The following is an actual response to an allegation of discrimination.
The names have been change to protect the privacy of those involved.
After reading this case, please decide if the EEOC ruled in favor of the employee or the employer.
March 16, 1998
Jane Doe, Supervisor
Denver District Office
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
77 Sunset Strip at East 18th Avenue, Suite 8750
Denver, Colorado 80202-7594
RE: Johnson, LaShonda - S.S.#: 123-45-6789
Dear Ms. Doe:
It is the continuing policy and commitment of the EQUITY BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES (EB&FS) to provide equal opportunity for all job applicants, to provide equal opportunity for the continual involvement of employees, and to administer these policies in a manner that does not discriminate against any person because of their race, religion, color, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, or veteran's status. It is the intention and effort of EB&FS to comply in all respects with applicable federal, state and local laws.
The following is EB&FS's position with respect to the allegation(s) contained in Charge Number 918273455, regarding LaShonda Johnson.
1. On Wednesday, January 17, 1996 Ms. Johnson completed, submitted and signed a EB&FS employment application (Exhibit 1).
2. On Monday, February 12, 1996 Ms. Johnson was hired into a regular full-time position as a Teller Service Representative position (Exhibit 2). On Monday, February 12, 1996 Ms. Johnson received, completed, submitted and signed a EB&FS Considerations of Employment and Employee Representations which stated her employment may be terminated by Ms. Johnson or EB&FS at any time (Exhibit 3).
3. On Wednesday, April 3, 1996 Ms. Johnson applied for a Teller Service Representative II position (Exhibit 4).
4. On Wednesday, April 10, 1996 Ms. Johnson completed a Service Center Representative II test (Exhibit 5).
a. Ms. Johnson incorrectly answered 28 out of 55 questions, for a score of 50.90% out of a possible 100%.
b. Taniko Hieko (a bi-racial, Black and Japanese minority female), hired on March 4, 1996, also applied for the Teller Service Representative II position and completed the same test (Exhibit 6). Ms. Heiko incorrectly answered 6.5 out of 55 questions, for a score of 88.19% out of a possible 100%.
c. No other EB&FS employees applied for the Teller Service Representative II position opening.
d. During the subsequent job interview and review of the test results, it was observed by the interview panel (composed of Cindy Miller, Training Specialist; Darnell Allen, Teller Service Supervisor; and James Anderson, Director of Human Resources) that Ms. Hieko demonstrated that her knowledge of the teller service function was superior to Ms. Johnson (who had previously worked for another financial institution), even though Ms. Hieko had no prior teller experience.
e. Effective Saturday, June 1, 1996 Ms. Hieko was promoted to a Teller Service Representative II position (Exhibit 7).
5. On Friday, July 5, 1996 Ms. Johnson received a review of her performance by Darnell Allen, Teller Service Supervisor. Ms. Johnson received an overall rating of 3.02 out of a maximum possible of 5.0. Ratings of 3.00 or higher are considered standard or satisfactory (Exhibit 8).
6. On Monday, July 8, 1996, Ms. Johnson received a combined merit and promotional increase of 7.27%, from $16,248 to $17,429 annually, and received a "growth" promotion (based on her performance) to a Service Center Representative position (Exhibit 9).
7. On Friday, August 16, 1996, Ms. Johnson received a written response from Mr. Anderson to her oral application for the Phone Center Supervisor position opening (Exhibit 10).
8. In addition to Ms. Johnson, the following employees also submitted their candidacy for the Phone Center Supervisor position opening:
Lenorna Perez Hispanic female
Cathy Brahatez Hispanic female
Taniko Hieko Other (bi-racial, Black and Japanese)
9. On or about Tuesday, August 20, 1996, Ms. Johnson was interviewed for the Phone Center Supervisor position by Mr. Anderson.
a. Ms. Johnson did not fully complete the required selection exercise, "Assessment of Core Skills, Knowledge and Abilities (Exhibit 11);
b. Ms. Brahatez and Ms. Perez participated in the interview process, but also did not complete the required selection exercise.
c. Ms. Hieko participated in the interview process and fully completed the required selection exercise (Exhibit 12).
10. On Monday, September 16, 1996, Ms. Hieko was promoted to the Phone Center Supervisor position.
11. On or about Monday, December 30, 1996, EB&FS received a Writ of Garnishment for Ms. Johnson (Exhibit 13). Given risks associated with working with immediate access to negotiable instruments, Ms. Johnson was requested by Mr. Anderson to resolve the issues concerning the garnishment at her earliest convenience.
12. On Monday, January 6, 1997 Ms. Johnson received a review of her performance by Taniko Hieko, Phone Service Supervisor. Ms. Johnson received an overall rating of 4.05 out of a maximum possible of 5.0. Ratings of 4.00 or higher are considered above standard (Exhibit 14).
13. On Monday, January 6, 1997, Ms. Johnson received a combined merit and promotional increase of 7.39%, from $17,429.28 to $18,720 annually, and received a "growth" promotion (based on her performance) to a Member Service Specialist II position (Exhibit 15).
14. On Monday, January 20, 1997, Ms. Johnson informed Mr. Anderson and Ms. Danvers in writing of alleged inappropriate conduct by Darnell Allen, Manager of Member Services.
15. On Monday, January 27, 1997, Ms. Johnson met with and received a written directive (Exhibit 16) from Mr. Anderson which:
a. acknowledged Ms. Johnson letter of January 20, 1997 to Mr. Anderson and Ms. Danvers;
b. reported on findings from an investigation conducted by Mr. Anderson in response to Ms. Johnson's allegations:
1. it was observed by other employees that Ms. Johnson and Mr. Allen have engaged in general office conversations that, on occasion, do not directly involve their assigned duties and responsibilities;
2. that Ms. Johnson' perception of events which took place in the employee lounge on or about January 10, 1997 did not agree with Mr. Allen's perception of events; and
3. that the accounts of alleged witness to the events which occurred in the employee lounge on or about January 10, 1997 do not agree with the perceptions of Ms. Johnson or Mr. Allen.
c. recommended that Ms. Johnson avoid any "ad hoc" general office discussions with Mr. Allen, and to focus her efforts and, any necessary interaction, to the scope of performance outlined in her respective duties and responsibilities; and
d. advised Ms. Johnson that failure to comply with EB&FS's policies and procedures would result in disciplinary action, including termination.
16. On Monday, January 27, 1997, Mr. Allen met with and received a written directive (Exhibit 17) from Mr. Anderson which:
a. recommended that Mr. Allen avoid any "ad hoc" general office discussions with Ms. Johnson, and to focus his efforts and, any necessary interaction, to the scope of performance outlined in his respective duties and responsibilities; and
b. advised Mr. Allen that failure to comply with EB&FS's policies and procedures would result in disciplinary action, including termination.
17. On Thursday, January 30, 1997, Ms. Johnson completed a member services product knowledge questionnaire (Exhibit 18).
18. On Wednesday, February 5, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on Checking Account Promotions (Exhibit 19).
19. On Saturday, February 8, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on Financial institution Philosophy, 1099 Forms, Share Certificates, Payroll, Cross Selling, Phone Etiquette, Professionalism and the Help Screen (Exhibit 20).
20. On Wednesday, February 12, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on the Movers and Checkers Program and Cross Selling products and services (Exhibit 21).
21. On Wednesday, March 5, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on the "Help" and 0$" screens of the Financial$ystems computerized financial system (Exhibit 22).
22. On Wednesday, March 12, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) (Exhibit 23).
23. On Wednesday, March 12, 1997, Ms. Johnson applied for the Card Service Specialist position (Exhibit 24).
24. On Monday, March 17, 1997, Cathy Brahatez (Hispanic Female), Loan Service Representative, who had also applied, was promoted into the Card Service Specialist position (Exhibit 25). Ms. Brahatez had approximately four (4) years of satisfactory teller and loan experience with EB&FS. This position opening resulted from the voluntary termination of Neuena Zenlavanhoi (an Asian/Female).
25. On Wednesday, April 2, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on EB&FS loans (Exhibit 26).
26. On Friday, May 16, 1997 Ms. Hillary McIntosh, Vice President of Operations, prepared and filed a record of Ms. Johnson' absences for calendar year 1997 (Exhibit 27).
27. On Wednesday, May 21, 1997, Ms. Johnson completed an ACH Origination Pop Quiz and successfully answered four (4) out of five (5) questions (Exhibit 28).
28. On Monday, May 27, 1997, Mr. Clark Cooper (White male), was hired into a Member Service Specialist III position. Ms. Cooper's candidacy included hands-on professional and managerial experience in finance, banking and financial institutions which began in January 1978 (Exhibit 29).
29. On Wednesday, June 4, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on Payroll/ACH Processing by Mr. Allen, Betty Innez, Manager of Accounting/Data Processing and Ellen Caldwell, Accounting/Data Processing Technician (Exhibit 30).
30. On Wednesday, June 11, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on Negotiable Instruments by Mary McDonald of Credit Investigations Incorporated (Exhibit 31).
31. On Thursday, June 12, 1997, Gwenn Thompson (White female), Supervisor of Member Services, voluntarily terminated her employment.
32. On Monday, June 16, 1997, EB&FS announced the opening for the Supervisor of Member Services position.
33. Between Monday, June 16, 1997 and Thursday, June 26, 1997, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Cooper were the only employees to apply for the vacant Supervisor of Member Services position.
34. On or about Friday, June 27, 1997, Ms. McIntosh informed staff that Ms. Cooper had been selected to fill the Supervisor of Member Services position opening.
35. On Wednesday, July 2, 1997, Ms. Johnson received training on ATMs, Share Draft, Visa, Shared Branch, and ACH Processing by Ms. Innez (Exhibit 32).
36. On Thursday, July 3, 1997, Ms. Johnson sent a "general broadcast" electronic mail to all employees that Friday, July 11, 1997 would be her last day of employment with EB&FS (Exhibit 33).
37. On Monday, July 7, 1997, Ms. Cooper was promoted into the Supervisor of Member Services position.
38. On Wednesday, July 9, 1997, Ms. Johnson requested and received a copy of her EB&FS personnel file (Exhibit 34).
39. On Monday, August 4, 1997, Ms. McIntosh, provided a written acknowledgment and confirmation of Ms. Johnson' voluntary termination from EB&FS effective Friday, July 11, 1997 (Exhibit 35).
40. On Sunday, October 5, 1997, in response to a request from Ms. Johnson, a letter was written by Ms. McIntosh detailing absences produced by Ms. Johnson in calendar year 1996.
Response to Allegations
Allegation 1: That on July 10, 1997 Ms. Johnson resigned after learning that she hadn't been selected for a promotion.
A. Ms. Johnson officially resigned on Thursday, July 3, 1997 (see #36 above).
B. Ms. Johnson officially stated her last day of employment as Friday, July 11, 1997, not Thursday, July 10, 1997 (see #36 above).
C. Ms. Johnson did not directly inform her immediate supervisor, Ms. Cooper, or his manager, Ms. McIntosh of her reasons for termination. Ms. Cooper and Ms. McIntosh learned of Ms. Johnson' voluntary termination as all EB&FS employees did, through Ms. Johnson' "general broadcast" electronic mail.
Allegation 2: That the President of EB&FS told Ms. Johnson that she wasn't selected because she hadn't been around the block enough times and because she wasn't the right person at that particular time for the job.
Ms. Danvers briefly informed Ms. Johnson of the current challenges faced by EB&FS and how her candidacy did not provide EB&FS with the immediate skills required in order to successfully perform as a Supervisor of Member Services. Additionally, the scope of Ms. Cooper's nearly twenty (20) years of job knowledge and experience, coupled with his demonstrated satisfactory performance gave greater value to his candidacy. Ms. Johnson was informed that her contribution to EB&FS was greatly appreciated as demonstrated by the:
a. recognition Ms. Johnson had received in the form of two promotions within less than a year-and-a-half;
b. positive comments made by EB&FS members about Ms. Johnson (Exhibit 36); and
c. Ms. Johnson continued improvement in performance through ongoing training (see #18 - 22, #25, 29, 30, and 35 above).
Allegation 3: That Ms. Johnson believes she has been discriminated against because of her race (Black) and sex (female), and has been retaliated against for filing an internal sexual harassment complaint against her immediate supervisor, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in as much as:
A. Ms. Johnson was employed by EB&FS from February 1996 to July 1997. Ms. Johnson applied for approximately 5 or 6 promotions during that period but was never selected. EB&FS does not have any Black employees in supervisory positions.
A. Ms. Johnson was employed by EB&FS from February 12, 1996 through July 11, 1997.
B. Ms. Johnson applied for the following position openings:
1. Teller Service Representative II (see #3 above);
2. Phone Center Supervisor (see #7 above);
3. Card Service Specialist (see #23 above); and
4. Member Services Supervisor (see #33 above)
C. Ms. Johnson received two "growth" promotions, which were solely based on her performance (see #6 and #13 above).
D. The following Black employees were employed in supervisory or management position during Ms. Johnson' employment.
Employee/Position Title/Reason for Termination:
James Anderson, VP/Human Resources/Voluntary
Samuel Davis, Teller Service Supervisor/Voluntary
Kerry Shipley; Member Services Supervisor/Voluntary
Taniko Hieko, Phone Center Supervisor/Involuntary
E. Currently, one (1) Black female (Angela Stringer, Operations Supervisor; hired December 12, 1997) is employed in a management position as Branch Manager for EB&FS's Bronx facility.
F. EB&FS has a demonstrated history, as representated above in Allegation 3, EB&FS Response, D., of hiring, training, developing and promoting women and minorities.
Allegation 3 (Continued): B. In January 1997, Ms. Johnson complained in writing to EQUITY BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES' President and to the Human Resources Director that she felt that she was being sexually harassed by her immediate supervisor (white/male). Neither the President nor the Human Resources Director responded to her complaint. Ms. Johnson doesn't know if her supervisor was ever disciplined by EB&FS. Shortly after Ms. Johnson complained her supervisor was moved to a higher level management position in another department.
A. EB&FS acknowledged Ms. Johnson allegations (see #14 above).
B. EB&FS responded to Ms. Johnson' allegations (see #15 above).
C. It is the policy of EB&FS to maintain the confidentiality of all designated employee activities (see Employee Handbook, Exhibit 37), including counseling and disciplinary actions. Information regarding counseling and disciplinary actions are restricted to the employee and their immediate supervisor or manager.
D. Mr. Allen was not promoted to a higher level position. After the planned hiring of Hillary McIntosh, as Vice President of Global Operations, Mr. Allen was re-assigned, with no increase or decrease in salary, to report directly to the President as the technical specialist for conducting original analysis of existing and new member service products and services, including working with vendors on the application of emerging technologies.
Allegation 3 (Continued): C. The final non-selection for promotion occurred in July 1997. Ms. Johnson applied for a Member Service Supervisor position. Ms. Johnson had over 4 years of experience. Ms. Johnson does not know the selectee's (White/Male) qualifications other than he had been with EB&FS for only one month. Ms. Johnson resigned July 10, 1997 because she felt there was no opportunity for her to advance with EB&FS.
A. Ms. Johnson applied for the Member Services Supervisor position (see #33 above).
B. Ms. Johnson had approximately four (4) years of experience.
C. Ms. Johnson was informed by the President that her candidacy was not superior to another internal candidate (see Allegation #2 above).
D. Ms. Johnson resigned on July 3, 1997 (see #36 above).
E. Ms. Johnson did not discuss with EB&FS her feelings at her time of resignation (see Allegation 1, C. above).
F. As demonstrated by her performance history, Ms. Johnson would have been eligible for continued promotional opportunities at EB&FS (see #6 and #13 above).
Allegation 3 (Continued): D. Ms. Johnson performed her duties satisfactorily throughout her employment and never received any disciplinary actions from EB&FS. Ms. Johnson was equally, if not more, qualified than each of the individuals that were selected for promotion.
A. Ms. Johnson performed her duties satisfactorily while employed at EB&FS (see Exhibit 9 and 15).
B. Ms. Johnson was not equally, or more, qualified than each of the individuals that were selected for promotion (see #4.b., 9.c., 24, and 28 above).
Please contact me at 303-222-0993 if any additional information is required.
EQUITY BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
Enclosures: Response to EEOC Request for Information
Did the employee win?