An Auburn, Alabama firefighter is alleging he has been repeatedly passed over for promotion because he is black, and the NAACP is standing behind him as they seek to correct what they consider to be a longstanding wrong.
Chris Turner is seeking a court ordered promotion, $1,000,000 in punitive damages, and a court order prohibiting any further discrimination and retaliation against blacks in the department. The suit names the city, the fire chief, a deputy chief, the mayor, the city manager, the public safety director, and the director of human resources.
- that this lawsuit is primarily a challenge, on various legal grounds, to hisnon-promotion within the City of Auburn Fire Department to the position of "fire lieutenant", and even to the lesser position of "sergeant"
- Plaintiff was "passed over" for promotion to team leader by Defendants approximately twenty times.
- Usually, Plaintiff was told that the reason he didn't get the job was because he had interviewed poorly
- the defendant City of Auburn … has only promoted two black Firefighters since 1996 and no other black firefighters have been promoted to the officer ranks in the last eighteen years. This manifests a consistent pattern and practice of avoiding the promotion of blacks.
- Plaintiff further avers that every African-American promoted since 1974 has received his promotion as the result of a lawsuit or pending lawsuit.
- Plaintiff avers that no black Firefighter has been hired since 1989 from the general public, and that all Firefighter positions have been filled through a program called the Student Program.
- Plaintiff also avers that ninety-nine plus percent of the Firefighters employed through the Student Program are white.
- Plaintiff also asserts that Defendant City of Auburn has continued on into the present date, 2013, and for the past two years before 2013 but within the statute of limitations, not to hire a black permanent Firefighter, a continuation of a practice existing since approximately 1996.
The 26 page complaint alleges race discrimination as well as retaliation against Turner for two previous lawsuits, one from 1991 and one in 2005. According to the complaint, the 1991 case resulting in Turner being hired by the department as a full time employee, and the 2005 suit alleged discrimination in the promotional process. The 2005 case was dismissed.
Here is a copy of the complaint: Turner v Auburn