October 22, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Washington Lawyers Committee for
Civil Rights Under Law
1400 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
RE: Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights
Appeal No. 93-AA-1342
Dear Ms. Harris:
Enclosed for your information is a copy of the Petition for Review filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals on October 22, 1993 in the above-referenced matter.
Thank you very much.
COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
PETITION FOR REVIEW
Pursuant to Rule 15, Petitioner Gary Freedman hereby files this Petition for Review and states the following:
1. The party seeking review is Gary Freedman, who resides at 3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Apt. 136, Washington, DC 20008; telephone number (202) 362-7064 or (202) 363-3800.
2. The Respondent agency is the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights, located at 2000 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone number (202) 939-8740.
3. Petitioner requests review and reversal of the Respondent agency’s Determination on Reconsideration, issued on September 24, 1993 in the matter of Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, agency docket no. 92-087-P(CN), which affirmed and incorporated the agency’s Determination of No Probable Cause, dated June 30, 1993.
4. Respondent agency determined that there was no probable cause to believe that the action of Petitioner’s former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (“the employer”) in terminating the employment of Petitioner on October 29, 1991, was unlawfully based on Petitioner’s perceived sexual preference (homosexual) in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, D.C. Code Ann., Sections 1-2501. et seq. (Repl. Vol. 1987) (“the Act”). Respondent agency determined that the termination was nondiscriminatory and based on a legitimate business reason, namely, that an investigation by the employer following Petitioner’s Complaint of harassment to the employer’s attorney managers disclosed that Petitioner suffered from serious emotional or psychological difficulties that rendered him not suitable for employment and potentially violent.
5. Respondent agency’s determination of no probable cause is unsupported by substantial evidence in that the agency failed to credit competent and persuasive evidence that:
(a) attorney managers of Petitioner’s former employer fabricated evidence that they had consulted with two mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist. who allegedly advised the employer that Petitioner had serious psychological difficulties and was potentially violent, in violation of the Act, D.C. Code Section 1-2529 (Falsifying Documents and Testimony);
(b) the employer’s investigation of Petitioner’s complaint of harassment was at best de minimis and relied on obviously false, specious, and/or biased statements of Petitioner’s supervisor and selected co-workers; and Petitioner’s supervisor engaged in several acts of retaliation in violation of the Act, D.C. Code Section 1-2526 (Coercion or Retaliation), in the period immediately after Petitioner complained to attorney managers of his employer that he was being harassed.
6. Respondent agency's reliance on the fact that Petitioner did not advise his employer that he was homosexual prior to October 23, 1991 is not in accordance with law in that the finding (1) excuses the employer of its own acts of discrimination during the period after the employer had express knowledge of Petitioner’s sexual preference, and (2) excuses the employer of responsibility for prior discriminatory actions of its supervisory personnel.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this 22nd day of October, 1993, a copy of the foregoing pleadings were mailed, first-class, postage prepaid, to the following address: Margie A. Utley, Director, District of Columbia Department of Human Rights, 2000 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 939-8740; and Charles L. Reischel, Deputy Corporation Counsel, 6th Floor, 441 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 727 6248.