The Class Action Case

On May 5, 2006, the EEOC certified a class action complaint filed by the class representatives Paulette Taylor and Debra Harley and ordered the Social Security Administration (SSA or ”Agency”) to process the complaint accordingly. The name and location of the organization against which the Class Complaint was filed is the Social Security Administration Headquarters, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235.

The case is pending before Administrative Judge Enechi A. Modu, at the Baltimore Field Office of the EEOC, 10 South Howard Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.

The central issue in the trial of this case was whether the SSA discriminated against the certified Class of African-African women in grades GS 7 to 13 in regard to denials of promotions. This type of hearing is typically called a “liability” trial.

You are NOT a Class Member in this case if:

  • You are not an African-American female; or
  • You worked at SSA’s National Headquarters only in the Office of the General Counsel and/or the Office of the Inspector General since December 9, 2000; or
  • You have not worked in a job in General Schedule Grades 7 through 13 at SSA’s headquarters (or for ODAR in the State of Maryland) at any time since December 9, 2000.
  • You have worked in a supervisory or managerial position at SSA’s headquarters at any time since December 9, 2000.

What Types of Claims Are Included In This Case?

This case covers all claims that the SSA denied promotions on the basis of race and gender to African-American women who have held only non-supervisory jobs in GS 7 through 13 grade levels. We have limited the claims to competitive promotions (permanent or temporary) for which the Class Member made the BQL list. Therefore, career ladder promotions are not covered by the case. Also, if you applied, but did not make the BQL, that claim is not covered by the case.
The EEOC’s decision in this case, or any other resolution of the case, will be binding on all Class Members with regard to these promotion claims.

What Types of Claims Are Excluded From This Case?

The following claims are excluded from this proceeding:

  • Any promotion claim alleging discrimination on any basis which was previously adjudicated or settled in another proceeding.
  • Any claim of discrimination regarding an employment decision or action other than promotion. (In some situations, however, evidence of race and gender discrimination in matters such as training, awards, and performance appraisal that contributed to denials of promotions may be relevant. Class Counsel can explain this if you have questions. )
  • Any claims regarding denial of promotion on any basis other than race and/or gender.
  • Claims regarding denial of career ladder (non-competitive) promotions.
  • Claims regarding denial of competitive promotions where the Class Member did not make the Best Qualified List (“BQL”)

Such claims are not a part of this case, and Class Counsel does not represent the Class with regard to them. However, Class Members may continue to pursue those claims in a timely manner as described in 29 C.F.R. 1614. A Class Member with such a claim may want to retain separate attorneys to prosecute such claims.

If a Class Member pursues such a promotion claim in a separate proceeding and includes the basis of race and/or gender (as well as another basis, such as age, disability, or religion) in the separate proceeding, she cannot also pursue a claim for the same promotion on the basis of race and gender in Taylor, et al. v. Astrue.

On the other hand, if a Class Member pursues such a promotion claim in a separate proceeding and excludes the basis of race and/or gender in the separate proceeding, she can pursue a claim for the same promotion on the basis of race and gender in Taylor, et al. v. Astrue. However, she cannot recover twice for the same claim. (Class Counsel can explain this principle if you have questions.)