Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Recent Federal Employee Title VII Opinion
Tahar Ahmed has been employed as an Immigration Enforcement Agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) since 2003. In 2009, Ahmed applied for the position of Deportation Officer. Ahmed was notified on October 1 that he was not selected for the position. Ahmed brought an employment discrimination action against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alleging that he was denied the position of Deportation Officer based on his religion, race, and national origin: a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, held that a reasonable jury would find that Ahmed was a victim of discrimination based on one of more of his minority characteristics. Title VII prohibits an employer to discriminate against an employee solely based on his/her religion, race, and national origin. The court explained that Ahmed provided sufficient evidence that showed a pattern of bypassing minorities for promotion in the Boston ICE office. Based on the historical evidence offered by Ahmed that there was a complete absence of black and Arab Deportation Officers, and Hispanics felt discouraged about applying for promotions, the court vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded the case for further proceedings. Ahmed v. Johnson, 13-1054, WL 2111236 (1st Cir. May 21, 2014).