Moving to close the books on a long and ugly chapter in New York’s employment history, the city has agreed to pay more than $20 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit charging that the Department of Parks and Recreation systematically discriminated against black and Hispanic employees in awarding jobs and setting salaries, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Tuesday.
City Agrees to Settlement in Parks Dept. Bias Case
In announcing the agreement, lawyers and the plaintiffs painted a portrait of an agency that under its long-serving commissioner, Henry J. Stern, routinely rewarded a handpicked coterie of inexperienced white workers with plum assignments at the expense of experienced black and Hispanic employees.
From the original complaint:
Dorothy Lewandowski, a white employee, was promoted to Chief of Operations for the Bronx when then-Parks Commissioner Henry Stern called her and informed her that she was being promoted from Deputy Chief of Operations for Queens. Again, Parks promoted Lewandowski to this position without ever having posted a vacancy notice, solicited applications, or conducted a formal interview process. (Lewandowski is now the Queens Parks Commissioner.)
Whenever you see something stupid happening in a Queens park, remember that may be because the person in charge is not qualified.
Photo from Bronx Times