In this case, black Secret Service agents sued the Secret Service alleging racial bias and a glass ceiling mentality at the agency.
The judge presiding over the case, has already sanctioned the agency three times for dragging its feet in handing over racially charged e-mails shared by white Secret Service supervisors and for failing to search for documents as ordered by the court. She has also reprimanded government lawyers after they revealed that a paralegal may have burned some documents that were ordered by the court.
The complaint alleges that supervisors routinely harassed black agents and refused to promote them to management positions. Black agents claim that white supervisors who distributed and read the e-mails created a “glass ceiling” that stunted their advancement. Ten agents are listed as representatives of a group of up to 250 plaintiffs.
An agent said he requested a promotion to management more than 200 times as white agents with less experience leaped ahead of him. The agent, who has worked at the Secret Service for nearly a quarter-century, said he finally advanced in 2002, after the lawsuit was filed.
Another agent said she was never promoted to management despite decades of solid evaluations. She left the agency in 2003, joined the Transportation Security Administration at the Department of Homeland Security, and was immediately promoted to a management position.
Legal Analysis: Racial discrimination and bias occurs in all fields including the esteemed Secret Service.