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BOP Settles Discrimination Claim by "Non-Asian" for $12,000

The Bureau of Prisons settled a discrimination complaint brought by Wendy Lynn Brown, a white female employee at Federal Correctional Institution Big Spring, Texas in July 2010.

Brown's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint was filed on July 6, 1998. In the complaint, Brown alleged that she was discriminated against, as a white person, by Arlene Balinao, Health Services Administrator at the prison.

According to the complaint, Brown was hired as a staff pharmacist, to work the Monday through Friday 0900-1730 shift. After working the shift for several months, Balinao requested that Brown's shift be changed to the evening. Brown prepared a memorandum indicating that she could not work the shift, and distributed it to Balinao.

When she attempted to discuss the memorandum, Balinao "become very agitated, yelling into the phone 'I can do anything I want to you.'" Brown attempted to resolve the matter with the warden, who sided with Balinao, forcing Brown to resign.

Brown alleged that Balinao's actions were discriminatory, as scheduling matters involving Asian-American Physician Assistants followed Bureau of Prisons protocol (posting the proposed schedule three weeks in advance), but scheduling matters involving her, a white woman, did not. This was a violation of the Bureau's labor agreement with the American Federation of Government Employees as well. Brown also cited a "significant level of fear among the non-Asian staff" at FCI Big Spring.

Brown demanded restoration of employment, payment of back wages, elimination of the hostile work environment and the immediate cessation of all discrimination. She settled the claim for payment of $12,000.00 and the dismissal of her complaint. Brown was not given her job back at FCI Big Spring as part of the settlement.

The documents from this case were obtained by Prison Legal News after a successful twelve-year-long battle with the Bureau of Prisons over a Freedom of Information Act records request.

See:  EEOC Case No. 360-AO-8303X, BOP Agency Case No. P-98-9510.

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Related legal case

EEOC Case No. 360-AO-8303X