… did not deliberately violate any employer rule or regulation or act in a manner which was in willful disregard of this employer's interest. He was discharged for reasons other than misconduct connected with his most recent work and is therefore not disqualified under section 1256.
Antioch, CA (PRWEB) September 28, 2009
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is launching a campaign to implement a resolution adopted by its recent National Executive Board meeting in Milwaukee regarding allegations of employee discrimination, retaliation, and termination of Dr. Alberto Rocha from federal service by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the manner in which his case has been managed (United States District Court, Northern District of California, Civil Action Number 08-3049) . Dr. Rocha's efforts to keep his position with OFCCP have been the subject of numerous local and national news releases and Congressional inquiries. Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representatives Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, George Miller, Dennis Cardoza, and Henry Waxman have written letters to the Agency in support of Dr. Rocha.
Dr. Alberto Rocha has been in EEO litigation with Agency since 2002, after successfully competing for the position of Assistant District Director of OFCCP. According to LULAC, Dr. Rocha was asked to relinquish his position as chairman of a national Hispanic advocacy organization (National Image, Inc.) by OFCCP leadership. Dr. Rocha refused, maintaining that the request violated protected personnel practices. As a result, Dr. Rocha has claimed in his litigation that he faced numerous incidents of retaliation by OFCCP over the years and was required to hire an attorney and file EEO complaints to protect his liberties as a federal employee. (United States District Court, Northern District of California, Civil Action Number 08-3049).
According to Dr. Rocha, Department of Labor (DOL) Solicitors initially reached a settlement with him regarding his discrimination and retaliation claims in February of 2007. DOL Solicitors agreed to the terms with the caveat that the settlement required final approval from the National Office of OFCCP. Dr. Rocha alleges that after he had bargained in good faith to try to settle the matter, nearly six weeks later the proposed settlement was cancelled by OFCCP. Dr. Rocha contends that in October of 2007, DOL Solicitors reengaged settlement talks with his attorney, with a new demand of having Dr. Rocha leave the agency. When Dr. Rocha rejected that demand, the agency ceased settlements talks.
Since then, Dr. Rocha's legal team contend that DOL Solicitors have proposed and submitted another settlement proposal and have requested approval by the OFCCP National Office to engage in another round of settlement talks. However, DOL Solicitors have communicated to Dr. Rocha's attorney that the OFCCP National Office is not interested in any form of settlement.
LULAC is charging that the Department of Labor is continuing to waste hundreds of hours of at least six (6) DOL senior trial attorneys and its support staff on this subject case. LULAC has also previously accused the prior Department of Labor administration of having been "stacked" with associates of the right-wing Heritage Foundation that were engaged in a systematic purge of minorities and employees who had been effective in combating workplace discrimination and abuse. LULAC contends that the DOL's continued stonewalling amounts to a cover-up of the prior administration's hidden agenda.
LULAC is denouncing as "obstinate" the OFCCP leadership's demand that Dr. Rocha leave the agency as a condition of a settlement and is calling on the OFCCP administration to stop ignoring the advice of DOL Solicitors. LULAC National Vice President for the Far West Angel Luevano, himself a former OFCCP administrator for whom the "Luevano Consent Decree" is named (which governs EEO hiring practices for Federal Employees) is accusing the OFCCP of being severely underrepresented in Latino employees and specifically Latino managers. In addition, LULAC is raising concerns about the waste and abuse of government resources on this case and castigates the poor judgment of OFCCP leadership as affecting the effectiveness and mission of the agency in serving the public sector.
On January 15, 2009, Carol Larsen, Administrative Law Judge for California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board issued a Decision Letter, regarding Dr. Rocha's right for unemployment benefits, stating that Dr. Rocha "… did not deliberately violate any employer rule or regulation or act in a manner which was in willful disregard of this employer's interest. He was discharged for reasons other than misconduct connected with his most recent work and is therefore not disqualified under section 1256." LULAC says that this shows an objective and unbiased finding that Dr. Rocha's termination was nothing but the escalation of on-going efforts to retaliate against Dr. Rocha because of his opposition to unlawful race and ethnic discrimination in employment at OFCCP.
Angel Luevano, National Vice President states that "LULAC issued numerous letters of concern to the Honorable Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor, United Stated Department of Labor in which the Agency failed to respond to them and has "stonewalled" requests for an investigation on the same concerns from Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Congress Members Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, George Miller, Dennis Cardoza, and Henry Waxman. As the agency responsible for contractor compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations, OFCCP has a responsibility to be a workplace model for the private sector contractors it oversees and must be held accountable."
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