/ June 10, 2008

DOJ Sued for Discrimination

Joi Hyatte, a paralegal in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division, has filed suit against the DOJ, alleging that she has been passed over for promotions because she is African-American. Hyatte claims that although she enjoyed excellent reviews and served the department for 13 years, the department, in violation of typical hiring procedures, chose instead to hire whites and Hispanics from the outside for higher-paying positions. The suit accuses section chiefs John Tanner and Yvette Rivera of “numerous forms of discrimination and harassment,” including the intentional denial of bonuses and promotions solely on the basis of race and tolerance of racist and sexist behavior. In one incident, three attorneys “mocked (a) Caucasian analyst for displaying pictures of prominent African-American civil rights activists and leaders on the walls of her office.” According to Hyatte’s lawyers, six of her co-workers have complained of similar treatment and have logged complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. Hyatte hopes to win a promotion and back pay for the last two years, arguing that she since 2006 she has been assigned extra work without a pay increase.

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