1/11/21 All Out To Stop Systemic Racism In City & County Of San Francisco
Fire SF Health Service System Chief Operating Officer Mitch Griggs NOW!
Return All Fired Workers To Their Jobs And Full Compensation For Terminated Black City Employees
Monday January 11, 2020 12 Noon
SF Health Service System
945 Market St.
Physical Distancing At Press Conference
San Franciscoo Health System Service Chief Operating Officer Mitch Griggs has a record of terrorrizing and
bullying Black employees in this agency. He has driven Black employees out of the agency including Malia Alim and other Black workers.
Not only has racist Mitch retaliated against Black employeees at the agency but has actually retaliated against Black employees and whistleblowers from other agencies such as Valerie Taybron
who blew the whistle at MTA and was illegally retaliated against and then faced retaliation by the Health Service System when she tried to retire. Abbie Yant who is the CEO has also condoned this activity.
We demand that Mitch be fired now and also there be a criminal investigation against Griggs and other officials who illlegally colluded to discriminate and retaliatate against Black employees.
We call on District Attorney Chesa Boundin to investigate and prosocute these and other criminals at the Department of Human Resources who illegally forged documents to undermine Black employees who were illegally retaliated against because of their race. Mayor London Breed should be supporting this action.
Last year hundreds of Black and other employees testified about the racist attacks both verbally and even physically against themselves. None of these workers have beene re-instated by the City of San Francisco and in fact the racist attacks have even escalated during the Covid-19 pandemic when Black and Brown employees have been put on the front lines without proper PPE and also not been allowed to work online as fellow employees were.
The Department of Human Resources HR and top City Managers and politicians continue to allow these blatant violations of human lives and basic rights.
The SF Supervisors have also voted unaimously to approve settlements of over $130 million to workers and tens of millions nore to City lawyers for illegal actions by City managers
Including racist discrimination, corruption and malfeasance without demanding that the managers who violated the law are fired and prosecuted for these actions.
Instead these managers and executives have been promoted and allowed to retire with full City pensions. This has to STOP NOW!
SF Bay View Newspaper
United Front Committee For A Labor Party
Higher Education Action Team HEAT CCSF
United Public Workers For Action UPWA.info
(669) 216-6104, (415) 533-5642
Black S.F. employees file racial discrimination lawsuit against city
Mallory Moench Dec. 10, 2020 Updated: Dec. 10, 2020 9:17 a.m.
Alicia Williams, a licensed vocational nurse with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, found this note in an employee-only area of Laguna Honda Hospital on Jan. 8. Williams said the city’s office of Equal Employment Opportunity could not identify a perpetrator after an investigation. Williams filed a class action lawsuit with two other Black city employees alleging racial discrimination on Dec. 9.
Three Black San Francisco employees filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the city, accusing agencies of failing to provide Black workers with equal employment opportunities and prevent discrimination.
The plaintiffs work in the Municipal Transportation Agency, the Department of Public Health and the Public Utilities Commission. The lawsuit alleges they were paid less than non-Black colleagues, denied promotions due to their race and subjected to racist comments, harassment and treatment, including an anonymous note that called one a “monkey.”
“My morale is in the gutter,” said plaintiff Keka Robinson-Luqman, an SFMTA employee who said she has been the victim of racist remarks and unequal pay. Lower income has hindered her and husband, an agency bus operator, from saving enough to buy a house and putting their daughter in full-time preschool, she said.
“The most bothersome to me about all of this is that it’s consistently ongoing,” she said. “Colleagues who have been there 20-plus years explain almost the same exact issues that I’m going through. Nothing is changing ... This needs to stop.”
John Coté, spokesman for the city attorney, said privacy protections in personnel matters limit what the agency could publicly say, adding it would address the case in court.
“The City takes equal employment issues very seriously and is committed to fostering a welcoming workplace free of discrimination or harassment,” Coté said.
The class-action lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco follows racial discrimination suits from a former firefighter and engineer in July and eight health department workers in October, as city agencies have intensified discussions about systemic racism. The city founded an Office of Racial Equity last year and produced a workforce report in March that highlighted data that showed “serious disparities between demographic groups, particularly along racial lines.” Black employees held lower-paying jobs, were less likely to be promoted and were more frequently disciplined and fired, the report said.
An SFMTA report last month also revealed that Black employees were disproportionately subject to discipline.
SFMTA director Jeffrey Tumlin said the agency has a “history of racism” against its own workforce. In the latest scandal, a Black employee who sued the agency for passing her up for a promotion after reporting harassment was also the victim of a forged settlement by a manager who has since resigned.
“I understand firsthand why more Black employees are unsuccessful in resolving issues in the city, because the processes and practices, the way that they are currently, are set up to work against Black employees,” said Dante King, a founding member of the city’s Black Employee Alliance, who worked for human resources and SFMTA and is now at the health department. “It’s set up to create a narrative and a facade that San Francisco is inclusive and is a model city for anti-racism. It is not.”
SFMTA spokeswoman Kristen Holland said the agency has implemented implicit bias training for the past few years and recently created a racial equity office and 90-step racial equity action plan that the board will consider for final approval next week.
“The agency takes seriously its significant responsibility to its almost 6,000 employees to have a workplace free from bias and discrimination,” she said.
Black people make up 15% of the city’s workforce, with 54% of the city’s Black employees concentrated in the three departments represented by plaintiffs, according to the workforce report. The report showed that white employees are nearly twice as likely to be in management positions as Black employees. White managers are paid an average hourly wage of $78.86 compared to $60.75 for Black managers.
Former San Francisco firefighter, engineer sue city for racial...
The lawsuit also alleged that the human resources department failed to thoroughly investigate discrimination complaints. Last year, 32% of equal employment opportunities complaints were filed by Black employees, according to city data. Five of 579 complaints lodged last year were sustained, eight resulted in harassment prevention training and seven in discipline.
The three plaintiffs in Wednesday’s lawsuits had filed complaints. Plaintiff Alicia Williams, a licensed vocational nurse with the health department, found a note in an employee-only area of Laguna Honda Hospital that read “Alicia the monkey, black monkey” on Jan. 8. The city’s Equal Employment Opportunity office investigated, but officials told her they couldn’t identify the perpetrator, the lawsuit said.
Williams, who started working for the city in 2001, alleged discrimination and abuse from different white supervisors. She was fired in 2012 for “insubordination” and “damaging city property,” but reinstated in 2014 after an arbitrator determined that her manager’s actions were “racially tinged.”
The lawsuit alleges that Williams was more recently denied accommodation granted to white co-workers to take registered nurse classes, which would have helped her get a promotion, and subjected to disciplinary actions without asking her side of the story.
The second plaintiff, Robinson-Luqman, a junior management assistant in the board of directors division for the SFMTA since 2016, alleged that her white manager used racist and stereotypical language with her. She said that during a time when Muni was rocked by harassment complaints, her manager told her on more than one occasion that the situation had improved since “they used to do things like hang nooses at the office here.”
In 2018 and 2019, Robinson-Luqman said that her manager left or did not attend racial equity trainings, telling her she “was tired of hearing about what white people did to Black people” and had “real work to do.”
Robinson-Luqman said she has performed tasks above her civil service class without adequate compensation, despite having more education than a higher-level non-Black employee. This year, she applied for a promotion to board secretary, but didn’t get it even though she said she now performs many of those duties. Her discrimination complaint filed in February was initially assigned to Rebecca Sherman — who resigned after forging a settlement in response to another Black employee’s complaint — and then passed along to another officer, with no conclusion yet, she said.
The third plaintiff, John Hill, has worked as a laborer for the Public Utilities Commission since 1991. The lawsuit alleges that Hill was repeatedly denied promotions given to non-Black employees with lower seniority and inferior marks on civil service exams. Once, he was passed up for the family member of a retiring white supervisor, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit asks for a preliminary injunction to stop the city from engaging in discrimination and adjust wages and benefits for plaintiffs. It also demands that the court require the city to rewrite its policies and better train its human resources department.
“Even though the leadership has in some instances admitted to a history of racism, that’s not even half the battle,” said Felicia Medina, a partner with Medina Orthwein LLP, one of two law firms representing the plaintiffs. “We’re seeking both truth and reconciliation, and we want to be able to monitor the changes that we want to see.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misstated the name of a the city agency. It is the Office of Racial Equity.
Mallory Moench is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mallory.moench [at] sfchronicle.com Twitter:@mallorymoench
Racist practices at the SF Health Service System will no longer be tolerated: Remove Mitchell Griggs now!
December 22, 2020
On the right is San Francisco Health Service System Executive Director Abbie Yant. The Health Service System hired Malika Alim, on the left, as a file clerk, then assigned her to supervise other clerks and serve as office manager without a promotion or a pay increase. While Malika waited for a small reclassification that never came, 16 percent of the staff were promoted, reclassified or hired. Civil Rights Attorney Angela Alioto says racism is rampant in all City departments.
by Malik Washington
As the new editor of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper I have a plethora of responsibilities; one such task is screening incoming mail for breaking news and whistleblower reports. I recently had a stack of mail on my desk and decided to take it home for the weekend in order to read the contents thoroughly.
I was shocked to find an envelope addressed to the editor and marked “confidential and protected.” What I discovered not only angered me but turned my stomach. Within the envelope was a plea for help from an employee of the City’s Health Service System. It detailed the actions of a specific department and a specific supervisor who has employed racist strategies and tactics in his capacity as an employee of the city government. What really drew my ire was the obvious complicity of the city’s Human Resources Department, which has basically aided and abetted the actions of this wayward city employee.
The Health Service System has a long history of retaliation against employees of color. In October of 2020, a federal lawsuit was filed in San Francisco against systemic racism in the City and County. Civil Rights Attorney Angela Alioto is representing more than 50 workers who have been discriminated against because of their race.
Upon receiving this letter, I contacted Steve Zeltzer who is the host of Work Week, a radio program which airs every Thursday between 12 noon and 2 p.m. on KPOO 89.5FM. My mentor, Mary Ratcliff, suggested that I contact Steve and ask him his thoughts on the matter before me. Steve first instructed me to find out if I could contact any of the current or former employees who had been victimized by this racist city employee. I began to make phone calls and it did not take long before I found someone who was willing to talk on the record.
Malika Alim is a former employee of the Health Service System in San Francisco. She is a Black woman and over the age of 50. That detail is relevant because targeting older Black employees has been a favored tactic of the racist supervisor in question. I am sure many of you want to know who this racist employee is, so I will reveal his identity now. His name is Mitchell Griggs. Griggs is a white male who hails from North Carolina and he is the chief operating officer (COO). Griggs has focused his racist and demeaning practices specifically on employees who work in the Member Services and Operations Department.
Malika worked as a file clerk and was directed by Griggs to perform supervisory functions. She was assigned two file clerks as subordinates who reported to her. Malika was ordered to work as the office manager and to oversee facilities.
Malika asked for a reclassification and promotion in order to reflect her additional job duties as well as her supervisory role that her previous supervisor, Seretha Gallarad, forwarded to Griggs before Seretha was pushed out and terminated by Abbie Yant, the executive director of HSS, who has promoted, condoned and sanctioned the racist and hostile work environment there.
After Seretha left the San Francisco Health Service System, Malika reported directly to Griggs. Malika repeatedly emailed Griggs about her promotion request and asked to speak to him. In over one year’s time, COO Mitchell Griggs never responded to her emails and never met with her to discuss her promotion.
Malika witnessed Seretha, her former supervisor, being forced out by Griggs and Yant. Malika understood clearly that Griggs would continue to force her to work at a higher classification and continue to have her perform supervisory duties that were inherited from Gallarad.
Malika knew she was not going to be compensated for the extra work. As she waited for her reclassification, she watched three white employees receive promotions to higher classifications. Two white employees were promoted into new jobs and new positions created by the Health Service System.
In an office of 50 employees, 16 percent of the staff were promoted, reclassified or hired while Malika waited for a small reclassification that never came. After four years of faithful service to the City of San Francisco Malik was blocked from advancing by Mitchell Griggs. The discrimination left Malika with no further choice and she left a secure union job with health benefits and a pension at the Health Service System. Malika’s story is not the exception; it is the norm.
It didn’t take long before I decided to reach out to Sheryl Davis, the director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Sheryl was appalled at the information I shared with her and she vowed to contact the proper officials and initiate an internal investigation. Ms. Davis did not make any promises, but she did say that she would do her best. Lately I have been talking about PRINCIPLED BLACK LEADERSHIP. In my opinion, Sheryl Davis is a principled Black leader and I believe that eventually our Mayor London Breed will begin to clean house.
As a respected media source, it is our duty to report on active racial discrimination that is going on in San Francisco. The Black Employee Alliance has been calling on our sisters and brothers to report this ongoing racism to the public but I can tell you that City employees of color are afraid of losing their jobs. This is an exceptionally dangerous time in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and I think racist supervisors like Mitchell Griggs know this and use it to their advantage.
After years of racism against Black employees, the San Francisco Health Service System must answer questions about their prejudicial treatment of employees of color. We must hold them publicly accountable so that everyone knows how they are treating our sisters and brothers.
Management at HSS is white and they use white privilege to discriminate against employees of color by firing them, disciplining them, forcing them out, and failing or refusing to promote them. The work environment is hostile and oppressive.
The employees cannot address racism in the workplace or they will be retaliated against. HSS management has already fired or pushed a large number of the Black employees. Many times you will hear me say that there is an “advanced gentrification program” being implemented here within the City of San Francisco. This is a part of the program. I need all of you to stay WOKE. With that said, I want to illustrate another example of Mitchell Griggs and Abbie Yant’s overt racist and devious practices.
I spoke to Civil Rights Attorney Angela Alioto about the plaintiffs in her case as well as the investigation I am performing in regard to this case and she said: “There is systemic racism in every single City and County department in San Francisco.”
Ms. Alioto went on further to describe the situation with a few of her clients: “I am representing three plaintiffs from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office. They were given a cease and desist order by the City Attorney’s Office. My clients were told that they could not talk to anyone on the job for a year and a half. The sheriff was running a virtual prison for their own employees who had complained of racial discrimination.”
I asked Ms. Alioto if District Attorney Chesa Boudin had any authority over these racist practices and she said that he did have some authority but was not aware whether he had gotten involved or not.
I also was able to reach former Health Service System employee Seretha Gallarad. I mentioned Seretha earlier in this article. She is a Black woman over the age of 50 with a daughter in college she supports. Seretha worked for the City of San Francisco for nine years before she was forced to resign from the Health Service System.
Ironically, Seretha was the office’s liaison for the City’s whistleblower program, yet she was forced out for reporting the wrongdoing she had witnessed. Seretha was hired by previous Executive Director Cathy Dodd. When Cathy left HSS in 2017, Mitchell Griggs became Seretha’s manager and acting executive director. After he was appointed, he targeted her for termination.
What was extremely troubling was that when Seretha sent confidential emails to Human Resources (HR) about her mistreatment by Mitchell Griggs, Griggs was copied! Attorney Angela Alioto said that this a common practice which has proven to place employees in harm’s way.
Without Seretha’s knowledge, Mitchell Griggs worked with the HR representative to restructure her position that former Executive Director Cathy Dodd had created in order to disqualify her from her own job, constructively firing her. Seretha did not want to lose her job; but Griggs, the chief operating officer, fixed it so she had no alternative but to leave.
I spoke with Seretha on the phone, and she remembered the time that she met Abbie Yant and her husband. Seretha said: “I always suspected that Abbie Yant was a racist. But when I met her husband, my suspicions were confirmed. He wouldn’t even touch my hand when I offered it for a handshake.” And this was prior to the pandemic!
We will be following up on this discrimination and corruption within City and County departments. At this time, I send out a call for aid and support from Mega Black San Francisco as well as San Francisco Black Wallstreet. What is the sense in having all these organizations and groups if we do not actively support our people when they need us the most. We must combine our resources and help our people fight against this virulent racism within the City and County government.
Steve Zeltzer of Work Week on KPOO 89.5FM will be delving into this specific case on an upcoming show and he has invited me to join the panel of guests. I can tell you that on this upcoming show you will hear Malika Alim in her own words as she describes the horrible racist work environment at the San Francisco Health Service System. Please stay tuned as we will be following up on this story in upcoming issues of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. If we do not stand up for our people, who will?
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!
Bay View Editor Malik Washington can be reached at Malik [at] sfbayview.com. Contact him whenever you see news happening. Please visit our website, sfbayview.com, read and share the knowledge, wisdom and understanding and Black culture contained in our one of a kind national Black newspaper.
CAPTION: The San Francisco Health Service System hired Malika Alim as a file clerk, then assigned her to function as supervisor and office manager without a promotion or a pay increase.
CCSF Black Workers & Trade Union Supporters Speak Out At SF City Hall Against Systemic Racism And Corruption
CCSF Black Workers & Supporters Speak Out At SF City Hall Against Systemic Racism And Corruption
SF HR director claims ‘rogue employee’ forged settlement with Black worker
Email explains ‘terrible decisions’ behind SF HR manager forging deal
Rebecca Sherman afraid to side with Black city worker on claims
Union Busting, Union Rights, Racism, Covid/PPE & Healthcare Workers With SEIU 1021 SF Local Leaders
Reign Of Terror Against SF SEIU 1021 DPH Members & Other City Workers: Speakout At SF Labor Council
SEIU 1021 SFGH Workers Speakout! Stop Racism, Union Busting & Privatization Of SFGH Pharmacy
Racism, Outsourcing and Retaliation At SF Civil Service Commission With HR Director Micki Callahan
On Day Before Women’s Day, SF City Workers Rally & Speak Out Against Discrimination, Racism, Privatization & Outsourcing
SF General Hospital Workers Fed Up With Short Staffing Threatening Patient Safety While Millions Go For Outsourcing
Stop The Attacks! SEIU 1021 Members Speak Out At CCSF Civil Service Commission On Retaliation & Discrimination
Racism, Outsourcing, and Retaliation At SF Civil Service Commission With HR Director Micki Callahan
At a hearing of the San Francisco Civil Service Commission on December 17, 2918, the issue of racism, outsourcing and retaliation came to the fore. The Commission which is charged with making sure that the Human Resources Department carries out its work has allowed HR Director Micki Callahan to retaliate against whistleblowers.
Stop The Racist Terror Against African American Workers-Speakout At SF BOS Special Meeting
SF SEIU 1021 Rank & File Leaders/Members Speak Out Against Racism At BOS Meeting
Workers Speak Out At SF Supervisor’s Meeting
SFGH "Zuckerberg" SEIU 1021 Workers & Community Protest DPH Privatization, Racism & Union Busting
Stop Racist Discrimination And Workplace Bullying At SF DPH! SEIU 1021 Members & SF Residents Rally & Speakout
View events for the week of 1/11/2021
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
|Rally Press Conf To Stop Systemic Racism In City/County Of San Francisco|
|Import into your personal calendar|
|Date||Monday January 11|
|Time||12:00 PM - 1:00 PM|
|Event Type||Press Conference|
|Organizer/Author||SF Bay View, UFCLP, HEAT|
San Francisco Health Service System
945 Market St.
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jan 5th, 2021 7:59 PM