The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights usually investigates discrimination complaints outside its offices. But in the case of its former staff solicitor, Emma Monroig, the agency could have stayed indoors.
Monroig was awarded $150,000 for back pay, mental duress and attorneys’ fees. The EEOC also ordered that she be reinstated as solicitor.
Commission employees have filed nine recent complaints with the EEOC, commission officials said.
Three were filed by Hispanics, and the rest by black and white workers. Of those nine, at least three have been settled. In light of Monroig’s award, questions about the treatment of staff, performance evaluations and other personnel issues linger, officials said.
Monroig’s odyssey with the EEOC began in 1994, when she filed an informal discrimination complaint. Passman said her claim was that higher-level jobs held by a few Hispanic employees were being taken over by black workers.
Commission officials said she essentially filed the claim with herself, because she was the agency’s representative to the EEOC. Shortly afterward, the commission began to contract out her responsibilities. In 1995, she filed a formal discrimination complaint. After she filed that complaint, she was demoted. And that, the EEOC ruled, constituted retaliation.
Okay, one comment just for clarification’s sake. The article quotes the agency solicitor’s attorney as saying “There’s a need for the solicitor’s position, to avoid conflicts of interest.” Of course, when the solicitor filed a case against her own commission, she created a conflict of interest. The agency parceled out pieces of her job as a result. That’s why she won.