An African-American female lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard Academy recently reported that she was faced with harassment and a hostile work environment partially based upon her race and gender. Federal investigators determined that the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut retaliated after she made the complaint.
According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, it was established by a preponderance of the evidence that the woman in question, a lieutenant commander at the academy, received low marks on her annual evaluation after she had complained. The inspector general also found that the way in which she was treated was shown to have vastly differed from that of another officer’s complaint of bullying later. In the inspector general’s report, it was found that one of the officers handling the complainant’s report drafted an email to himself that demanded she apologize and then resign for making the complaint.
Violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act
The attorney general found that the Academy was in violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. As such, he ordered that the academy implement several changes. Unfortunately, this assertion of discrimination and harassment is nothing new for the Academy, which is already facing a congressional investigation for harassment, bullying, and discrimination against minority cadets.
As such, several lawmakers are looking into racial bias at the academy. They claim that they did not receive complete information from the Coast Guard, with what they did receive being redacted. Subsequently, these lawmakers expressed that the Coast Guard was not being transparent and demanded it turn over information that they were seeking for months regarding the racial discrimination allegations.
Academy Receives Poor Grades on Equity Scorecards
Additionally, the Coast Guard Academy has received poor grades on the Equity Scorecard, a study conducted by the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California. The study tracks academic data on graduation rates by gender, race, and ethnicity. It found that African American cadets have been consistently less likely to graduate than the all cadet-average and faced a disproportionate share of disciplinary actions.
The Department of Homeland Security has ordered that the Academy upgrade her evaluation, documenting the reasons for findings in response to these complaints of harassment. It has also required that U.S. Coast Guard managers and supervisors receive supplemental training on harassment, discrimination, and bullying.
Philadelphia Whistleblower Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Victims Who Report Discrimination
If you or a loved one faced unfair treatment at work due to whistleblowing, we want to help. At Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., our Philadelphia whistleblower lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for what you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 today. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout South Jersey.