Teaneck Township will pay $750,000 to a firefighter to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, its second large settlement in a year. Its deputy fire chief will personally pay an additional $8,000, although neither he nor the township has admitted wrongdoing. As part of the settlement agreement, the firefighter will retire.
The plaintiff, one of only six black members of the 100-member department, alleged that the deputy chief used racial slurs in reference to him and called black people “monkeys” in front of his children and others at a firefighters’ barbecue. The lawsuit alleged that when he complained, he faced retaliation from the department.
The township is still stinging from a $2.3 million settlement of harassment and retaliation lawsuits brought by another firefighter in 2006.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Before firing, make sure employee hasn't made any recent safety complaints
- Avoiding reference-Related retaliation claims
- No need to establish absolute proof before terminating alleged harasser
- Listen for code words when evaluating discrimination complaints