order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: USDA WOMEN' S CLASS ACTION MOVES FORWARD

Friday, January 20, 2012


Hello all. We got EEOC Judge Virginia Mellema-Magee's Order today. Here is a brief run down of the Decision. The Order states "the agency's motion to dismiss the class complaint is denied," and "The Class Agent has made a sufficient proffer to justify the need for formal pre-certification discovery..." The approved issues that we will be starting discovery on are non-selection; promotions, training, details, and assignments for "current and former" non-management R5 female employees. The judge did not approve the hostile work environment issue or equal pay/retention. We believe this is because it is difficult for the judge and others to understand that harassment and hostile work environment are directly connected to the ability to advance and promote in the agency which is also a retention issue. We will appeal that part of her decision at a later date. The next step is for us to provide the judge with our Discovery Plan (due date 2/4/12). The agency will also provide a Discovery Plan. The judge will rule on our Plans and then we will start Discovery which is generally a 4 month time period. Barring extensions, the Discovery process will probably start around March 1 and go through the end of June. I do not know if we will go into mediation since USDA and Forest Service management seem to want to be as adversarial as they possibly can and do not care that they are wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars. We will keep everyone informed of our progress. Congratulations again to Elaine and thanks to all for helping us get to this point. Feel free to share this information. Feel free to call if you want more info...lesa
Lesa L. Donnelly

We have lost our sense of shame. Colin Powell