Following a meeting with Earl L. Segal, Esq. in his office on the afternoon of October 23, 1991, Mr. Segal dictated the following record of the meeting. Does it appear that Mr. Segal thought I was unfit for employment at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld?
Funny thing. I met with Dennis M. Race, Esq. (and Malcolm Lassman, Esq.) in Mr. Race's office the following morning (October 24, 1991) to elaborate my harassment complaint. Do you know that Mr. Race did not produce any written memorial of that meeting? Isn't that a tad askew?
M E M O R A N D U M
FROM: Earl L. Segal
RE: Legal Assistant Program
DATE: October 23, 1991
Today at approximately 3:45 Gary Freedman, a legal assistant, passed me in the hall and asked if we could speak. We set a time of 4:00 to meet. I met him in my office at 4:00 and he was visibly agitated. Gary informed me that he recently was moved to the Terrace Level and was having some problems. He told me he believes he has been a victim of both sexual and religious harassment. He first described to me an incident with a women (whose name I did not inquire, and who name he did not disclose), who was conferring with him over his work. He described to me that while he was sitting at his desk, for a period of approximately fifteen (15) minutes she was leaning over his desk while "gyrating her hips" against the edge of his desk, and that he believed that she may have been masturbating in front of him.
With respect to religious discrmination, he related an incident where he overheard a conversation of someone in an adjoining office refer to her July telephone bill, as to be what he perceived to be her "Jew-lie" bill. Additionaly, he related to me an incident where his supervisor [Chris Robertson] called him in to discuss some work and suggested that he sit at a particular desk. When he sat at the desk he saw an empty baby food jar in the trash can. I told him that I didn't see the significance of that and asked if he would help me understand the offensive aspect of it, and he told me that at a midwestern university that he named (I'm not sure if it was Wisconsin or some other university), that Jews had been referred to as "babies," and he felt that this was referring to him as a "baby." He felt he had been subjected "like Judge Thomas" to discrimination that was stereotypical.
He stated that the actions have made it unpleasant for him to work in his existing environment. I asked him what he would like done, and he expresed a desire to move his office from the Terrace Level. Additionally, when we were leaving my office and I was walking him down the hall, he also expressed a desire to move from the litigation support group back to the legal assistant program.
Immediately following my conversation with Gary, I spoke with Malcolm, Maggie and J.D. about the matter and subsequently dictated this memorandum.
cc: Dennis M. Race, P.C. [typewritten in a different type face]
Five days later I was certified unfit for employment by reason of severe mental illness by Dennis M. Race based on a telephone consult between Mr. Race and Dr. Gertrude R. Ticho: a consultation that Dr. Ticho denies ever having taken place.
The following is a third-party description of the goings on in the Terrace Level, a work environment that I found "unpleasant."
See Complaint, McNeil v. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (record on appeal 57-61 in Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights):
12. In July, 1991, Ms. Robertson called a meeting of three of the black employees under her supervision, including plaintiff, and asked them if they thought she was prejudiced against blacks. She explained that her black male receptionist had accused her of being prejudiced against blacks and she wanted to know whether they shared that view. All three employees responded in the affirmative and provided her the reasons they felt that way, giving her examples of the way she treated blacks differently than whites.
13. In March 1991, two black employees in the Litigation Support group in which plaintiff worked were laid off allegedly because of budget cuts. Within a very short period of time thereafter, their positions were filled by white employees. Plaintiff does not believe the black employees laid off were offered reinstatement to their former positions.
14. In August 1991, plaintiff informed Ms. Robertson that she had recently learned that she (plaintiff) was pregnant with her second child. Ms. Robertson responded that she did not understand why blacks have so many babies.
15. Plaintiff had a very difficult pregnancy and eventually lost her baby through a miscarriage. Although she had medical documentation supporting her request for eight weeks of maternity leave after the delivery, she was told by defendant's personnel administrator, Laurel Digweed, that she did not qualify for maternity leave because her baby died. Meanwhile, plaintiff had a terrible time coping with the emotional pain of losing her baby, in addition to the physical recovery from the miscarriage.
16. The incident leading up to plaintiff’s discharge commenced on April 7, 1992. Plaintiff was called in by Ms. Robertson and told that a coworker had complained that plaintiff was abusing the personal phone call privileges by taking too many personal calls and that she talked so loudly on these calls that she disrupted the work of other employees. Plaintiff denied engaging in such conduct and urged Ms. Robertson to check with other employees if she had any doubt about who was telling the truth on the matter. Plaintiff asked who it was who complained, and Ms. Robertson identified a white coworker by the name of Isabelle Schotz.
17. When Plaintiff returned to her work area, Ms. Schotz approached her and asked why she had a meeting with Ms. Robertson. Plaintiff told her it was confidential in nature and she did not want to talk about it.
18. On April 9, 1992, plaintiff was asked to meet with Laurel Digweed from Personnel. Ms. Digweed told plaintiff that she had been advised by Ms. Robertson that plaintiff had called Isabelle Schotz a "Jewish bitch" and that the two of them then got into a shoving and fighting match. Plaintiff denied calling Ms. Schotz any such name, or that she got into any kind of fight and suggested that Ms. Schotz be called to the office to clear the matter up, since plaintiff did not believe that she would fabricate such assertions in her presence. Ms. Digweed responded that Ms. Schotz had no reason to lie about the incident and that she would have to write plaintiff up for the incident and place the memo in her personnel file. Plaintiff continued to argue that this was not fair, and Ms. Digweed told her to "shut [her] god damn mouth up bitch." Plaintiff then left the office since she felt that she did not have to put up with that type of abuse.
Incidentally, I'm loving all the free money I get from the Social Security Administration. Yes, I'm really loving this insanity thing!