My guest today is David P. Weber, former Assistant Inspector General for the SEC, now in private practice at Goodwin Weber, PLLC.
JB: Welcome to OpEdNews, David. Thomas Perez is rumored to have the votes to be confirmed as Secretary of Labor. Is that good news?
DPW: No. It is not good news. I represent a class of six U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors and senior staff, who allege that Mr. Perez is engaged in substantial discrimination and retaliation against them for coming forward with allegations of misconduct within the Civil Rights Division. I also interviewed more than ten other DOJ staff, who were too afraid to join the suit, but will become witnesses when they are subpoenaed, which they feel will afford them more protection from retaliation.
My clients, who are current and former members of the Civil Rights Division, including senior trial attorneys, met with senior Senate staff, and asked for a delay in the confirmation of Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez as head of the Labor Department while misconduct allegations are investigated. On Friday, a number of my clients and I met with both Republican and Democratic staff of the Senate to outline my clients' claims of substantial misconduct against Mr. Perez. I revisited with senior Senate staff on Monday night.
According to my clients and other DOJ witnesses, at the direction of Mr. Perez and his senior DOJ staff, earlier this year, the Civil Rights Division began a widespread campaign of disparate and discriminatory treatment against Civil Rights Division employees who struggled with mobility, hearing, vision, emotional, physical or mental challenges and disabilities, as well as those under protected status based on race, gender, age, and/or parental status.
When we met with Senate staff, in addition to disparate treatment discrimination, we also presented statistical evidence of disparate impact discrimination under the leadership of Mr. Perez. During Mr. Perez' time as head of the Civil Rights Division, hiring and employment of Hispanic staff has decreased by a statistically significant percentage. Using the same statistical evidence these DOJ attorneys use in everyday suits against private employers, the statistics indicate that, but for discrimination, there is no legal explanation for the decline in minority hiring under Mr. Perez' leadership. Disparate impact discrimination is unlawful, both in private and public sectors.
Mr. Perez has been nominated to be the protector of the American workforce, yet our clients now have reported to Congress that under his direction, the Civil Rights Division rampantly discriminated against its own workforce, and retaliated against those brave enough to raise their hand and speak out. It is not right, it is not nice, and this nomination needs to be halted pending the investigation and the adjudication of the complaints my clients have made individually, as well as the class action lawsuit I will be filing shortly.
JB: How receptive to your pleas for delay were the Senate members?