Law Office of Marc J. Smith, LLC
Employment Law and Litigation Counsel

Employment Law Blog

Firm Prevails in Discrimination and Retaliation Case Against Secret Service

In February 2013, we began representing a former Secret Service Special Officer in a discrimination (age and race) and retaliation claim against the Secret Service from which he had recently retired after more than 20 years of service. Among other things, our client claimed that he was denied a promotion because of his race (white) and age (mid 60’s) and was retaliated against for prior EEO activity.

After engaging in months of discovery, including many depositions of Secret Service officials and employees, the Agency moved for summary judgment on all of our client’s claims.   The Motion was promptly denied by the EEOC Administrative Judge handling the case.

In July and August 2014, a three-day hearing was conducted before Administrative Judge Mary Ryerse during which 11 witnesses testified, including our client. The Agency was represented by two attorneys from its General Counsel’s office. During the hearing, a number of Secret Service employees testified that documents relating to the promotion sought by our client had been disposed of in a “burn bag.”   These witnesses were unable to clearly articulate why 2 substantially younger Special Officers (one of whom was African American) were promoted.   Further, testimony from several key Secret Service employees was inconsistent with other evidence introduced at the hearing, damaging the credibility of these witnesses.

Today, we received the Judge’s opinion, who found that the Secret Service had indeed discriminated against our client on the basis of his age and race. The Judge also found that the Secret Service had retaliated against our client for engaging in prior EEO activity. In her decision, the Judge awarded our client full back pay from the date he should have received the promotion, a corresponding increase in his monthly pension, compensatory damages in the amount of $25,000 and attorney’s fees.   A very gratifying win in a difficult case.

Marc Smith