Black ExperienceCommunity

Court Allows Metro Discrimination Case to Proceed

Former Metro employees and job applicants who were terminated or denied positions as a result of what they say is the transit agency’s racially discriminatory and overly broad background check policy will be permitted to proceed with a class certification case.

“The court’s decision paves the way for vindicating our clients’ rights and the rights of [Metro’s] employees and prospective job applicants,” said Rachel Kleinman, LDF senior counsel. “[Metro’s] criminal background check policy is unduly harsh, out of step with other jurisdictions, and limits opportunities for qualified African-American employees.”

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 18 granted class certification in Little v. Washington Metro Area Transit Authority.

The case was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil rights and Urban Affairs and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer on behalf of nine plaintiffs against Metro and three of its contractors.

In granting class certification, the court allowed plaintiffs’ claims that Metro policy unfairly and disproportionately limits opportunities for qualified African-American employees to move forward on behalf of all affected job applicants.

The plaintiffs contend that Metro’s strict background check policy has resulted in the disqualification of numerous qualified job applications with a wide range of criminal convictions without consideration of how long ago the conviction occurred or whether the conviction is relevant to the position.

Many people with convictions, including nonviolent drug offenses, face lifetime disqualification under Metro’s current policy.

The policy violates federal and local anti-discrimination laws as well as guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the plaintiffs argue.

“Our clients are working hard to provide for themselves and their families and deserve a second chance,” said John Freedman of APKS. “[Metro] is telling them that because of past mistakes, they’re not qualified to work and to earn a living. This doesn’t just apply to those applying to work at [Metro], but others who have been working there for years without incident.”

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker