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Minneapolis Parks & Rec faces race bias charges

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The Minneapolis NAACP has leveled charges of discrimination against the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB). The group claims board practices are biased against minority employees and city residents.

A letter to the board from local NAACP President Booker Hodges cited a case in which a minority super­­visor was allegedly unfairly ­de­­moted for refusing to discipline a minority employee. Hodges also cited a case in which MPRB em­­ployees allegedly commented that residents of a largely black part of North Minneapolis should clean up their own neighborhood after last May’s tornado “because they are unemployed.”

The letter also claims the parks and rec workforce doesn’t reflect Minneapolis’ racial makeup, with too few black employees.

Hodges says he has received over 60 bias complaints from employees and more than 100 citizen complaints in the past six months.

Park Superintendent Jayne Miller and Park Board President John Erwin have agreed to meet with Hodges and look into the allegations. Miller acknowledged the racial disparity in employment, claiming it’s “something that I have been trying to get my arms around since I’ve been here.”

Note: Employers with image problems are more likely to receive discrimination complaints. The best move is to be proactive, get complaints out in the open and work quickly to resolve them in ways that are consistent with company policies and procedures.

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