FLEOA Files EEO Complaint


FLEOA Files EEO Complaint Alleging Discriminatory Hiring Language

January 18, 2016

Francine J. Kerner,  Esq. Chief Counsel
Office of Chief Counsel
Transportation Security  Administration
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, Virginia 20598
Via fax: (571) 227-2555

Re: Federal Air Marshal Hiring Advertisement Equal Employment Opportunity

Dear Chief Counsel Kerner:

Kindly be advised that I am General Counsel to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers  Association ("FLEOA") and in that capacity  I represent  Federal Air Marshals  who are members  ofFLEOA.

Equality in the workplace  has been a priority of my practice.  We have fought,  and continue  to fight discrimination in the workplace  on a daily basis.  As such I understand  that attracting  a diverse group of qualified candidates  for employment is an important  priority for the Federal Government.

Recently  it has come to our attention  that, in seeking a diversity of candidates, the Transportation Security Administration has overstepped the allowable  practice of advertising position vacancies and has violated of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

It has been brought to my attention  that the Federal Air Marshal Service has recently posted a hiring advertisement wherein it specifically states, "Those  with military or law enforcement background  are urged to consider a career
with FAMS,  particularly females." (Emphasis added).
In seeking to attract candidates for positions with an Agency, it is a "violation of Title VII for a help-wanted advertisement to indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular job."  See "Job opportunities advertising",  29 C.F.R. ยง1604.5.

The Advertisement, as written does not demonstrate the Federal Air Marshal Service dedication to considering all qualified candidates, and the advertisement speaks to only one class of preferred applicant/employee, "particularly females."  This type of language in a vacancy announcement can be construed as discouraging qualified men from seeking a position and/or that the Federal Air Marshal Service is giving unlawful preference to women with prior military or law enforcement experience.  The use of the statement "Equal Opportunity Employer" in the flyer, alone, does not cure the discriminating message advertised, as there is no affirmative statement that the Agency will equally consider all qualified candidates regardless of status, as opposed to ''particularly fomales."

It is requested that the Transportation Security Administration immediately amend its advertisements and broadcast to its employees and applicants the TSA's dedication to attracting and evaluating, equally, all applicants and employees for positions within the Agency.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  We look forward to receiving the FAM's reassurance to its employees and applicants that it is dedicated to a diverse workplace that can only be reached by objective, equal consideration of all qualified individuals.


Lawrence Berger, Esq.
General Counsel