The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C), a civil rights advocacy group founded to support present and former federal employees injured due to workplace discrimination and retaliation, seeks an end to the escalating discrimination and reprisal activity present in the Obama administration. According to a report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), during fiscal 2010, 17,583 federal employees and job applicants filed discrimination complaints, a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.
To spur federal workplace accountability, C4C members recently announced its Responsible Management Officials (RMO) page. Philip Taylor, President of C4C, asserts that "C4C's RMO page promotes more transparency with regard to complaints filed against federal managers." The RMO page lists persons named in employment discrimination court proceedings, published articles, or administrative case proceedings. According to Taylor, "While not all management officials cited have been proven guilty of alleged acts of discrimination or reprisal, all have been named in complaints representing a failure to resolve employment claims expeditiously, at the lowest level of the administrative level and in the best interest of the taxpayer." Taylor added that the complaints had withstood various agency attempts to quash them at the administrative level or in court, and were considered to have merit.
According to C4C founder, Tanya Jordan, "It is time to disrobe the anonymity that the federal government provides managers and supervisors who engage in workplace discrimination, retaliation, bullying or prohibited personnel practices." Jordan says she became ill after her Commerce supervisor, Barbara Retzlaff, continously ignored her medically supported reasonable accommodation requests and assigned her to a poorly ventilated refurbished storage area. Jordan had been active in the race-based class complaint against the U.S. Department of Commerce (Howard, et.al vs. Gutierrez Case No. 1:04-cv-00756). Jordan explains managers often fail to resolve legitimate employee issues given the "anonymity" an EEOC requirement affords managers. Jordan references the EEOC Management Directive 110 requirement that directs federal employees to name the "official agency head" or "department head as the defendant" when filing a complaint.
"Accountability starts with naming names of the actual discriminating official," says Edgar Lee, a C4C member and a Gulf War Veteran who was also denied reasonable accommodations by U.S. Department of Commerce officials. After Mr. Lee filed a discrimination complaint, reportedly Mr. Fred E. Fanning, Ms. Jana Brooks and Mr. Mario Aquino," who bore the responsibility for mismanaging HCHB asbestos conditions," subjected Mr. Lee to "potential exposure to impermissible levels of airborne asbestos." See Office of Special Counsel letter to President Obama, dated June 10, 2011 (p.3).
In populating the RMO page, C4C has garnered support from various civil rights groups. "We will give C4C all the support needed to achieve our mutual objective," says Mr. Lawrence Lucas, President of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Coalition of Minority Employees. "Managerial accountability is sorely needed at the USDA. Exposing the identities of the responsible management officials may curb the unceasing sexism, racism, reprisal, intimidation, sexual assaults, and other civil and human rights violations against USDA employees and minority farmers," Lucas states. In October of this year, Mr. Lucas invited C4C members to join the Black farmers and USDA employees at the "Filibuster for Justice" held to protest retaliation within Agriculture. (See photo below.)
"The No FEAR Coalition also supports C4C's RMO page initiative," says Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Chair of the No FEAR Coalition. "Despite the passage of the Notification and Anti-Retaliation Act (No FEAR) of 2002, our public officials continue to retaliate against employees who expose civil rights violation." In 2000, a jury found the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guilty of race, color and sexual discrimination against the former EPA scientist (Coleman-Adebayo vs. Browner Case 98-cv-926 and Case 98-cv-1939). Dr. Coleman-Adebayo says, "Employees find themselves in a harrowing position when at some point in their career, policies, procedures and practices run afoul of common human decency and the powerful victimize the powerless."
"As we populate the RMO page and explore strategies to curb the escalating levels of reprisal and race discrimination, largely against African-Americans in the federal government, C4C is grateful for the support of Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, Chair-No FEAR Coalition and Mr. Lawrence Lucas, President-USDA Coalition of Minority Employees," says Jordan, C4C founder.