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New York City Sees an Increase in Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

According to a recent New York Times article, the number of employment discrimination lawsuits filed by New York City employees has been increasing. In comparing the first two terms of the Bloomberg administration with the first two terms of the Giuliani administration, the article states that employment discrimination cases against New York City have increased by 12 percent.

Additionally, the article states that New York City has opted to settle many of its employment discrimination cases rather than defend them in court. The article states that from 2002 to 2009, the city paid over $69 million to settle over 400 employment discrimination cases.

According to the article, "in one six-week period from late 2008 to early 2009, the city paid $300,000 to settle a claim from a male police officer who alleged that his female supervisor had sexually harassed him; $225,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim from a secretary at the Department for the Aging; and a total of $316,500 in seven settlements for grievances stemming from demotions or alleging racial bias and age discrimination."

The article states that according to Michael A. Cardozo, New York City's Corporation Counsel, the recent increase in employment discrimination claims could be a result of our "ailing economy, as well as a growing willingness among workers to speak out and seek legal redress."

The article further notes that New York City's Equal Employment Practices Commission, which monitors and evaluates the employment practices of city agencies, has lost about half of its auditors, and may be another reason employment discrimination claims against New York City are rising.

Although employment discrimination claims in New York City have increased, the article states that many workplaces have actually eliminated discrimination by enacting special training programs aimed at promoting equal opportunities. The article points out that many workplaces implemented these programs as a result of the nation's change to its employment discrimination laws in the early 1990's, which made it easier for workers to bring employment discrimination actions based on race, age, gender, and other protected reasons.

This New York Times article contains additional information as well as the full report.

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