NYPD Fails to Promote Black Officers
New York, NY – The New York Police Department is being sued for racial discrimination, again. According to the suit filed by three former employees, the NYPD has a been sued for failing to promote well qualified African American employees to their Intelligence Division, the unit primarily tasked with investigating terrorism, because of their race.
Retired Det. Jon McCollum, Det. Roland Stephens and Sara Coleman, the wife of deceased Det. Theodore Coleman, have filed a suit against the department alleging the NYPD regularly moved white, less qualified employees into the Intelligence Division.
Det. McCollum, 50, had received high scores on his evaluations and over 35 department honors. McCollum was never disciplined, never received a CCRB complaint and never called in sick during his 24 year career. Despite his exemplary record, McCollum was forced to watch as countless white detectives moved up in the ranks. McCollum was even told by one of his supervisors that if he had been white, he would have been promoted.
The main issue with promotions in the NYPD is the subjectivity of the process. Without any formal standards, there is ample opportunity for abuse in the system. In McCullum’s earlier days, he would often ask his supervisors why he wasn’t getting promoted, they would simply reply “I don’t know.”
In addition to McCollum, Sara Coleman has displayed dismay with the entire process. Ms. Coleman stated that her husband Theo Coleman had joined the NYPD to make a difference, but his love of the job turned to disappointment and embarrassment when he realized that his work would not be recognized because of his race.
Discriminating against an individual on the basis of their race is a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964. Under Title VII, an employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee in any employment decision, including the decision to promote an employee. In order to bring a federal claim of employment discrimination, an employee must first file their case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Once an employee files their charge with the EEOC, the EEOC will issue one of three determinations: 1) a letter of determination, which means the EEOC has found enough probable cause to believe a violation has occurred; 2) a right to sue letter, which means the EEOC has not found enough probable cause that a violation has occurred, but a violation may have occurred and the employee is free to file a suit in federal court; or 3) a finding of no probable cause, which means the EEOC has not found any probable cause that a violation has occurred.
New York City and New York State have human rights laws that are analogous to the federal human rights laws. Our talented sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, have years of experience litigating claims of employment discrimination. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who are survivors of employment discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of your race in the workplace, please give our skillful attorneys a call, toll-free, at (800) 807-2209. to have a free consultation about your case.


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About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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