The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C)

Public Safety and Services are At Risk-Due to Racism and Reprisal in the Federal Sector

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Last Update - October 18, 2009.

IN MEMORIAM: The following webpage, which discloses various class actions in the federal sector filed by African-American public servants (and minority applicants), is dedicated to: Mr. Allen P. Spencer and Reverend Howard L. Wallace.   Both of these talented, well-educated individuals (now deceased) served our United States Government honorably while steadfastly advocating for the rights of others.   Both men also suffered the pangs of affirmative inaction in the Federal Government.  

Mr. Allen P. Spencer once served as a Computer Specialist at the agency ’s Sonora, California office.   In 1999, Mr. Spencer filed a complaint of discrimination on behalf of all African-American employees at the agency alleging that they were discriminated against due to race, color, and in reprisal for their EEO activity.   His tireless efforts as class agent to ensure equity are well documented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.   He will be remembered fondly as a devoted public servant, one who believed in workplace equity.   [See Spencer, et. al class action link in the Department of Agriculture section below.] 

Mr. Howard L. Wallace, an ordained minister, served as an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist wtih fourteen years of service in the Federal government.   He later left the government to become an advocate for the Federal worker faced with discrimination. To his many credits, he wrote a book entitled Federal Plantation: Affirmative Inaction Within Our Federal government.   The book details Reverend Howard Wallace’s first hand account of discriminatory employment practices within many federal entities including Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, branches of the military, the FBI and others.

The following information is being shared in honor of Mr. Spencer and Mr. Wallace.   It is our hope that the accounts that follow narrating racism within our government, not only captures your attention, but motivates you to proactively fight for a better America.  By holding our government and elected officials accountable we can continue to build and promote an inclusive culture that encourages effective workforce performance.  Federal employees, guardians over the public trust, must be able to pursue the missions of their organizations free from discrimination.  Public servants should not have to operate in fear of retaliation for reporting workplace, program or policy abuses that are racially discriminatory.


The class actions filed by African-American public servants provide insight into the culture of the Federal workforce charged with efficiently and equitably rendering public goods and services.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) disclosed (pursuant to a FOIA request from C4C) that African-Americans (spanning across Federal departments) filed over 150 CLASS-WIDE complaints alleging racial [Black] discrimination from calendar year 2000 thru Mid-September 2009.  Rather than resolve such complaints, most agencies (armed with free Department of Justice attorneys at the taxpayer’s expense) have litigated some cases for decades.  Based on EEOC records for the CY2000-CY2009 reporting period note the following:

  • Federal agencies settled only 15 of the 150 complaints.  
  • Repeat class action defendants included the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and Department of the Defense.
  • The highest number of class complaints (32) occurred in CY2001 of which 5 were settled.
  • From CY2004 thru CY(Sept) 2009 agencies settled only 1 class action
  • From CY2001 thru CY(Sept) 2009 EEOC held hearing on accepted class complaints a total of three (3) times.

The narrative that follows discloses the organizational climate within select Federal agencies. It also reveals the alleged bias action taken against minorities who challenge racial injustice.

Department of Agriculture

Allen P. Spencer et al vs Ed Schafer,Secretary,USDA                           (Class Filed 1999-EEOC Determination 2008)

On May 13, 1999, Allen P. Spencer (now deceased and who once served as Computer Specialist at USSDA's Stanislaus National Forest in Sonora, California) filed a complaint of discrimination (agency number 990659) on behalf of all African-American employees at the agency. Acting as class agent, Mr. Spencer and other African-American employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleged that they faced a pervasive and systemic bias that exists at all levels within the USDA. This racially motivated systemic bias against black employees has led to the existence of a discriminatory pattern and practice of application of facially-neutral policies that precludes the fair application of selection, promotion, performance appraisal, awards and training programs in furtherance of the equitable career advancement of African-American employees USDA-wide.   Specifically, some of the practices complained of which adversely affect African-American employees at the USDA include, but are not limited to: targeting job descriptions and qualifications for vacancies towards pre-selected non-minority employees; canceling competitive vacancies after a best qualified list has been certified so that a selecting official will not have to choose a minority candidate and arbitrarily enhancing non-minority performance ratings while lowering the performance of African-American employees so as to place white employees in a more competitive employment positionas a better qualified candidate.

  USDA employees who were apart of the Spencer et al class (see link below) also accused USDA officials of: accreting the duties of non-minority employees resulting in their noncompetitive promotions; appointing non-minorities to -acting- positions or temporary details leading to an enhancement of qualifications for permanent positions and career advancement; and intentionally lowering the cash awards of African-American employees despite comparable or superior performance of similarly situated white employees.   Almost a decade after Mr. Spencer filed the class complaint, EEOC ruled not to certify the class. However as posted on the EEOC website, EEOC offered the "Estate of Mr. Allen P.Spencer" an opportunity to file a civil lawsuit.

The Pigford Case

Internal discrimination has spilled into USDA ’s policies and administration of programs. The depicted photo was shared with NAACP Federal Sector Taskforce members circa 1998.   Eleven years later, Black employees report that very little has changed in the culture of the USDA.   GAO and USDA's Inspector General have reported many times on USDA's difficulties in addressing long-standing civil rights issues.  USDA has paid almost $1 billion to minority farmers as a result of one class action lawsuit (Pigford v. Glickman); Notably, the massive class-action lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman, settled out of court in 1999. USDA admitted to widespread racial discrimination against black farmers in its loan programs between 1981 and 1996. Although reportedly 15,000 farmers were paid a total of more than $900 million in the settlement, tens of thousands of farmers filed claims after the deadline.   They charged that the government failed to properly conduct outreach which caused them to miss their opportunity.   In February 2010, President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack promised an additional $1.15 billion to cover the remaining claims. However, the settlement agreement mandated that Congress appropriate the funds by March 31 of this year. The deadline passed with no action by Congress. The future of the settlement remains uncertain. Other class action lawsuits are pending. Black Farmers     Information on Pigford Class    Eligible Class Members

The Keepseagle Case

Native American farmers filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination against the USDA in 1999. As of April 2010, the case remains unresolved.

Other Articles Reflecting the Ill-Culture of USDA

  • The Pigford Case: Justice Denied for Black Farmers

  • Class Actions Filed By Allen P. Spencer On Behalf of USDA African American Employees 

  • Hanging Nooses Found At USDA

  • Problems in Processing USDA Discrimination Complaints

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Management of Civil Rights Efforts Continues to Be Deficient Despite Years of Attention - GAO-08-755T;May 14, 2008

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Recommendations and Options to Address Management Deficiencies in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights October 2008
  •   Rally for Justice

  • Blacks Request Probe of Agency


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    Capitol Hill Police

    Blackmon-Malloy, et. al vs Capitol Hill Police Board.  

    On July 31, 2009, a federal appeals court revived a discrimination lawsuit brought by over 200 black police officers.   The black officers alleged white supervisors with the U.S. Capitol Police mistreated them.   The lawsuit, which was initially filed by the African-Americans in 2001, charged that white senior officers had created a hostile work environment by regularly referring to them with derogatory terms like “gangsters” and in some cases, denying them promotions.  One officer claimed a noose — a symbol of lynching — was left on his locker.  A lower court judge had dismissed the case, asserting that many of the black officers had not fully pursued mediation before filing the lawsuit.  A three-judge appeals panel reversed a part of the judge’s decision and found that the African-American officers could pursue legal actions.  Racism on the Hill

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    Janet Howard, vs. Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce   (Class Filed w/EEOC 1995-Court Decision 2007)

    Commerce with its mission to promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans, used taxpayer ’s money to litigate rather than to resolve valid complaints asserted by a class of African-American employees. Ms. Janet Howard, the Export Compliance Specialist, originally filed the complaint in 1995. On July 20, 2000, after five years of initial opposition from DoC, the EEOC provisionally certified the class Janet Howard, et, al vs Donald Evans, Carlos Guttierrez.   After reviewing the entire record, the EEOC provisionally certified a class of:
    African-American, non-supervisory employees and former employees of the agency’s Headquarters’ offices in the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., who allegedly have been denied career advancement to one or more white collar positions in the agency’s Headquarters’ offices at grade levels GS-9 through GS-15 levels, or equivalent level white collar non-GS positions, and who may have been denied related promotional opportunities in those same offices, based on their race during the period of time beginning two years prior to the filing of the class complaint on February 22, 1995, and continuing to the date a final determination is rendered on the class complaint claim.
    Circa 2001, Commerce officials, who had abolished the Departmental Diversity Council established to ensure fairness, used taxpayers money to establish the:
    This fund was used to continue litigation rather than facilitate resolution of employees pay equity, training and rating concerns.

    On October 2005, the Class Action Complaint was filed in U.S. District Court and brought by eleven African-Americans (Janet Howard, Tanya Ward Jordan, Joyce E. Megginson, Two white employees were also initially cited as agents in the court complaint. They had reported acts of retaliation after exposing racism within the Department of Commerce’s offices. New York Times: Class Action Filed Against Commerce

    Patent and Trademark Office Maintains “Sweat Shop Culture” Minority Employees Assert

    By granting patents for innovations Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) helps to preserve our nation’s competitiveness.  PTO grants patents for innovations ranging from new treatments for diseases, to new wireless technology applications.   According to the Government Accountability Office, although USPTO is hiring as many new patent examiners as it has the funding and capacity to support, the Commerce agency has lost one patent examiner for nearly every two hired over the last 5 years.(GAO, 2007)   Black patent examiners, assert two reasons for the backlog.   Patent examiners have informed Congress that the agency maintains outdated production goals and the agency discriminates against African-American employees. They further assert that Black employees have unfairly become the target of scrutiny. Circa 2005 a group of Black employees formed - Patent Examiners Against Arbitrary and Capricious Examinations and Evaluations (PEACE)       The group sought to challenge discriminatory practices in PTO’s rating system.   PTO Sweat Shop Culture. See GAO Sept. 2007 Report       Senator Grassley Congratulates PTO Whistleblowers on Their Courage to Speak up

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Department of Commerce Census Workers

Eugene Johnson, vs. Gary Locke, U.S. Department of Commerce         (Class Action Filed April 13, 2010)

The work conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department - Bureau of Census employees forms a cornerstone of the Nation’s democracy.   Therefore, it is essential that Census carry out its mission accurately and in a manner free of discrimination for all individuals. Unfortunately, thousands of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans report they have been rejected for jobs by the U.S. Census Bureau during the federal government’s massive hiring campaign for this years census because of systematic discrimination. This was reported in a class action filed in New York federal court.   The firm, Outten & Golden LLP and a coalition of leading public interest organizationsof, filed on behalf of plaintiffs Eugene Johnson, 48, of New York, and Evelyn Houser, 68, of Philadelphia.   It is being reported that the suit is the first of its kind to be filed against a federal agency.
According to the complaint, applicants for the 2010 Census with an arrest record for any offense at any point in their lives – no matter how trivial or disconnected from the requirements of the job – face an arbitrary barrier to employment.   Because the arrest and conviction rates of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans far exceed those of whites nationwide, Census use of an arbitrary pre-employment screen has the result of discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, and national origin. According to the complaint, by importing the discriminatory bias of the criminal justice system into its hiring practice, Census is thereby violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Commerce-Census Bureaus Accused of Discriminating Against Minorities      


Department of the Army and Hostile Treatment Towards Black Employees

In 2002, Black employees from the Army’s Redstone Arsenal warned that the race bias threatened the Nation’s security.   In 2003 the group, organized under the name RAMEA (Redstone Arsenal Minority Employee Association), announced the filing in Federal Court of a Class Action lawsuit naming various Army commands in Huntsville that are serviced by the regional and local civilian personnel organizations.   According to the complaint, more than fifty African-American employees were subjected to disparate treatment and a racially hostile environment. The lawsuit cites racial bias in the form of reprisals, denial of promotions, lack of training, disciplinary actions, removal of security clearances and continuous slashing of vehicle tires.   The organization representing 200 minority employees at Redstone Arsenal, which is home to many of the U.S. Army’s precision smart weapons systems as well as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center asserted that the resurrection of Tar Baby as a term of racial abuse at Redstone is only one, dramatic manifestation of a deep and escalating hostile environment.   Hostile Treatment at Redstone Alleged   President Bush Warned About Threats

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Department of Education

                                                                                                           Class Orginated: 1991- Class Settled 2000

In 2000, a U.S. District Court finalized a $4 million settlement between the Department of Education and 1,100 current and former black employees who alleged they had been improperly denied promotions.  The case included all black employees in the competitive service between Grades 11 and 15 who worked at Education’s headquarters between February 1991 and June 2000. Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights represented the employees in the case.   Under the settlement, Education was to make a series of changes in how it handled promotions at headquarters, including: posting vacancy announcements for GS 11-15 positions for a minimum of 10 days; providing supervisors with guidance to assure fairness in duties and promotions; and requiring written approval for all competitive selections for GS 11-15 positions. Class Action at ED  

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Environmental Protection Agency

Copton v, Stephen L. Johnson, EPA Administrator                                          {Pending}

In a memo dated August 29, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) --Office of Civil Rights-- issued a notice to potential class members who are apart of the Copton v, Johnson class action alleging age and race discrimination against the agency. The class complaint covers reportedly all current and former employees of Region 7 of the EPA who were employed during the period May 11, 1998 to August 31, 2007, and who were at least 40 years of age when so employed. The class includes a subset of Black employees who were at least 40 years of age when so employed.    Age & Race Discrimination Alleged    Discrimination at EPA   EPA is the agency that was determined to have discriminated against Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo (an African-American scientist).   Dr. Coleman-Adebayo's landmark case gave birth to the passage of the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act).   {Pictured Mr. Blair Hayes, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Rev. Al Sharpton at No FEAR RAlly across from EPA Office Building}

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC Employees File Class Action

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency created by the Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system.   The FDIC; however reportedly engages in discrimination according to workers.   On December 22, 2000, FDIC employees filed a Class Complaint alleging that FDIC engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against African-American employees in promotions and other selections for positions.   On April 6, 2001, the Court granted Plaintiffs’s unopposed motion for class certification and preliminarily certified a class of All African-Americans employed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in any capacity (whether permanent, temporary, or term appointments, including all General/Corporate Grade, Liquidation Grade and Wage Grade/Prevailing Rate employees, but excluding any persons to the extent that their employment at the FDIC is or was solely in the capacity of student intern) at any time from May 13, 1992 until March 31, 2001.  On May 4, 2001, the parties submitted to the Court a proposed Consent Decree, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement that provides for substantial injunctive and monetary relief for the class.  After conducting a preliminary approval hearing, on May 16, 2001, the Court granted preliminary approval of the proposed Consent Decree and ordered the distribution of notice of the proposed settlement to the class. Class Action at FDIC      
Chris J. Conanan, et al. v Donald Powell, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Civil Action No. 00-CV-3091)

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Government Accountability Office

Moses v Walker                                                                                                                  (Filed w/Court 2006 - OPEN)

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), known as the investigative arm of Congress and the congressional watchdog, serves to improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.   Yet, employees within the GAO accuse managers of biasness.  A class action has been filed on behalf of more than 300 GAO employees who are over 45 years old.   The lawsuit, brought by James Moses, reportedly filed in 2006, claims the GAO and its Personnel Appeals Board denied older workers promotions and pay increases based upon their age, race and gender.  Reportedly, the restructuring of the GAO pay structure to a subjective performance-driven system has exacerbated the discriminatory treatment against older employees of color. 
Plaintiffs Upset by GAO Refusal to submit evidence Employees File Class Action Against the Government Watchdog Agency

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Department of Homeland Security

Moore v Chertoff, Secretary-Homeland Security                                                 (Filed w/Court 2000 - OPEN)

U.S. Secret Service

U.S Secret Service, a distinct organization within the Treasury, which assumes full-time responsibility for protection of the President has been accused of racial discrimination. In fact, a group of current and former agents says - -the U.S. Secret Service is bogged down by a culture of discrimination. A judge ruled that the plaintiffs "established a prima facie case of discriminatory non promotion -- because of the agency's repeated misconduct in not producing documents. The lawsuit, filed against the U.S. Secret Service on behalf of more than 100 current and former black agents, asserts that managers discriminated against them when they considered promotions. The suit revealed that senior secret service managers circulated e-mails with apparently racist imagery and messages. One such e-mail reportedly discussed an assassination attempt on a prominent African-American civil rights leader.   Court records document longstanding concerns of black secret service agents raised in the 80's that persist well into 2009. Double standards in disciplinary action taken against African-Americans Special Agents; and the posting of signs with Swastikas with the words "NIGGERS" inscribed, on the walls of the Secret Service were also raised in the pending complaint. U.S. Secret Service & Racism 

U. S. Coast Guard and Hate Crimes

The United States Coast Guard is a military, multimission, maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security.   It serves as one of the nation's five armed services. A key role of the Coast Guard is to protect the public.   Yet, racism thrives in the ranks and the agency was unable to catch the perpetrator of heinous acts within it’s own workplace.   Nooses were left in a black Coast Guard cadet's bag and in the office of a white officer who conducted race relations training after the incident. The racist acts lead Congressman Cummings to call for a thorough military investigation.   Similar to the hate crime in Ft. Belvoir (an Army installation where a Black Paramedic received death threats and a slashed up Aunt Jemima doll soaked in a red liquid) the Coast Guard probe was unable to determine who left the nooses.   Congressman Elijah Cummings stated ”Racial discrimination and intolerance have no place in either the Academy or the Coast Guard, and these incidents run directly against the efforts being made to increase diversity throughout the Coast Guard”.   See Press Statement dated September 25, 2007. Hanging Nooses at the Coast Guard

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Bureau of Prisons

Dennis Turner et. al vs Michael Mukasey Case EEOC 541-2008-00255X
See EEOC class certification decision dated September 30, 2010.       Also note, the EEOC conducted a program evaluation of the agency: “after determining that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had an unusually large number of complaints alleging retaliation during fiscal years 2003-2006” (EEOC, 2010, p. 6). More Racism at BOP Complaint Certified        

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The U.S. government should be above reproach in its handling of discrimination in its own offices, particularly within the Department of Justice.   However, sadly, racial discrimination problems exist and manifest itself within the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).   A number of racial discrimination complaints have been filed against the agency.  Most notably, 500 FBI agents brought suit against the agency due to allegations of officials racially discriminating against employees when considering promotions.   The black agents reached a settlement three years after filing in court once a federal judge found that there was "statistical evidence of discrimination." Recently, 2009, a former FBI agent at the center of one of the biggest discrimination cases against the FBI filed a new lawsuit.  Donald Rochon asserts that the FBI continues to retaliate against him for a case he previously settled with the agency.
FBI& Racism        
FBI Black Employees and Discrimination
More Racism at the FBI        

U.S. Marshal Service

Grogan et. al vs Mukasey Case 1:08-cv-01747-HHK                                                  (Court Filing 10-15-08)

A number of black U.S. Marshals filed suit in October 2008 against the agency accusing Department of Justices' US Marshal Service of racial discrimination.  The agency, which is to with uphold justice for all Americans, is being accused of maintaining a good ole boy network.   Blacks Accuse US Marshals Service of Bias   Also see Class Action Complaint Filed.

U.S. Marshal Service is to enforce federal laws and provide support to virtually all elements of the federal justice system. Yet, on April 28, 1998, a Federal Jury found that USMS had discriminated against U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg, who once valiantly tracked fugitives for our Nation. The jury also found “a racial hostile environment existed in the US Marshals Service against all African-American Deputy Marshals nationwide.”  Despite the landmark verdict, DOJ continued to waste taxpayer’s money. The agency fought the case another ten years. Finally, in 2008 Mr. Fogg won his final appeal (involving claims initially raised in 1985). The Fogg vs. Reno, Ashcroft, Gonzalez] case exemplifies agencies failure to timely resolve conflict in the workplace at the detriment of public money and services. [Fogg v Reno, Civil No. 94-2814]   In photo, Matthew Fogg stands to the right with another activist who holds the sign "Bigots With Badges". The sign reflected an earlier article written in the New York Post about the culture of the Unitede States Marshal Service. Deputy Marshal Matthew Fogg Wins Bias Suit

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Library of Congress

Over a Decade Later, Black Employees Assert: Library of Congress Still Discriminates

In 1992 Library of Congress (LOC) was a defendant in a race-base class-action discrimination lawsuit. After taking 10 years to settle, the agency paid a total of $8.5 million to some 2,000 employees. Subsequently, LOC changed its employment practices. Nonetheless, according to LOC black employees, discrimination is still blatant within the ranks of the LOC. (Cook v Billington)    In 2004, nearly 45 black employees accused the LOC of giving black employees the least desirable jobs and lines of progression wherein opportunities for training and advancement are limited. Reportedly the LOC excludes minorities from mentoring programs and uses contracts to get around equal-opportunity employment regulations. See 2006 opinion regarding class action Race Discrimination at LOC      (Mills, v. Billington)    Class Action

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Flournoy v O'Keefe EEOC Case No 120-A2-1267X                              {Originated 1993 - Finalized Settlement 2003}

Flournoy, et. al vs O’Keefe class action complaint was filed on behalf of 128 African American Scientists and Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who alleged denial of promotional opportunities.  The final action on this complaint concluded in 2003. The litigation originated on April 7, 1993, when Class Agent Walter Flournoy filed an administrative class complaint. Specifically, he alleged racial discrimination against - all African American employees in scientific and/or engineering non-managerial positions at the GS-13 and GS-14 levels who were valuated for promotion.  Discrimination at NASA

National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation -- railroad, highway, marine and pipeline -- and issuing safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. It is unfortunate that an agency, which is entrusted with ensuring the safety over the Nations transportation systems, exhibits a culture that fails to embrace diversity. As reported in the Washington Post - August 21, 2009, two high level managers left a noose at the end of a senior staff meeting.
NTSB Managers Investigated Over Hanging Noose Incident

Postal Inspection Service

Jones v Potter                                                                                                                  (EEOC Filing 2004: Pending)

Complainant alleged that non-selections are part of a continuing pattern and practice of discriminatory promotion practices in the agency. Class agent asserts in her claim that the agency employs a highly centralized promotion system which she claims resulted in discrimination of African American females. Complainant states that the agency's promotion system is centered around the Career Leadership Program (CLP). Complainant notes the CLP is under the direction of the Chief Postal Inspector, and is the only means by which a Postal Inspector can reach an ISLE-15 leadership position.
Postal Service and Discrimination

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Lucas, et. al vs. Hector Barreto, Administrator-U.S. SBA                                          (Court Filing July 28, 2004)
Narrative is being updated for this case.   Case 1:04-cv-01262-EGS

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Social Security Administration

Burden et. Al. vs Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner, SSA             (Filed with Agency 1995 - Settlement Effective 2003)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) serves to deliver social security services that meet the changing needs of the public. Employees are required to contribute to the Social Security system; however, it has been reported that a disproportionate percentage of African-American males never live to collect any benefits from their contributions. Certainly, the culture within SSA suggests that the entity fails to fairly meet the needs of its’ African-American employees. This draws concern about the agency’s ability to fairly dispense benefits to the public without regard to race.   In 1995, Black men at the department's headquarters in Baltimore claimed they were discriminated against in promotion decisions, awards and bonuses, performance appraisals and disciplinary actions. The suit included nearly all of the Black male employees who worked at the agency during the past 15 years, from wage-grade workers to Senior Executive Service members. SSA agreed to pay $7.75 million to settle a discrimination suit lodged by 2,200 black male employees. Ken Burden, Harry Dunbar, Gilbert Jefferson served as lead plaintiffs in the class agent.   On January 11, 2002, the class of African-American male employees entered into a settlement agreement with the agency regarding their class claim of discrimination on the basis of race and sex. On June 11, 2002, the administrative judge granted final approval of the settlement agreement. On April 7, 2003, the settlement agreement became effective pursuant to decision by the EEOC. nbsp; Discrimination of Black Males & SSA

Discrimination Still an Issue for Black Males Employed at the Social Security Administration (SSA) Headquarters in Baltimore See SSA Press Release August 2012.


Taylor et. Al. vs Astrue,Commissioner, SSA                (Filed w/Agency 2002;  EEOC Certifed 2006; Complaint Pending)

Black female employees have also alleged discrimination in pay and career advancement opportunities. Circa 2006, two African-American females, Paulette Taylor and Debra Harley, won a decision from the EEOC to represent more than 3,000 African-American women workers at the U.S. Social Security Administration.   EEOC Certifies Black Female Class at SSA
   Discrimination of Black Females & SSA

Jantz et. Al. vs Astrue,Commissioner, SSA                (In the discovery phase before the EEOC. Discovery is expected to
                                                  last into 2012, with a potential trial in 2012.)

Background-In November 2008, lawyers and advocacy groups for disabled employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) were granted class-action status for a groundbreaking action against the agency that is currently before a judge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Notice of Class Action

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Department of State

Thomas v Secretary Albright, Christopher and Powell Department of State      (Filed in 1984 - Argued on Appeal 2001)

This class Action litigation spans over two decades at the State Department Under Secretary Madeline Albright, Warren Christopher and Colin Powell.  The long history of the Thomas, et. al class action stems back to 1984.   Walter J. Thomas, a former Foreign Service Officer (FSO), filed an administrative complaint on behalf of himself and other African-American FSOs, alleging racial discrimination in employment practices at the State Department.   In 1986, after the Department had rejected Thomas complaint, he and another former FSO filed a class action complaint in district court alleging that the Department engaged in racially discriminatory employment practices and retaliated against those who complained about them. Thomas v. Christopher, 169 F.R.D. 224, 229 (D.D.C.1996).  The plaintiffs moved for class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2). The court denied their motion but permitted the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint adding several more plaintiffs. The parties conducted discovery for six years and, beginning in 1993.   In 1995 the parties reached a settlement in principle, and in January 1996 they signed a consent decree. The consent decree was to resolve -- all claims that were or could have been brought by African-American FSOs between 1984 and 1996 based upon racial discrimination in promotions, awards, tenuring, termination, performance reviews, assignments, and training, or upon retaliation for complaining about such discrimination.   Thomas, et. al v Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State Discrimination at the State Department Lasts Years  Thomas, et. al v Colin L. Powell, Secretary of the Department of State More Discrimination At State Department

Department of Transportation

Lewis v Mineta                                                                        Class Filed 2000; Certified 2005; Pending as of 2009

The FAA class complaint was filed in October 2000.   EEOC initially denied class certification in August 2003. However, the class Agent appealed the denial of class certification and in September 2005 the Office Federal Operatioins certified the class. Specifically, the certified class includes all African American employees employed by the Federal Aviation Administration at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in a permanent position during the period of November 1, 1997 to the present who were denied competitive and/or noncompetitive promotion to a GS-5 or higher position.   The Law Firm of Kator Parks and Weiser, PLLC is the class representative of record.

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Department of Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF)
(Stewart v. Rubin)                                                                                  (Filed in court 1990 - Settled 1996)

On November 30, 1990, ATF Special agents Larry D.Stweart and Mark Jones filed a class action discrimination lawsuit against the Department of Treasury. (Civil Action No. 90-2841-RCL.   The action was later amended on January 15, 1993. After a protracted costly mediation period, on July 8, 1996 the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement.   The Plaintiffs in Stewart v.Rubin alleged widespread racial discrimination at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Black employees were allegedly treated differently from white employees in terms of hiring promotions, awards, discipline and other employment practices. According to related court records (Moore v Chertoff), John, W. Magaw - (Director of BATF) acknowledged that had discriminated against black ATF agents ATF Director Acknowledges RACISM Within the Agency   Good O' Boy Roundup Report

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Davis, et al vs Henry M. Paulsen, Jr, Secretary of Department of Treasury              (Court filing March 14, 2008)

Numerous Minority Police Officers with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) have filed a complaint against the agency claiming that they have been discriminated, harassed, denied equal pay and retaliated against by BEP managers. Such illegal discrimination places public safety at risk. BEP is the single largest resource of the Office of Security who is responsible for providing the personnel needed to physically secure the buildings and grounds. The armed Police Officers are expected to back each other up should a terrorist attack occur against the United States Currency Producing Plant. Yet, how effective and secure can officers and the public be when racial hostility exists in the law enforcement ranks? Complaints against the bureau are longstanding. The NAACP Federal Sector Taskforce issued a report in 2000 citing how managers referred to ethnic minorities as -- Niggers, Monkeys and other profanities. The recent complaint filed 3/14/2008 cites a racial e-mail that was used by a Commander Christopher Cooch as a - training tool.  Just as it was in 1895 --in the year 2009 color remains a issue at the BEP.  See New York Times article dated - February 17, 1895 entitled
COLOR IN THE CIVIL SERVCE: Charges that Negroes Are Discriminated Against in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Financial Management Service
Richard Henry vs Secretary of Department of Treasury                                              (Settled in 1995)

This class asserted that the Financial Management Service, a bureau within the Department of Treasury, discriminated in regards to promotion against all African-American FMS employess in grades 13-15.

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Department of Veteran Affairs

Class Action Filed by African-Americans Against VA

Veteran Affairs is to provide excellence in patient care, veterans’ benefits and customer satisfaction. Yet, African-American employees within the Department have cited dissatisfaction in how the Department administers internal benefits’ to its own employees. Notably, in 2005 a class action complaint was certified that covered all African American women who have worked at the McGuire facility in Richmond’s VA since 1996 who have been discriminated against with respect to the agency’s policies and practices in non-selection and distribution of awards EEOC Case No. 120-2003-C0508x

It appears a settlement may have been reached in the long-running class action that has been litigated for nearly a decade at the Richmond Va Medical center. Reportedly, parties have reached an agreement in principle. The agreement calls for the VA to pay $5 million to the Class and to modify its awards policies to allow employees to nominate themselves for awards. In addition, specific relief will be granted to the two class agents, Anniemarie Harrison-Gray and Beverly Hatcher. See news article
Settlement announced in bias claims at Richmond’s VA Hospital (Richmond Times Dispatch, February 17, 2010)

Ethical Violations at the VA

The Inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs cites that high-ranking officials abused their authority, misused their positions, engaged in prohibited personnel practices, improperly administered awards and engaged in nepotism while working at the VA. See Article: VA Ethical Violations

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