Lansing city workers file lawsuit against mayor, administration

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– More claims of racial discrimination have surfaced against city leaders.

Nine current and former workers with the city of Lansing are taking legal action against Mayor Andy Schor and his administration, citing a pattern of racial discrimination in the mayor’s office and the Lansing Fire Department.

“They have forced African-Americans out of their positions, they have terminated some,” attorney Scott Batey said. “And they have made the lives miserable for those who have stayed.”

The workers say they were treated differently because of the color of their skin and that their civil rights were violated. One worker said they regularly experienced “racially offensive and insensitive comments” while working in they mayor’s office. Two more workers claim they were falsely accused of stealing computer software.

This isn’t Scott Batey’s first time representing people in lawsuits against the city, but he says this group of plaintiffs is the biggest.

“We thought initially about filing it as a class action because these are only the people I know about,” Batey said. “There could be a number of other people because it seems to be so prevalent.”

The mayor’s office says the city has not been served with the complaint yet and that Schor and his staff “take pride in the diversity of city staff and the valuable input that they all provide.”

Batey says this lawsuit isn’t just about money. For his clients, it’s about recognizing and stopping a systemic problem.

“They want to show how they were treated so other people aren’t treated that way. So hopefully people can learn and grow from what they’ve gone through.”

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