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$31,500 Settlement for Federal Prison Guard for Racial, Military Discrimination

Larry D. Milner was a guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego (MCC-SD) while at the same time being on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Milner, an African-American, filed a complaint alleging he was routinely discriminated against at MCC-SD based on his race and his military service. On February 12, 2002, Milner settled his case with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for $31,500. Documents relating to this case were acquired by PLN after a longstanding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was just recently fulfilled by the federal government.

Milner first filed a complaint with the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB) after he was fired from his position as an MCC-SD guard in 1995 following his return from active duty. MCC-SD officials cited Milner's unauthorized absence and his failure to carry out work assignments as the bases for Milner's termination. According to Milner, MCC-SD "follows a policy and practice of discrimination in employment against persons in the military reserves," in violation of 38 U.S.C. Sect. 2024(d). That statute requires employers to accommodate employees who are also in the "uniformed services."

The MSPB denied Milner's claim, and Milner filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California challenging their ruling. According to the federal court complaint, in addition to discrimination based on his military service, Milner also suffered harassment based on his race. He was called "boy" by an MCC-SD captain on more than one occasion, and the same captain also told Milner he "would be better off working with someone of his own kind." Milner claimed that employment with MCC-SD eventually became intolerable until he was ultimately fired in 1995.

Milner's federal lawsuit, which was filed in February 2000, was settled exactly two years later. According to the only settlement documents provided in the FOIA request, Milner received $31,500, which included all costs and attorney's fees. It was unclear from the documents provided if Milner was reinstated to his position as a guard. See: Milner v. Ashcroft, Case No. 99-cv-0138-BTM (CGA) (U.S.D.C. S.D. CA).

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Related legal case

Milner v. Ashcroft