According to the Associated Press, the city of San Francisco has agreed to pay $175,000 to a firefighter after he filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination and harassment by his superiors. The firefighter claims his superiors subjected him and two other black firefighters to racial discrimination and harassment, attempting to get them to quit.
Larry Jacobs claims that after injuring his shoulder on the job, he was forced to do humiliating tasks like scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush and weeding the grounds as his superiors mocked him with names like “house boy.” He also claims that he was not allowed to eat with other new employees, and fellow veteran firefighters verified Jacob’s claims, saying the belittling was an attempt by superiors to get Jacobs and the two other black employees to quit.
The city claimed Jacobs was not singled out because of his race and that the menial tasks were normal for injured firefighters. The San Francisco Fire Commission settled the suit for $175,000, but is waiting on approval from the city to agree to pay the amount.
It is illegal in California for employers to discriminate against employees based upon their race. Harassment, however, is not inherently illegal, until it is based upon something like the employee’s race or gender. Discrimination and harassment can be difficult to prove, but if you feel like you have faced these obstacles, the labor law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob know how to get the compensation you deserve.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys