San Diego is paying a former city laborer nearly $100,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against because of his race and complaints he made about unsafe working conditions.
According to The Hill, Demetris Wimberley, a Black man who worked in the city’s Streets Division, was fired for cause after a minor vehicle crash in January of 2018. He said the accident was used as an excuse to fire him in retaliation for his previous complaints about his supervisor’s discriminatory conduct.
Wimberley accused his Latino supervisor of favoring Latino workers and rarely speaking English to his employees, reports The Associated Press. He also stated he received bad assignments and shifts, with no duties that would likely lead to a promotion.
In the lawsuit, Wimberley claims he fractured his foot on the job, and he was forced by city officials to come back to work while he was still on crutches. He reported this to the city’s fraud and abuse hotline, and the claim states this was the reason for his supervisor’s retaliatory acts. They extended his probation beyond the original deadline of one year, and he was ultimately fired.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the City Council is expected to meet on Tuesday to officially approve Wimberley’s $97,500 settlement.
More from The Hill:
Though the council unanimously approved the settlement on Aug. 3, the city continues to deny the allegations and maintains that it did no wrong. Documents submitted to the council said the dispute would be settled “without an admission of liability,” according to the Union-Tribune.
A city audit last year revealed San Diego spent over $220 million between 2010 to 2018 to handle about 20,000 claims and lawsuits filed during that time.
Seems it would be a lot cheaper to just do right by people.