Smith Patten to Represent African-American BART Employees Suing for Discrimination in Promotions

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Five long-term Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) employees with over 100 years of combined service filed a lawsuit today in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, alleging that BART's Finance division utilizes a "glass ceiling" to exclude African-American employees from obtaining promotions in BART's Finance division.

Plaintiffs Erik Freeman, Darian Caston, Nebiyat Arega, Jacquelyn Alexander, and Terry Carney all have excelled within BART's Finance division and have all worked as crew chiefs and trainers.  Yet they are continually passed over for promotions while less qualified non-African-Americans are groomed for management positions.

The Plaintiffs' lawsuit details BART's promotional practices, which have a disparate impact on African-American employees. The Plaintiffs' attorney, Dow W. Patten, stated, "When a Foreworker supervisor position becomes available, BART hand-picks non-minority employees to 'shadow' other Foreworkers, thereby grooming them for promotion, despite a requirement that the 'shadowing' be based on seniority.  The written supervisor examination has been routinely administered unfairly and scores are kept secret so that applicants never learn how they performed."  The Complaint alleges that there have been no African-Americans on BART's interview panels, despite the fact that 50% of the department's employees are African-American.  These policies have created a "glass ceiling" preventing African-Americans employed in BART's Finance division from obtaining promotions to supervisor positions.

Spencer F. Smith, who also represents the Plaintiffs, stated that "Despite my clients' 100 years of combined experience and significant lead experience, BART has failed to promote any of these individuals to a supervisor position. These facts demonstrate that BART is not making promotion decisions based upon merit and performance."

Smith Patten is a leading employment litigation firm in San Francisco that focuses on resolving employment discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower issues in the workplace.

SOURCE Smith Patten



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