Civil Plaintiff

The City of Chicago Agrees to Settle Water Department Racism Lawsuit for $5.8 Million

The City of Chicago has tentatively agreed to pay out a $5.8 million settlement to 12 Black employees at the city’s water department over their claims of a racist and toxic workplace culture. The settlement was reached on May 6, almost a month before a trial in federal court was set to begin. The Chicago city council still needs to approve the settlement before it can be finalized. 

As CBS News reported, the lawsuit alleges the 12 workers “have been humiliated, harassed, denied opportunities for advancement and additional pay, and threatened daily” by both white co-workers and supervisors. An attorney for the 12 Black workers, Victor Henderson, told CBS News, “It was plain to anyone who looked that the racism cascaded from the very top of the organization like water travels down a hill. The racism lasted for decades and affected countless Black employees, which raises the question of why the City’s uppermost leaders failed to act. The sad and most obvious answer is that they did not care. Shame on them,” Henderson concluded. 

Read more at Black Enterprise

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