Secret Service Employment Discrimination
The Secret Service allegedly discriminatesin its promotions of African Americans, and now a court gave the green light for a class action.After 13 years and three attempts, the US District Court for DC recently certified the classof120 current and former agents.Hogan Lovells' Des Hogan is co-counsel for the plaintiffs and says that if the Secret Service doesn't resolve the matter amicably, they're ready to go to trial.
Senior associate Erica Knievel Songer has worked on the matter for more than five years. While the government argued that the Walmart SCOTUS case forecloses creating a class here, Erica says this class is much different: Walmart would have created the largest class in history, while this is 120 people; and though Walmart's decision-making was diffuse, the Secret Service's promotion decision making is top-down and centralized. The court has sanctioned the Secret Service multiple times for noncompliance. Recently, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Bennie Thompson, wrote that "The Secret Service's failure to [conclude this case] raises serious concerns about the agency'scommitmentto resolve its long-standing diversity issues."