NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of 911 operators suing the NYPD and the city scored a legal victory this week.

The employees sued two years ago, accusing the NYPD of forcing them to work 16- and even 24-hour shifts with barely any breaks, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

They accused supervisors of racial discrimination because 95 percent of the operators are black and Hispanic.

The city’s attorneys say there’s no proof race had anything to do with it, but the plaintiffs point to comments NYPD supervisors allegedly made, including, “You people are useless.”

That could point toward bias, Judge Pamela Chen noted in granting the case class-action status Monday. That means more than 1,000 operators can join the lawsuit, said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Sam Maduegbuna.

“Which means they can stop what they have considered to be unlawful and discriminatory practices that’s been going on for years, even decades,” he said.

The city said it’s evaluating the issues outlined in the court’s decision.