FPI Discrimination Case 8-29-23

As you know, in 2020, five fire protection inspectors and Local 2507 filed a race discrimination
class action lawsuit against the City on behalf of FPIs. I am pleased to share the great news that
today our lawyers filed a motion seeking approval of an historic settlement in our case. Under
the agreement, the City will not only pay about $29.2 million into a settlement fund to be
distributed to FPI’s but will also increase FPIs’ salaries from September 1, 2023, through August
31, 2024.

This case pioneered important legal principles because it compared the pay of FPIs, who are
overwhelmingly people of color, with other predominantly white City workers (building
inspectors) who we claim perform substantially similar jobs. Breaking new legal ground, the
judge included white FPIs as class members because they were also harmed by the City’s pay
practices. Hopefully these decisions will help other workers recover fair pay in the future.
We do not yet know the exact amount of benefit that each FPI will receive from the settlement
fund. It will depend on factors such as the number of years worked as an FPI and the positions
held in each of the relevant years. Still, we believe that, on average, each class member will
receive between $30,000 and $35,000, even after the lawyers and other expenses are paid
from the settlement fund. Obviously, some FPIs will receive more than the average, while
others will receive less.

In a class action case like this, the judge must approve the settlement. If she grants preliminary
approval, a written notice will be sent to all FPIs who worked during the relevant time period.
FPIs will be able to opt out of the settlement or to comment about the proposed settlement.
The judge will consider those comments in deciding whether to give the settlement her final
approval. It is likely that the final approval decision will occur sometime in the spring or
summer of 2024. No funds can be distributed until after the judge grants final approval of the

I want to thank Darryl Chalmers, Darren Connors, Glenn Mendez, James Nova, and Fatima
Rosemond for sticking their necks out and bringing this case on behalf of all FPIs. They have put
a lot of work into the case over the past 3 ½ years.

I’ll keep you up to date on our progress toward final approval of the settlement.

Oren Barzilay
FDNY Local 2507