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WSSC subject to local anti-discrimination laws, court finds

An opinion issued Monday by Maryland's Court of Appeals will make it easier for people to bring discrimination law suits against the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, an agency with a long and highly politicized history of discrimination allegations and conflict over minority contracting issues.

The appeals court wrote that WSSC, which operates in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, is subject to county discrimination laws, even though it was created by state law. The opinion (see below) referred to three civil cases brought by former WSSC employees who alleged race-based discrimination in the workplace.

In 2003, 11 WSSC employees complained of racial discrimination and turned to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for help. The EEOC dismissed the complaints a year later, saying it was unable to conclude that any laws were broken.

Last year, the executives of Prince George's and Montgomery counties backed away from their nominee to lead the commission, when it was revealed the nominee had a past racial discrimination lawsuit against him and a Texas water utility that resulted in a $635,000 settlement.

Opinion

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  May 10, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Jonathan Mummolo , Montgomery County , Prince George's County  | Tags: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Maryland, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission  
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