skot Welch, of Global Bridge Builders. The process included interviewing employees to gain insight into what DWU was doing to foster a diverse and inclusive working environment. Based on extensive interviews with employees, a training program was tailored to meet the needs of the employees and the department. Most DWU employees have attended this training. DWU has also developed an Employee Advisory Council, which is a collaborative group of individuals representing a wide cross-section of DWU employees (including the Director and an Assistant Director) whose function is to address ongoing issues in the department. The Employee Advisory Council meets once a month to address current issues within the department. Finally, the City continues to conduct extensive training for employees in DWU to address Title VII prohibitions regarding employment discrimination based on race and retaliation.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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