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Lawsuit Says Black City Employees Faced Racial Slurs, Were Denied Promotions At Water Department

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 29, 2017 8:07PM

Glass of water (photo via [cipher] on Flickr

A new lawsuit filed Thursday against the city claims that black employees of Chicago's Water Department were discriminated against, sexually harassed, denied promotions and spoken to with racial slurs.

The lawsuit was filed by seven employees, some current, some former, with hopes of earning class-action lawsuit status to extend its impact. The filing paints a disturbing picture of racism inside the water department, including alleging that the employees were regularly subjected to racial slurs and other demeaning language, including the n-word and being called "you people." Additionally, " "Black female employees are called bitches and whores on a regular basis," according to the suit. The Sun-Times has published the suit here.

The suit follows recent leadership changes at the Water Management Department and the release of racist and sexist emails written between ex-department heads. The city recently appointed Randy Conner as the new water department commissioner; Conner, who is African American, was promoted to replace Barrett Murphy, the ex-comissioner who recently resigned with two other colleagues after an inspector general report revealed racist and sexist emails were being sent among department employees.

[H/T Tribune]