In a lawsuit against San Diego and its recently retired city clerk Elizabeth Maland, an attorney alleges long-standing discrimination in which no Black person under Elizabeth Maland’s supervision had received a promotion since 2011.
In the lawsuit, attorney Michael Conger represented current and former city staffers Ivy Blackwood-Evans, Samantha Ely, A. Trida Hughes, and Sabrina Tatum. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Ely is Japanese and Native American, while the other three plaintiffs are Black.
According to the four women, Maland - city clerk for 17 years and San Diego employee for more than 30 years - refused to promote workers she deemed too old or not White or Hispanic. They are all 50 or older.
In Conger's claim, Maland denied those employees access to the training they needed for promotion. In his opinion, the city's equal employment division needs better authority to prevent discrimination.
“If the city had looked at the last 10 years, they would have seen a clear pattern,” Conger said, according to The Union-Tribune.
In the lawsuit, Maland is also accused of using demeaning language to harass employees - saying, "I own you," to one whose heritage includes enslavement - and retaliating against any complainant.
The suit claims city officials failed to act as soon as they learned of allegations made against Maland.
Hughes resigned as a result of Maland's bias and discrimination, according to the lawsuit; the other three plaintiffs are still employed by the city.
The city of San Diego is irresponsible for ignoring the severity of racial bias and discrimination and needs to take action against Maland's flagrant display of racism and ageism against her victims of discrimination.
Source: The Grio