Bathrooms, Fountains Segregated, Say Black City Workers

Black workers at the Northwest Transfer Station in Roxborough are coming forward with allegations of segregation at the trash-handling facility, reports the Daily News’ Gloria Campisi.

One worker, Lawrence “Lonnie” Powell said that for the past six years of his employment there he has had to not only ask permission to use the bathroom, but when permission is granted he can only go to the restroom five flights down stairs.

The 58-year-old black employee said that white employees are allowed to use the bathroom 25 feet from his work station.

“On several occasions I've actually defecated on myself, trying to get down to the bathroom," said Powell.

In its investigation, the Daily News found that five current and former employees alleged that their white boss discriminates against them because they are black.

Culled from interviews with the workers and affidavits, the Daily News learned that the allegations include:

There is a “supervisor’s bathroom” where only white employees are allowed.

Black workers must ask permission to go to the bathroom that is five flights of stairs away

The superintendent did not respond for requests for comment, while an assistant city solicitor denied the allegations.

The supervisor, John Gill, has caused extreme emotional distress to black workers

A water cooler where some black employees work was moved into a dirty closet where the heater is located, and chained to a beam, while white workers were allowed to use the water cooler in Gill’s office.

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