|[Adversity.Net Report Oct. 12, 2004] -- Michael C. Ryan is a highly-qualified,
tenured employee of the FAA. Unfortunately for him, he is also white, and he has
been repeatedly passed over for promotions by less-qualified minorities.
Mr. Ryan has proved in a court of law that the FAA's racial-quota hiring policies
illegally discriminated against him and he won a very substantial settlement. Read
FAA's William J. Hughes Tech Center is
located in Atlantic City, NJ
Michael Ryan is employed at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City,
New Jersey. Mr. Ryan has performed very well during his 28 years at the FAA, but the
agency had an illegal affirmative action plan which rewarded Ryan's managers for their
ability to promote non-whites and not people like him (i.e., white and
Between 1995 and 1997, Mr. Ryan was denied eight promotions for which he applied and for
which he was well-qualified. Seven of the eight individuals chosen for the disputed
jobs were minorities or women.
Being a good Samaritan, and initially believing in the value of government-mandated
"forced diversity" Mr. Ryan actually coordinated a training program for the FAA
which was attended by one of the eight "less-qualified" minorities who beat him
out for a promotion. She was black woman, recruited by the FAA under a special
program for minorities and women and from which program white males were specifically
excluded. At the time that this black woman was promoted ahead of Mr. Ryan, she had
13 years less seniority than he did.
(2) Over 50% of
Minorities NOT Promoted on Merit
Mr. Ryan proved at trial that four of the seven minority applicants were not
selected based upon merit, but rather were chosen so that the responsible FAA officials
and managers could meet the FAA's minority and female promotion quotas established under
an unlawful race- and gender-based Affirmative Action Plan.
|| In court, Mr. Ryan
also showed that the FAA used an unwritten but well publicized "50-50" policy,
under which FAA managers were required, as a condition of their own performance reviews,
to promote women and minorities at least 50% of the time. FAA managers received
financial and career incentives to meet and exceed those promotion goals, and were warned
that they would be held accountable if they did not.
In other words, Mr. Ryan's bosses at the FAA were required to hire at least one preferred
minority for every "white" guy they hired. That sounds an awful lot like a
"racial quota", doesn't it?
Mr. Ryan's lawsuit sought to have those policies declared void as a matter of federal
constitutional and statutory law.
Career at FAA began in 1976
For the first 10 years of his career with FAA, from 1976 thru 1986, Mr. Ryan received
exemplary performance evaluations from his bosses at the Federal Aviation
Administration. He had received numerous awards and promotions during this period,
achieving a GS-14 level.
GS-14 is a very well-paid government grade job, and since 1986 many other federal
agencies besides the FAA haven't promoted many white guys to that level. [This
author personally knows several tenured federal employees who are white and male who have
been stuck at GS-12 or GS-13 for the past 10 years while preferred minorities with less
tenure have been repeatedly promoted over them.]
In 1988, when Mr. Ryan's career stalled, the FAA produced an illegal "Affirmative
Action Plan" which called for "a workforce that looks like America by
But John G. Larsen, a senior manager at the FAA, repeatedly advised the FAA in the 1990's
that its "look like America" plan violated U.S. Supreme Court case law. At
Mr. Ryan's trial against FAA, Larsen provided this testimony as an expert witness for the
plaintiff and was joined in his testimony by two other FAA senior managers.
(4) FAA Policy
Fails "Adarand test" - No History of Discrimination
According to Larsen's testimony, the FAA never conducted what is known as an "Adarand
review" of the FAA's racial-quota policies. The White House had requested such
a review of FAA's quota program in 1995, and the FAA never conducted the required review
of the legality of their quota programs.
| The FAA also had no
history of discriminatory hiring and promotion patterns against minorities (as required by
Adarand) which could be used to support any claim that it had engaged in ongoing
or historic discrimination against women and minorities which would nominally justify a
compensatory racial quota program. Thus, under Adarand, the FAA
was not able to demonstrate any compelling government interest in its race-based
remedial promotion program, a condition established by the U.S. Supreme Court's leading
decision on point from 1995, Adarand Constructors v. Pena.
The Adarand Constructors case successfully challenged mandatory minority
set-asides in federal contracting. Not surprisingly, Adarand was filed
against the FAA's parent agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation. In Michael
Ryan's case, trial testimony showed that the FAA relied upon manipulated statistics to
create the impression that a "lawful" basis for reverse (or remedial)
discrimination existed, when in fact it did not.
is the parent agency of the FAA. DOT's overzealous hiring of selected races is clear
evidence of racial bias!
Minority Hiring Record:
(Source: U.S. OPM FY 2003)
|% +Over hired
"Overhired" means, for example, that DOT hired 101.4% more blacks than their
numbers in the civilian labor force. See OPM Report 2004 for
additional details and definitions regarding DOT's -- and all federal agencies' --
minority over-hiring levels.
"The Consent Order fashioned by the parties and entered by Chief Judge Bissell gives
Mike Ryan complete relief," said Michael Ryan's attorney, Mr. Hanan Isaacs.
"The FAA shall not implement
any program or policy using race, national origin, or sex as factors in FAA Personnel
Decision- Making unless such program or policy is first reviewed for legal
Chief Judge John
W. Bissell 10-6-04
| Attorney Isaac's
office also said in a statement: "While not admitting liability for its former
policies or in its treatment of Mike Ryan, the FAA has pledged to conduct a comprehensive,
Adarand-compliant, review of all hiring and promotion programs, practices, and
policies, and to report its progress to Mr. Ryan for two years. Mr. Ryan may raise
pre-existing or new concerns to a specially appointed Deputy within the Office of the
FAA's Chief Counsel. The FAA gets an additional year within which to complete its
review. If at any point Mr. Ryan is dissatisfied, then he has the right to invoke a
unique, three-step, dispute resolution process, involving notification and discussion,
formal mediation, and culminating in binding arbitration."
"This is the first time I have seen a private, three-step, dispute resolution
approach used in a federal sector civil rights case. It's a fantastic idea,"
said attorney Isaacs. "We use it all the time in the private sector."
(5) Ryan WINS
"This settlement gives Mike Ryan exactly what he asked for," said Ryan's
jubilant lawyer, Mr. Hanan M. Isaacs.
"The FAA, to its credit, has committed itself to an Agency-wide policy change that
will bring the FAA into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's 1995 Adarand
decision, after 9 years of delay; Mike will be promoted to a GS-15 managerial and
supervisory position at the [FAA's] Hughes Technical Center; he gets a substantial upward
salary adjustment, eight years of back pay, plus interest; and we get a $360,000 counsel
fee." Isaacs continued, "Judge Harold Ackerman, a federal judge who
supervised settlement negotiations, told my client face-to-face, 'You, sir,
are a winner!'" "After all of our hard work and sacrifice,
Mike and I could not be happier with this outcome," said Isaacs.
The FAA has entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order with Mr. Ryan, the
latter document entered formally into the record on October 6, 2004, by Chief Judge John
W. Bissell of Federal District Court, Newark, New Jersey.
Judge Bissell heard twenty-two days of trial testimony before the FAA decided to settle
the case. In the trial process, plaintiff Ryan presented multiple witnesses and
reams of evidence showing that the federal government had violated his constitutional
right to equal protection and his Title VII right to be free from employment
discrimination. US Attorney Christopher Christie represented the Secretary of the US
Department of Transportation.
Michael Ryan's Attorney
Hanan M. Isaacs is a Past President of the NJ Association of Professional Mediators and
Past Chairman of the Dispute Resolution Section of the NJ State Bar. He served on
the New Jersey Supreme Court's Complementary Dispute Resolution Committee and is a Master
of two Inns of Court: The Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American ADR Inn of Court
and the Mercer County American Inn of Court. Recognized by the NJ State Bar
Association as "ADR Practitioner of 1999-2000" and "General Practitioner of
1994", Mr. Isaacs is a frequent journal author, multi-media contributor, and public
speaker. He is a former Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall Law School and Rider
Reading and Background
(7.1) Review Chief Judge John W.
Bissell's Order in this case, Ryan v. Mineta. The Order
invokes EEOC Management Directive 715 which essentially orders all government agencies to
drastically reduce or even eliminate their use of racial quotas and race-based employment
Note also that the language of this
Order prevents it from being used as a precedent in any other future reverse
discrimination cases. Also, FAA pointedly does not admit to any wrong
doing. These stipulations are typical of reverse discrimination settlements with
government agencies and essentially ensure that future plaintiffs who find themselves in
Michael Ryan's situation will also have to go through years of expensive litigation in
order to secure their right to race-blind, merit-based treatment.
(7.2) Unsurprisingly, the FAA was also
recently found to have engaged in sexual discrimination against white, male employees.
In a story titled Judge finds FAA managers participated in sex discrimination
plot, GovExec.Com reporter Chris Strohm reports that at least three FAA managers
falsified personnel records and lied under oath in order to meet FAA's gender-quota goal
for female hires and promotions. Not to put too fine a point on it, but several
highly-qualified male employees of the FAA were screwed in the process in order to achieve
FAA's illegal, quota-based "diversity" goals.
Take the time to review the GovExec.Com story at the following link: http://adversity.net/fed_stats/fednews_FAA.htm#sexual10-14-04
(7.3) The Federal Aviation Administration
has a long and sordid history of trampling upon the civil rights of employees who happen
to be white.
In a 1996 report, the FAA Inspector
General reported the following regarding the deliberate lack of white male nominees for
the prestigious FAA Fellows program, a fast track program for
| "During this
period [1991 thru 1995], white males were the largest group of potential [FAA] nominees
[for the Fellows program], however, the number of DOT white males nominated
decreased steadily from 52 to 32 percent. We also found that for 2 years (i.e., FYs
1992 and 1993) FAA did not nominate any white males [for the Fellows
-- Office of the Inspector General
DOT (FAA) 11/8/96
In 1998 a white, male employee of the FAA in California, Mr. DeWayne T. Currier,
submitted his FAA Horror Story to Adversity.Net.
Beginning in 1994, Mr. Currier began submitting his application to FAA for a
promotion. He was told repeatedly and unambiguously by FAA officials that they were
only considering non-white applicants for the job!
Take the time to review Mr. Currier's tale of reverse discrimination at the FAA at the
following link: http://adversity.net/c7_tbd.htm
END CASE 41: FAA Unlawful Racial Quotas '04