Contact: Jill D. Brett (202) 707-2905

August 3, 1994

Judge Gives Preliminary Approval to Settlement of Class Action Lawsuit Against the Library

On August 2, 1994, U.S. District Court Judge Norma Holloway Johnson gave tentative approval to an agreement that seeks to settle a long-standing race discrimination suit against the Library of Congress. The case was filed in court in 1982 and alleged that the Library had discriminated against African American employees since 1975.

The Judge's approval, at this point, is preliminary; final approval is contingent upon her finding that the settlement is fair and equitable to all parties. To make that determination, the judge must ensure that there is widespread notice of the proposed settlement and that all individuals who believe they have been discriminated against in their employment with the Library have the opportunity to file claims.

The Judge will render her decision after a hearing set for March 15, 1995.

The agreement provides for an award of $8.5 million in back pay to qualified past and present African American employees of the Library; forty promotions and up to 10 reassignments to class members; the institution and maintenance of fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory selection processes; oversight procedures requiring the Library, consultants hired by the plaintiffs, and the Office of Personnel Management to monitor and assess the results of the Library's personnel actions to ensure that they are not discriminatory; training in equal employment opportunity for all Library supervisors; and the payment of over $1.5 million in attorneys' fees and costs.

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PR 94-128
ISSN 0731-3527

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