Alan Lescht & Associates, P.C.
Call 202-536-3315 Se habla espaƱol

USAID employee alleged sex discrimination prevented promotion

FedSmith.com reported today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. partially reversed a district court's ruling granting summary judgment to the U.S. Agency for International Development concerning a gender discrimination case with one of its employees.

The appellant, an employee at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), alleged she was ignored for a promotion as a result of gender discrimination and was subject to retaliation. Based on the decision, the woman may now bring forward her failure to promote claim

In her original complaint, the employee offered statements made by her second line supervisor, who was the Director of the Office of Security, to support her allegation that the selecting official was biased against women. Included in these remarks were statements that the selecting official was not "culturally sensitive," had "many issues" with women, and "couldn't deal being an equal colleague to a woman."

According to USAID, the promotion selection was based on interview performance, and that her performance was inferior to that of the employee selected for promotion.

In its decision, the D.C. Circuit said the district court improperly ignored or discounted the statements of the woman's supervisor, and that those statements should have been admitted as "evidence of party admission," under the Federal Rules of Evidence.

According to the circuit court, an adverse inference should have been drawn from the hiring manager's destruction of his interview notes, and the district court went astray in finding only a "weak adverse inference." The circuit court noted that a reasonable jury could find that the hiring manager destroyed his notes in order to cover up discrimination. Although the interviewer said such notes were typically destroyed absent any reason to keep them around, USAID admitted that it was required to keep such interview notes around for two years under federal regulations.

D.C. Circuit court also said the statements should be admitted into evidence as party admissions, since the statements were in reference to the challenged non-promotion, and because the person making the statements had authority to speak on matters of promotion or to be active in the decision-making process.

The Circuit court concluded as well that, based on the evidence, USAID's suggestion of a nondiscriminatory rationale for its promotion selection could be found by a reasonable jury to have been a pretext to cover up discrimination.

Based on the decision, the woman may now bring forward her failure to promote claim, which will be remanded to district court for trial.

Source: FedSmith.com, "Gender Discrimination Claim and No Promotion Form Basis for Court Case," Debra A. D'Agostino, 30 Mar 2011.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • AV Preeminent
  • AVVO | Newsweek
  • Bloomberg BNA | Law 360 | Government Executive
  • Ten Leaders | WUSA 90
  • SuperLawyers | Univision
  • Washingtonian | abc7 | The Washington Post
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Top Rated Lawyers AV | ThreeBest Rated
  • AV Preeminent
  • AVVO | Newsweek
  • Bloomberg BNA | Law 360 | Government Executive
  • Ten Leaders | WUSA 90
  • SuperLawyers | Univision
  • Washingtonian | abc7 | The Washington Post
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Top Rated Lawyers AV | ThreeBest Rated
I have been a litigator for close to 20 years and Alan is most certainly one of the best attorneys I have ever come across.
Mr. Lescht is an excellent Trial Lawyer, He is calm, cool, and collected.
I also appreciated Alan's frankness and his ability to identify what is important and what is not when going through a case like this.
I would highly recommend Alan to anyone who needs an exceptional and incredibly talented Employment Attorney.
Mr. Lescht is an extraordinarily responsive attorney, returning my emails and phone calls within minutes. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone who thinks they may need a lawyer. Definitely incredible work.
I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism, and I will always be grateful for his guidance.

1050 17th Street NW | Suite 400 | Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-536-3315 | Map & Directions