Case Description

On November 6, 2013, Cynthia Hill and seven other named Plaintiffs, employed in the Communications Section of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as Police Communications Technicians (“PCTs”) and Supervisor Police Communication Technicians (“SPCTs,” collectively, “911 Operators”), filed this lawsuit against the City of New York (“City”) and a number of employees of the City as well as District Council 37, Local 1549 (“DC 37” or “the Union”) alleging violations of their civil rights, under federal law such as Section 1981 which prohibits racial discrimination and the Family medical Leave Act, and New York State and New York City Human Rights as well as of their rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) between the City and the Union.

The Plaintiffs, 911 Operators, brought this lawsuit to ensure that they and members of the class, who are predominantly members of racial minorities (Hispanic and Blacks), are treated like all other non-minority emergency workers that the City of New York employs. Historically, the City 911 Operators work as civilian employees of NYPD answering the public’s emergency calls received through the City’s 911 response system and dispatching police radio calls from officers in the field. They are  dedicated and professional civilian employees of the Police Department who, day in and day out, serve the City of New York and its citizens in times of danger and tragedy, including during the terror attacks of September 11 and the Super Storm Sandy that caused widespread damage and fatalities within the City. They therefore sit at the crossroad of all emergency relief in the City. Despite their highly essential service, the City and the NYPD have for far too long subjected these 911 Operators to discriminatory and unlawful employment practices that no other group of employees within NYPD — civilian or non-civilian — face.

In their complaint, the 911 Operators show that they have been subjected to discriminatory disciplinary treatment, forced to work up to 16 hour shifts with few meal or bathroom breaks, threatened and retaliated against when they attempt to use sick leave, among other statutory violations. The 911 Operators contend that these discriminatory, abusive and coercive policies and practices violate the civil rights of the Operators as guaranteed under federal, state and city laws and in significant respects the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Operators’ union, DC 37.  Yet, their union has inexplicably refused to act in any meaningful manner to protect their rights under the agreement

This class action lawsuit therefore seeks to end the City and NYPD’s unlawful and discriminatory treatment of this group of more than one thousand 911 Operators, who are predominantly minority and overwhelmingly female, and many of whom have served the City creditably for many years.


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