Ten African-American civilian Fire Department employees say the agency has been systematically racist in denying them raises and promotions received by similarly situated white coworkers, and in some cases retaliating when they complained.

The workers filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in August, and publicized it, along with their plans to sue in federal court, on Wednesday. According to the complaint, black civilian FDNY employees are subjected to "a continual, widespread pattern of workplace harassment and a hostile work environment based upon overt and subtle forms of discrimination." This includes black employees allegedly making 77 cents on the dollar as compared to their white colleagues.

The complaint points to examples of pay gaps, including one employee, director of a youth outreach program, getting a raise from $48,500 to $56,000, while a white counterpart, also named a director, got a bump from $50,000 to $80,000.

Other employees said that when they complained about mistreatment, such as an unsubstantiated complaint by a colleague or harassment by a boss, they were forced to work under their antagonists as punishment. In one case, an administrative associate says he switched units because of harassment from a boss, and, though the new unit accepted him, the supervisor revoked the transfer. After formally complaining, the administrative associate was allowed to re-transfer, but was demoted.

Those suing seek the installation of a monitor to come up with and oversee a plan to desegregate the FDNY's civilian arm, and the creation of an equal-pay policy. It also calls for the removal of FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and other leaders.

The uniformed branch of the FDNY is already under the supervision of a federal monitor, thanks to a 2007 lawsuit by the Justice Department over the department's racially biased entrance exams, following up on a 2002 employment complaint by the African-American firefighters' group the Vulcan Society. Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought the lawsuit for years, but Bill de Blasio's administration settled it in 2014, paying out $98 million in back pay and benefits to black and Hispanic applicants who took the exam and weren't hired, or were hired late, plus legal fees.

Other lowlights of the FDNY's recent history of extreme racism: Firefighters have reported white colleagues defacing a flyer for a memorial to black firefighters; donning a KKK hood; and displaying the Confederate flag in a firehouse, all without repercussions.

The son of former FDNY commissioner Salvatore Cassano, Joe, was allowed to resign from his department EMT job rather than being fired for tweeting such things as, on Martin Luther King Day, “MLK could go kick rocks for all I care, but thanks for the time and a half today,” and, "I like jews about as much as hitler #toofar?” Thanks to the leeway afforded by the resignation, and the FDNY's apparent tolerance for loud and proud bigots in its ranks, Cassano was rehired within two years.

Firefighter Luker Schreiner is back on the job, too, payroll records show, after being sentenced to two months in jail in 2014 for yelling racial slurs and slapping a black mailman when the postal worker parked in front of his Gerritsen Beach home.

In 2013, the department of 15,400 was 76 percent white, compared, for example, to the NYPD, which was 41 percent white.

In a statement to reporters, the Fire Department said it is improving this track record.

"In the last three years, the department—under Commissioner Nigro—has implemented extensive and unprecedented progress towards increasing and improving diversity, inclusiveness and fairness throughout the agency—amongst all employees, civilian and uniformed," spokesman Francis Gribbon said. "Never has the F.D.N.Y. had such a diverse leadership team, including more women and people of color in senior positions, than at any point in our 151-year history."