Federal Court Allows US Employment Discrimination Suit to Proceed against South Dakota DSS

Here are the materials in United States v. South Dakota Department of Social Services (D.S.D.):

26 Amended Complaint

43 South Dakota Motion for Summary Judgment

46 US Motion for Summary Judgment

52 South Dakota Opposition

53 US Opposition

56 US Reply

57 South Dakota Reply

59 DCT Order

An excerpt:

The following additional undisputed material facts specifically relate to plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. All of the following statistical data relates to the DSS Pine Ridge Office for the 2007 through 2013 time period, unless otherwise specified. For the 35 requisitions, Native American applicants submitted 213 (44.5%) complete applications and white applicants submitted 265 (55.5%) complete applications. (Docket 47 ¶ 42). One hundred eighty-six Native American applicants and 228 white applicants submitted complete applications and did not withdraw from the hiring process. Id. ¶ 45. DSS offered interviews to 117 (46.1%) Native American applicants and 137 (53.9%) white applicants. Id. ¶ 46. DSS conducted interviews with 90 Native Americans and 100 white applicants. Id. ¶ 47. DSS offered Specialist jobs to 22 interviewees, 20 of whom (90.9%) were white and only two of whom (9.1%) were Native AmericanId. ¶ 48.
DSS offered to hire zero Native Americans in 2007 through 2010, and 2012, despite seeking to hire Specialists on 22 separate occasions. Id. ¶ 49. During 2007 through 2010, DSS offered to hire zero Native Americans while offering to hire 12 white applicants as Specialists. Id. ¶ 50. In 2011, DSS offered to hire one Specialist who was Native American and two white applicants as Specialists. Id. ¶ 51. In 2012, DSS offered to hire zero Native Americans while offering to hire three white applicants as Specialists. Id. ¶ 52. In 2013, DSS offered to hire one Specialist who was Native American and three Specialists who were white. Id. ¶ 53.

PRESS RELEASE: Native American Employee of the Department of Energy Sues Agency for Race/National Origin Discrimination and Retaliation

January 6, 2017

Matthew Handley, matthew_handley@washlaw.org
(202) 319-1000


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jody TallBear, a well-respected Native American employee of the Department of Energy, brought suit yesterday to challenge retaliation she experienced when she sought to address a work environment hostile to Native Americans. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and raises claims of race and national origin discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation.

Ms. TallBear began working for DOE in May 2011. She was hired to advance tribal and Native American engagement, programming and policy initiatives. Throughout her employment, Ms. TallBear was subjected to pervasive racially offensive imagery and language, including the frequent use of derogatory language regarding Native people and the posting of “redskins” images in her workplace.

Beginning in 2012, Ms. TallBear continually notified DOE leadership of the offensive language and imagery but DOE refused to take actions to address her concerns. In October 2015, DOE banned Ms. TallBear from educating DOE employees on Native American sensitivities related to Indian representations and retaliated against her. Despite years of exemplary performance, DOE leadership has ostracized and isolated her, stripped her of her title, job responsibilities, and derailed her career path. With nowhere else to turn, Ms. TallBear brings this action against DOE for hostile work environment and retaliation for advancing the civil rights of Native American employees to not be subjected to racial slurs and offensive images in their workplace.

“Our society frequently forgets the incredible violence that makes up our country’s history with Native Americans, but we cannot forget that Native Americans deserve the same workplace protections as everyone else,” said Dennis Corkery, Senior Staff Attorney. “We want to hold DOE accountable for how Ms. TallBear was treated and see them move forward with more inclusive and sensitive practices.”

Venus McGhee Prince, co-counsel for Ms. TallBear adds, “as a senior policy advisor to the highest ranking diversity and civil rights official within DOE, Ms. TallBear has been leading positive change within DOE over the past four years by raising an awareness of the harmful impact that the ‘redskins’ language and imagery has on many Native Americans. All can agree that there is no harm to Ms. TallBear’s efforts to educate federal employees and build a more sensitive work environment for herself and others, especially when it is part of her job duties. We hope that Ms. TallBear can ultimately resume this necessary and influential work.”

Ms. TallBear is represented by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

You can read a copy of the complaint here.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE: For more than 45 years, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs has handled thousands of cases representing individuals and groups seeking to vindicate their civil rights in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and other aspects of urban life. It represents people with claims of discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, and military service and status. For more information, visit http://www.washlaw.org; or phone (202) 319-1000.

ABOUT KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP: Founded 155 years ago, Kilpatrick Townsend is a leading international AmLaw 100 firm with 18 offices extending into the four corners of the continental United States; Asia; and Europe, including: Atlanta, GA; Augusta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Menlo Park, CA; New York, NY; Raleigh, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Walnut Creek, CA; Washington, DC; Winston-Salem, NC; Shanghai; Stockholm; and Tokyo. For more information, please visit: http://www.kilpatricktownsend.com.

State Law Employment Discrimination Suit against Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort Dismissed

Here are the materials in Tavares v. Harrah’s Operating Co. (S.D. Cal.):

DCT Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Harrah’s Motion to Dismiss

California Appellate Briefs in Employment Discrimination Suit against Morongo Casino Resort & Spa

Here are the materials in Chavez v. Morongo Casino Resort & Spa (Cal. App. 4th):

Chavez Opening Brief

Morongo Answer Brief

Seventh Circuit Rules against American Indian in Employment Discrimination Suit

Here is the opinion in Grigbsy v. LaHood.

An excerpt:

In the midst of his training, Grigsby became aware of his Native American heritage. He educated himself about his Sioux, Cherokee, and Apache roots and began to  share his background with his coworkers. Grigsby claims that this led to a  number of hostile comments from his coworkers, who began to call him “Chief,” “Running Planes Together,”  and “Metal Rain,”  among other insults. While  Grigsby did not  file  a  complaint regarding  these comments, he did request a  transfer to another facility, ostensibly to escape this  abuse.

Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Employment Discrimination Claim against OK City Indian Health Clinic

Here is the opinion in Nettle v. Central Oklahoma Indian Health Council. An excerpt:

Moreover, even if Ms. Nettle’s EEOC charge could be interpreted as expansively as she now asks, her complaint in district court was expressly limited to “retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination.” R. 30. Whatever may be the reasons for liberal construction of an uncounseled EEOC charge, it is well established that claims not made in district court are waived. United States v. Rogers, 556 F.3d 1130, 1136 (10th Cir.2009). Accordingly, we affirm the district court in granting summary judgment to the Clinic on her retaliation claim.