Fired teller wins claim of racial discrimination

February 24, 1993|By Holly Selby | Holly Selby,Staff Writer

A Baltimore woman who was fired by the State Employees Credit Union has won a racial discrimination complaint against the organization.

Patricia A. Mack, who lost her position as assistant head teller at the credit union's Baltimore branch in July 1989, is entitled to reinstatement and back pay, in an amount to be determined by April.

References to the case also will be expunged from Ms. Mack's personnel records.

The credit union can appeal the decision handed down last week by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

"This was clearly a racially discriminatory discharge case and they are difficult to prove," said Lee D. Hoshall, assistant general counsel for the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, which filed the case on Ms. Mack's behalf.

"Well, I guess it's stand up and fight for what you believe in . . . but I'm glad it's over," said Ms. Mack, who now works at a health spa. She said she's contemplating returning to her former position.

In June 1989, Ms. Mack filled in as head teller for one day and later was criticized because $2,267 was missing from the daily accounts at the branch.

Then Ms. Mack, who is black, was fired for her alleged failure to follow proper management procedures, which included specific steps to secure cash.

In August 1989, Ms. Mack filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Relations stating that she had been fired because of her race.

The complaint said other supervisors had failed to follow procedures set out by the credit union.

Some of these employees, including Ms. Mack's supervisor, also had money missing at the end of a shift.

But these employees, who were white, were disciplined but not fired. In some cases, the complaint said, supervisors were not reprimanded.

"We said there were white head tellers and assistant head tellers who had engaged in the same conduct and in some cases had lost large sums or similar sums of money and hadn't been disciplined in the same way," said Mr. Hoshall.

Last week's decision by Administrative Law Judge Melanie A. Vaughn said that job evaluations of Ms. Mack from her employment in 1982 to June 1989 had described her performance as being "at or above the satisfactory level."

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