The Department of Justice has been sued by an employee who alleges racial discrimination and sexual and race-based harassment.
A 13-year veteran paralegal in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed suit claiming she was discriminated against and harassed by managers who repeatedly passed her over for advancement because she is African-American. Joi Hyatte alleges that the DOJ “actively” sought only white and Hispanic candidates for higher-paying analyst positions.
The complaint also says that the section chiefs failed to rein in or discipline three white male lawyers who “behaved in a racially and sexually offensive manner” toward two female analysts — one white, the other black.
The attorneys mocked the Caucasian analyst for displaying pictures of prominent African-American civil rights activists and leaders on the walls of her office. They also commented that she had a ‘tight ass’ and referred to both women as ‘lesbians’ and ‘carpet munchers.’
David Vladeck, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school, is representing Hyatte. He says at least six other African-Americans in the voting section have complained of similar treatment, filing internal complaints with the DOJ’s EEO Office.
Hyatte does not seek the normal damages. She wants to be promoted to analyst and seeks back pay for the period that she had been performing analyst work without receiving the title or the pay that goes with it. Law.com has complete coverage of this developing story, Civil Rights Division Employee Sues DOJ, Alleges Discrimination.
It’s not very common, but it does occasionally happen that a government agency is charged with committing the very same offenses that it is charged with eradicating. See my earlier post, Some Might Consider It Ironic: EEOC Charged With Violating the Overtime Exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act.