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Judge dismisses race bias complaint against college

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A federal judge has agreed to dismiss racial discrimination claims leveled against the Harrisburg Area Com­­mu­­nity College by a black woman who was twice turned down for a position as vice president.

In reviewing the case, Judge Sylvia Rambo found the college hired many black administrators in 2006 and 2009, the two periods in question. She also found that HACC’s hiring process did not discriminate.

The woman had worked for the college since 1993. In 2004, she won the college’s President’s Award for exemplary service.

She was the dean of student services when she applied for the vice president position in 2006. She was one of five finalists for the job, but HACC officials thought she interviewed poorly. When the position went to a white woman, she filed a racial discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

While negotiating a settlement to that complaint, she took a position at another school. Her contract at the new school was not renewed after two years and she applied for the HACC vice president position when it opened in 2009. HACC officials claimed they didn’t trust the woman following the 2006 incident. She claimed that constituted retaliation for filing the original suit.

The judge disagreed, ruling that the woman produced no evidence of discrimination.

Note: The college kept all notes and documentation concerning every hiring decision it made during both periods—no doubt helping when the case went to court.

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