Six Black Los Angeles Fire Department employees who work in the Fire Prevention unit have filed a lawsuit against the city. The suit alleges a “good old white boys club,” according to MyNewsLA.com in the department that prevents plaintiffs from being fairly promoted and that they are the targets of criticism.
Leslie Wilkerson, Joseph Smith, Justin Davis, Robert McLoud, Sean Morris, and Mario Newte, all arson investigators, filed the suit Wednesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The 89-page complaint alleging racial discrimination, hostile work environment, and failure to prevent harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
“The Fire Department, as an agency, is very good at putting out fires and rescue services,” the lawsuit reads. “But what is sorely lacking in this fire department is respect and fairness in dealings with minority employees, especially African-Americans.”
The suit alleges that LAFD’s main decision-makers tend to be white men who “hold very racist and bigoted attitudes and do not believe in diversity, equity or inclusion in the workplace.”
If the minority employees do not conform to the politics, they “are abused and mistreated in the workplace, and their work lives are made miserable,” the suit continues.
The employees seek unspecified damages. A representative for the City Attorney’s Office did not respond to the outlet’s request for comment.