NJ Firefighter Settles Discrimination Suit for $275k

A New Jersey firefighter who claimed he was subjected to “severe and pervasive” race discrimination culminating in his being passed-over for promotion, has agreed to settle his claims for $275,000. Chris Williams sued the City of Vineland and Fire Chief Luigi Tramontana in 2019 in Cumberland County Superior Court. More on the original filing.

Williams, an African American, claims that he was passed over for promotion by a less-qualified white firefighter. He also alleges that racist remarks were made to him in the workplace. The case was scheduled to go to trial in June.

The Vineland City Council approved the settlement agreeing to pay $90,000 of the $275,000, with the city’s insurer paying the balance. The settlement calls for $175,000 to be paid to Williams and $100,000 to his attorney. More on the settlement.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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