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Allegheny, Pa. 911 operators’ lawsuit alleges race bias

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Three former 911 dispatchers have filed suit against Allegheny County, Pa., alleging it discriminated against them because of their race. One dispatcher also claims she was subject to sexual harassment.

Two of the dispatchers are black women who claim they were assigned to take inner-city Pittsburgh calls because they “spoke ghetto.” A female Hispanic dispatcher claims her white supervisor continually asked her whether she preferred to have sex with black men. She was fired after three months on the job.

One of the black women was charged with neglecting her duties and is awaiting termination.

The other continues to work for the county. She alleges she has been subject to harsher discipline than similarly situated white employees. Specifically, she claims supervisors reprimanded her for “speaking too fast” on a 911 call. To her knowledge no other employee has faced a similar charge. The reprimand came after she filed a discrimination complaint. She also was suspended for five days for arguing with a white co-worker whom she claims was not disciplined at all.

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