Employment Law and Selective Services Blog

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Firm Prevails in Discrimination and Retaliation Case Against Secret Service

Posted by Marc Smith | Oct 02, 2014 | 0 Comments

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.

About the Author

Marc Smith

Marc J. Smith is a Rockville, Maryland employment attorney and a founding member of the law firm formerly known as Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC. In 2018, after 18 years managing Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC's employment counseling and litigation practice, Marc launched his own boutique practice...

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Representation Of Employers And Employees

The Law Office of Marc J. Smith, LLC is a boutique employment law practice based in downtown Rockville, Maryland near the Montgomery County Circuit and District Courts. The Firm’s practice focuses exclusively in the employment law arena and provides counseling, litigation and a wide range of other employment-related services to employers and employees throughout the State of Maryland, Washington D.C. and other jurisdictions. The Firm also represents individuals who have failed to register with the Selective Service System and who are trying to apply for or maintain federal employment.

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