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EEOC Silent As Department of Justice Argues New Scheme to Derail Civil Rights

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"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a notorious record of mishandling EEO complaints. The DoJ's six-year scheme to effectively cap the EEOC proceedings at six and a half years, which if accepted by the courts, would shield many guilty parties within the Agriculture Department by simply dismissing legitimate discrimination complaints as untimely," said Lawrence Lucas, President of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees.

"DoJ's six-year jurisdictional argument creates a perverse incentive for Federal agencies, like DoJ's U.S. Marshal Service (USMS), to simply ignore EEO cases," said retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg. " In July 2012, I finally received a decision from the EEOC on a class action that had been mishandled years ago. The decision gives the green light for certification of a class complaint I originally filed in July 1994, asserting that the DoJ's USMS systematically discriminates against African Americans based on race." [ Fogg v Holder , Hearing No. 570-2006-00483X].

"It was painful to watch an Assistant U.S. District of Attorney from the Justice Department, a federal department which is to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, argue a redress scheme that clearly aimed to toss out legitimate complaints rather than to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for Janet Howard and Joyce E. Megginson, two African American females complaining of federal workplace discrimination," stated Tanya Ward Jordan, President and Founder of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). Moreover, it is woefully disheartening that in the very year this country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the CRA of 1964, the EEOC appears to be "missing in action" while DOJ diligently works to convince the DC Circuit to restrict the access of federal EEO complainants to the courts."

C4C members and coalition partners would like to know what the EEOC is doing to ensure that the government speaks with one voice on matters of employment nondiscrimination as called for in Executive Order 12067 : Providing for coordination of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity programs. Having now exposed the scheme DoJ raised in court to undermine the Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, as amended in 1972, civil and human rights groups expect the Obama administration to take immediate corrective steps.

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Tanya Ward Jordan is the author of 17 STEPS: A Federal Employee's Guide For Tackling Workplace Discrimination. She serves as President and Founder of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). C4C is an proactive non-profit self-help organization (more...)

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