Richmond City workers file EEOC Complaint, Lawsuit Threatened - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond City workers file EEOC Complaint, Lawsuit Threatened

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The NAACP threatens a billion dollar lawsuit amid charges of racism by city workers. Wednesday morning, a group of employees with Richmond's Department of Public Utilities filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

This latest step comes after an internal investigation by the city which found evidence of discrimination and racism inside the water distribution division of public utilities. For the first time, an employee with the department -- who says he's a victim, is speaking out.

Tore Harris stood with seven co-workers during a press conference hosted by the  NAACP. All of the men, who are employed with the department of utilities, say they want action.

Harris, a pipeline technician, says his dream of working for the city has turned into a nightmare.

"I've never endured this level of stress and this level of disrespect -- it's everyday," said Harris.

The men claim they were called racial and sexual slurs by white managers and that there are unfair practices when it comes to promotions.

"It was rampant and it was harsh," said Harris.

A redacted report recently released by the city confirms many of the allegations. It calls the water distribution department "unorganized and unpleasant." On Wednesday, EEOC complaints were filed on behalf of the men.

Former city council member and advocate, Sa'ad El-amin says grievances will also be filed with the city in hopes of going before the personnel board.

"They can't give money but if there was a person who was displaced - they can be reinstated - if a promotion was denied, they can give the promotion," said El-amin.

He says if a resolution isn't reach a civil suit in the amount of one billion dollars will be filed.

Late Wednesday afternoon the mayor's office issued a statement that says in part, "The city has a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to harassment and discrimination. Recommendations made in the investigative report have been implemented."

Recommendations include one employee being fired and another suspended and transferred.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:33 PM EDT2017-07-23 16:33:05 GMT

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>
  • Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:09 AM EDT2017-07-23 15:09:48 GMT
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:36:05 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly