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Summary of Interim Decision on Liability

The Administrative Judge found classwide discrimination against the Class in promotions into Grade 12; she denied all other claims for promotions to other grade levels. The judge concluded: “The Class has prevailed in the showing of class-wide discrimination against nonsupervisory African-American female employees who were denied promotions into the GS-12 level, from December 9, 2000 to the present . . . . The Class did not prove that African-American females were discriminated against when they were not promoted, from December 9, 2000 to the present, into any other grade level position.”

In other words, the judge ruled against the Class on all promotion claims except as to those Class Members who were denied promotions to GS-12 positions. For these Class Members, there will be additional proceedings before the Administrative Judge.

As Class Counsel, and speaking also for the Class Agents, Paulette Taylor and Debra Harley, we are greatly dismayed that the judge denied the Class’ claims other than for promotions into Grade 12. We believe that the judge made many errors of fact and law in her decision. Her ruling improperly excluded and rejected important evidence, including significant aspects of a Class’ expert’s statistical analyses, while improperly crediting the Agency’s statistical analysis. The judge also ignored many aspects of the proofs that were admitted, failed to evaluate properly the credibility of witnesses (including, but not limited to, the Class Agents), and erroneously described what happened in the case procedurally.

The bottom line is that we believe there are many bases for appeal of the Judge’s ruling, and we definitely intend to appeal to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations. That appeal will occur after the Administrative Judge issues a final decision in the case.

A final decision will be rendered after the judge decides what to do about a remedy stage for the Class’ Grade 12 promotions claims. We cannot state when that will be, but the Judge has asked each side to submit proposals for the remedy stage, i.e., how to effectuate a remedy or grant relief, for Class Members with GS-12 promotion claims. These papers are due to be submitted on April 25, 2011, though it is possible that date may change. We cannot predict how long the judge will take to make a decision on the remedy issue. We will post those papers on this website, and we will post the Administrative Judge’s decision on the remedy phase when that ruling is issued.

In any event, we are already beginning work on an appeal of the judge’s ruling regarding all the other promotions claims.

The Administrative Judge did not address any cases of individual class members that were subsumed into the Class case. Presumably, this means that those cases can now be heard individually, although that probably would not happen until after an appeal is decided.

Class Counsel and the Class Agents will be meeting with Class Members on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at the Woodlawn Library Meeting Room, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207to discuss the details of the Administrative Judge’s “Interim Ruling On Liability,” the grounds and procedure for an appeal, and the parties’ positions on Grade 12 promotion claims remedies. There will be two meetings: the first will be from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., and the second will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. We will answer your questions at that time. If you are not able to attend the meeting s and have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Class Agents or Class Counsel.

Click here for the full text of the Interim Decision on Liability