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San Francisco settles racial discrimination lawsuit for $300,000

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(The Center Square) – San Francisco has settled a two-year-old lawsuit alleging continued discrimination for about $306,250

The settlement awarded the funds to three of the eight Black employees who initially filed the suit on April 20, 2021. The lawsuit alleges that the city’s Department of Health routinely participated in racial discrimination while also providing a hostile work environment, disparate treatment, retaliation, age discrimination, harassment and improper treatment of a whistleblower.

Cheryl Thornton, a principal clerk at the time of the lawsuit, was granted $100,000. Thornton alleges that she was passed over for promotions for lesser-qualified candidates on three occasions, denied training opportunities and adequate performance evaluations and forced to endure unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic while being denied telecommuting privileges.

Darlene Daevu, a former coordinator, was granted $90,000 from the settlement. Daevu alleges that she was unfairly denied a promotion for a lesser-qualified candidate and was granted additional responsibilities without increased pay. Daevu, who holds a M.B.A. and a project management certificate, has applied for more than 200 jobs with the City of San Francisco, has been on seven eligibility lists and has high proficiency scores.

Dellfina Hardy, a licensed vocational nurse, was granted $116,250 from the settlement. Hardy alleges that her direct supervisor was demeaning to her in interpersonal and workplace interactions, ignored her repeated communications, created roadblocks to successful completion of her assigned tasks and unfairly denied her training and promotional opportunities. Department of Public Health officials, she alleges, ignored her complaints, launched a fraudulent and embarrassing investigation against her alleging that she was abusive, harassing and demeaning to her peers.

“The City is committed to maintaining a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation,” Jen Kwart, spokeswoman for the San Francisco City Attorney’s office said. “We believe the proposed settlements are appropriate resolutions to these matters given the inherent cost of continued litigation.”

San Francisco Department of Public Health did not respond in time for publication.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the settlement payments via the consent agenda during its June 27th meeting.

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