Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Americus-Sumter County NAACP Demands Answers for Violations at GDOL

Down in Sumter County the local NAACP said it has filed complaints with the Georgia Department of Labor ( GA DOL) officials over what it contends have been unfair hearings of dozens of discrimination complaints submitted by the civil-rights organization on behalf of employees.

Matt Wright, president of the Sumter County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said his organization has issues with the way specific DOL board of review officials violate their own policies when the DOL accepted an employee's appeal that was date stamped with a meter machine for purposes of timeliness.

Wright said the Department also has prevented NAACP officials from representing an employee at the DOL hearings in Cordele, GA and that is a violation of policy. "We do have issues with the merits of some cases and do believe that the Department of Labor's policies are being violated by its own people, time and time again," he said. He wants all of the Americus and Sumter County NAACP cases that have been submitted to these officials to be reviewed for policy violations and for the merits of those cases during the administration of Ms. Alice Mitchell, chief of appeals.

"We want a whole new set of hearings because there is no way of knowing how many employees has been victimized by the current system which didn't allow them to present the merits of their complaints," Wright said. " Wright said his office has submitted about 40 cases to the Department of Labor, from the Americus, Albany and Cordele areas. They typically deal with discrimination complaints or issues with employees not receiving unemployment benefits that they are entitled to.

Wright said the NAACP successfully fought DOL to get Administrative Hearing Officer JoAnne Snell Cook removed from the NAACP submitted cases. However, they also want the officers who report to Ms Cook to be removed from the NAACP submitted cases because Cook's superiors supported her in all of the violations his office reported and she was not removed until the next level of management was contacted. He also wants a third and separate party to hear cases submitted by the NAACP of Americus and Sumter County that do not report to the current administration head by Ms Alice Mitchell, chief of appeals.

"We have raised this issue on behalf of the employees," Wright said. "No one has been able to stand up for them until now concerning DOL issues and complaints. Wright said they have filed complaints with the GA Department of Labor (GDOL) on their concerns with the department. He added that the NAACP may file federal lawsuits if they don't get satisfactory results from them.

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