Racial discrimination in employment was prohibited by law more than forty years ago, by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000(e), et seq. See www.eeoc.gov/types/race.html.
There are those who believe that in 2006, racial discrimination no longer exists, at least not against African-Americans; however, racial discrimination in employment persists, not only in sophisticated, disguised forms, but even in its crudest and most blatant forms.
In its most sophisticated form, the struggle is no longer sitting on the bus, the back of the bus, or even driving the bus, but rather, managing and owning the bus companies. The "Rosa Parkses" of the new millenium are typically those middle and upper income, highly educated African-Americans who are pressed against the "glass ceiling," serve as the lonely "token Black" at the top, and are never permitted real power or authority -- particularly with respect to the possibility that they may hire or promote other African-Americans.
The firm litigates such "glass ceiling" cases, on behalf of African-Americans, East Indians/Asians and other racial/religious minorities (such as Muslims, now often referred to as the "new African-Americans"), as well as the "old fashioned" racial discrimination cases. See Religion.
Mintz v. District of Columbia and Darbeau v. District of Columbia, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34446 (D.D.C. 2006), has been in litigation in Federal Court since 2000. This case involves two African-American D.C. government contracts specialists, terminated in retaliation for protesting racial harassment by their White supervisor and a White co-worker who was treated like a supervisor, Shockingly, the White supervisor freely referred to the African-American contract specialists and other employees as the "n" word and other derogatory terms, in D.C. government. When Mr. Mintz protested this and other racially discriminatory behavior, the supervisor viciously and crudely harassed him and attempted to provoke him to violence. When Mr. Mintz instead filed an EEO charge, he was placed on administrative leave while the charge was to be investigated -- rather than the supervisor accused of the discriminatory conduct! In fact, the Agency did not investigate the EEO charge. Instead, it retaliated against Mr. Mintz by firing him -- retroactively to the date that he filed the EEO charge!
The Agency attempted to justify the termination by producing "memoranda" purportedly written by Mr. Mintz' supervisor to his own file. The Agency admits that the supervisor never gave these memos to Mr. Mintz or showed them to anyone else on or about the dates that they were purportedly written. The memos stated that all of Mr. Mintz' co-workers had individually and indendently made complaints about him; however, all these co-workers provided Mr. Mintz with affidavits stating that they had never complained about him, that no one ever interviewed them about Mr. Mintz or the EEO charge, and that Mr. Mintz was an excellent, knowledgeable, helpful co-worker. In fact, they stated that Mr. Mintz took the leadership role in the group.
Mr. Darbeau, another African-American contract specialist, provided Mr. Mintz with affidavits in support of his discrimination and retaliation charges. As a result, his supervisors retaliated against him, creating a hostile work environment, on the basis of retaliation, for Mr. Darbeau, and finally, refusing to renew his contract, or convert him to permanent status, despite outstanding performance evaluations, thus leaving him unemployed, without health insurance, while being treated for cancer.
Mr. Mintz originally filed a discrimination complaint at the D.C. Human Rights Commission in 1996 (prior to retaining the Offices of Dawn V. Martin). Motions for summary judgment were pending for six years in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; however, on May 30, 2006, the Court granted Mr. Mintz' motion for summary judgment on the issue of racial harassment against the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency. See May 30, 2006 Mintz decision. Plaintiffs are very rarely granted summary judgment; however, Ms. Martin was able to convince the Court, through her legal arguments and presentation of the evidence in her motion, that the racial harassment was indisputable. Mr. Mintz therefore won his racial harassment even without having to go to trial. The decision also set precedent with respect to the lack of complete immunity for a receivorship set up by a judge and on adverse actions under Title VII. Judge Oberdorfer rejected the District's immunity argument for non-judicial decisions. He also rejected the District's argument that its refusal to renew Mr. Darbeau did not constitute an actionable adverse action within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This case of racial discrimination is so blatant and egregious, and a remedy so delayed, that Ms. Martin has discussed it on three different occasions, by Joe Madison ("the Black Eagle") on his radio show on WOL radio, in Washington, D.C. For facts and legal analysis, see Mintz' Motion for Summary Judgment and Mintz' Reply to Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment. The original judge on the case, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, retired in 2004. The case had been re-assigned twice since that time. Senior status Judge Louis Oberdorfer will preside over the trial.
The case is scheduled for trial on December 6, 2006. The jury will decide how much money Mr. Mintz should receive as compensation for the racial harassment he endured. The jury will also decide whether the District illegally fired Mr. Mintz in retaliation for his complaints of racial harassment. In addition to monetary damages, Mr. Mintz seeks reinstatement, or at least the conversion of his termination to a voluntary separation and his personnel file purged of false, derogatory documents created in retaliation for his complaints. The firm settled Mr. Darbeau's case for monetary damages only, since Mr. Darbeau was not fired and had no derogatory information in his personnel file. Mr. Darbeau will still be a witness at trial for Mr. Mintz.
Medlock v. Rumsfeld, 86 Fed. Appx. 665; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 2252 (4th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. __, (www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/04-133.htm) challenged the disparate impact of nepotism on African-Americans at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) with respect to a newly adopted "band" promotion system, which had been criticized as racially discriminatory even by the Director of the Agency. Ms. Martin argued that the District Court for the District of Maryland, via Judge Deborah Chasanow, improperly granted summary judgment to the Agency by accepting the factual claims of the Agency, based solely on the self-serving affidavits of the discriminating officials stating that the promotion decision was not based on race. No discovery had even taken place in the case and Ms. Martin argued that summary judgment was at least untimely.
Although the Court ruled against Mr. Medlcok, the firm has received comments from other attorneys criticizing the District Court's decision and the failure of the Fourth Circuit to address the arguments that Ms. Martin made on behalf of Mr. Medlock. The Fourth Circuit did not issue an opinion, but affirmed, per curiam, with no analysis. Despite the loss, the firm believes that the arguments raised in Medlock will aid other attorneys in similar cases.
Pigford v. Glickman,.In association with two other law firms, Ms. Martin assisted African-American farmers in processing their claims of racial discrimination against the U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture in a major class action lawsuit alleging a pattern and practice of denying agricultural loans and other services to African-American farmers, much of which resulted in the confiscation and forced sale of land for many African-Americans in this country.