Black San Francisco city workers file state discrimination complaint

Black people represent 12% of the city’s 36,000 count workforce

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Black employees of the city of San Francisco have filed a discrimination complaint with the state for pay and bonus disparities between white and Asian and Black managers.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the Black Employees Alliance and Coalition Against Anti-Blackness filed the complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and alerted the city’s Ethics Commission. The group documented their claims with data from 2012 to 2020 which was collected through publicly available records. In a letter to Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors, the group wrote “San Francisco should be ashamed.”

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The city disputed any claims of disparities in raises, but acknowledged some racial gaps.

“The Department of Human Resources takes any claim of discrimination or unfair treatment of any employee very seriously,” spokesman Mawuli Tugbenyoh said in a statement, according to the Chronicle. “We have implemented focused strategies to address any inequities that we have on many occasions openly discussed and reported on.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed And Essential Workers Mark One-Year Since Covid Lockdowns In Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 17: San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“We have a lot of work to do, but it is very valid that Black employees are paid less in certain roles, are not promoted proportionally, and that they are the subject of disproportionate disciplinary actions by city departments,” Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton said in an additional statement, according to the outlet. “This has to change.”

Andy Lynch, a spokesman for the Mayor Breed responded, saying, “The city takes all claims of discrimination seriously.”

According to the Chronicle, Black people represent 12% of the city’s 36,000 count workforce and The Black Employee Alliance has about 410 members. Last fiscal year, Black employees were the subject of 21% of corrective actions and discipline, despite making up less than a quarter of all employees.

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“It’s an injustice,” said Jessica Brown to the news outlet. Brown is a Black manager who works for the city and serves on Black Employees Alliance’s leadership team. “We really want the city to move into action.”

“San Francisco has been allowed to show favor to who they want to,” said Irella Blackwood to the news outlet. Blackwood is another Black manager with the city and a board member of the Municipal Executives Association. She has worked for San Francisco for over a decade.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed And Essential Workers Mark One-Year Since Covid Lockdowns In Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 17: San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

theGrio recently reported that according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center between March 1 and March 7, 2021, nearly half of all American’s believe Black people are unfairly discriminated against.

The methodology report revealed a total of 12,055 panelists responded out of 13,545 who were sampled, for a response rate of 89%, minus two panelists who were removed from the data results. The target population for this survey was non-institutionalized people ages 18 and older, who live in any of the 50 states.

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