Discrimination Suit Alleges ‘Plantation Mentality’ at City Sanitation Department

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Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images

A group of eleven black and Hispanic supervisors at the Sanitation Department marked Abraham Lincoln's birthday by hitting the city with a class-action discrimination suit, alleging that they've been denied promotions due to their race. While 55 percent of Sanitation workers who are on the street picking up trash are black or Hispanic, the suit claims that only 3 to 5 percent of the top managers are minorities. “We still have a plantation mentality at the Department of Sanitation,” said plaintiff Andrenia Burgis. “They’re in the front and we stand in back.” The group wants to see a freeze in promotions until a more fair system is put into place and is seeking $1 million each in damages.