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BOP Settles Sexual Orientation and Reprisal Discrimination Claims

The Bureau of Prisons settled multiple claims of discrimination brought by an employee in July 2001.

Kimberly Ann Chermock filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at Federal Correctional Institution Pekin, Illinois in December 1998. Chermock, a GS-10 Assistant Safety Manager, alleged that she was treated differently from other employees in like positions.

The crux of Chermock's initial complaint related to several "MS" (minimally satisfactory) ratings that she received on evaluations. Chermock claimed that she was given these ratings as retaliation for filing a previous appeal of below average ratings. Chermock further alleged that her supervisor, Mrs. Shoenrock, told her that she was "not performing the required duties as an Assistant Safety Manager" but did not take any action against a similarly situated person, Mr. Bonneville, for failure to properly perform his duties.

When Chermock's original complaint was not resolved due to a paperwork oversight, she filed an additional complaint. In this complaint, Chermock alleged that FCI Pekin Warden Helman took personal and retaliatory action against her by giving her the lowest possible rating on her annual performance appraisal because of her previous EEOC claim.

Chermock demanded that she be provided a transfer to the Safety Department at Federal Correctional Institution Victorville, California, and that her annual performance appraisal be upgraded to outstanding.

The parties agreed to settle all of Chermock's claims on July 23, 2001. Chermock was not transferred as part of the settlement, but accepted $2,007.58 in full satisfaction of all claims. The Bureau of Prisons also agreed to pay her attorney, Julie L. Galassi, $15,992.42, over 700 percent more than they paid Chermock, the claimant.

As part of the confidential settlement agreement, the Bureau of Prisons did not admit any wrongdoing.

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. 210-A0-6270X/6271X, BOP Agency Case Nos. P-99-0094, P-99-0214, P-2000-0013, and P-2000-0062.

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Related legal case

EEOC Case No. 210-A0-6270X/6271X