By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEPC) is investigating claims of employment and racial discrimination made by a Deputy Clerk against the Office of the Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Mrs. Allmond Joy, an eight-year employee with the Clerk of the Court Office, said she was the victim of racial discrimination and racial bias. She initially contacted the Peninsula Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with her claims and the organization is assisting her in the case.
The civil rights organization said that Joy’s situation is indicative of systematic and ongoing management racial bias in the clerk’s office.
Andrew Shannon, the President of the Peninsula SCLC, said Joy is seeking a promotion she was denied due to the system of discrimination, and without retaliation against her, if indeed she wins her case.
Shannon said when she contacted the SCLC in April, the organization advised Joy on the process of filing a case with the EEOC. The group has been tasked with responding to all media inquiries about the case on her half.
According to Shannon and complaints Joy filed with the EEOC, the Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court office had selective hiring of whites and bypassed the normal hiring process by not notifying the public of employment openings in the office.
“They could have posted the job as ‘closed’ and ‘office applicants only’, but they failed to even do that,” said Shannon. “They were hooking up their friends, who were all white. There were more experienced and tenured personnel working in the clerk’s office who were not allowed to compete for the open positions.”
Joy is still an employee with the Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office. Shannon said his office has secured an agreement that she will not be harassed and intimidated while her case is being reviewed by the EEOC.
Joy began employment on February 1, 2007 as a Deputy Clerk I and presently serves as a Deputy Clerk in Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court Office. On March 16, 2015 Karen Roach, a white female was promoted to Deputy Clerk II, assigned back office duties and received a pay increase.
Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court arbitrarily selected individuals to desirable positions without considering the best qualified candidates, according to a SCLC press release state released last week.
“Newport News Clerk of the Circuit Court does not advertise open positions and has denied Mrs. Joy promotional opportunities, despite her superior qualifications. Mrs. Joy has been denied promotion and assignment to back office duties because of her race, African-American, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.”