Administration and Leadership, News, Operations

Lawsuit Claims Racial Discrimination, Retaliation in Cleveland EMS

CLEVELAND – The city and the Emergency Medical Services commissioner are being sued by five black EMS captains over allegations the group faced racial discrimination and were retaliated against once they brought up their concerns.

The lawsuit alleges Capts. Michael Threat, Margarita Noland-Moore, Pamela Beavers, Lawrence Walker and Reginald Anderson were treated differently than their white colleagues when it came to being assigned preferred work shifts, despite seniority.

EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton allegedly said the city “… cannot have a shift with all blacks on it,” according to the lawsuit.

A photo from Cleveland EMS Twitter.

The lawsuit claims the five filed complaints with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and were later retailed against for bringing the issue up.

“Given their history working in the Division of Emergency Medical Services and the historical limitations placed on African Americans, plaintiffs have sustained and continue to sustain extreme emotional distress and suffering solely on account of defendants’ overt discriminatory and retaliatory conduct,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit seeks unspecific compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction on the city and Carlton from further racial or gender discrimination.

Cleveland.com reports the city did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment about the lawsuit.

Click Download to view the lawsuit as a PDF.