197. Letter From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Read) to Helen Cohn Needham1

Dear Mrs. Needham:

This shall constitute the Department of State Decision, pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 713.604 (i), on the acceptability of the class action sex discrimination complaint filed at the Department on May 12, 1977. Upon a careful review of the Complaint Examiner’s recommendations (Decision No. DC 713A80003, enclosed hereto),2 I have decided to adopt each recommendation with the single modification noted below.

The Complaints Examiner recommended rejection, as untimely, of a general allegation that 1974 performance evaluations discriminated against female Foreign Service Officers. It is my determination to accept that complaint allegation because the inclusion of such reports in existing officer performance files are available for review by Selection Boards and the possibility exists that discrimination could occur. There [Page 802] fore, this allegation constitutes a continuing condition and untimeliness in this sense has no relevance. In this regard, I am also mindful of the Department’s continuing responsibility under Section 611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1946, as amended, to keep “accurate and impartial efficiency records.” Accordingly, Ms. Amelia Ellen Shippy shall be treated as class agent for the Department practices and policies relating to performance evaluation, as determined in this decision.

In conclusion, the Department hereby adopts all recommendations of the Complaints Examiner except for that relating to 1974 performance evaluations to the extent modified herein.

If you are dissatisfied with this Decision, you have the following appeal rights:

You may appeal to the Civil Service Commission within 15 calendar days of receipt of the Decision.

Your appeal should be addressed to the Civil Service Commission, Appeals Review Board, 1900 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20415. The appeal and any representation in support thereof must be submitted in duplicate.

In lieu of an appeal to the Commission, you may file a civil action in an appropriate U.S. District Court within 30 days of receipt of the Decision.

If you elect to appeal to the Commission’s Appeals Review Board, you may file a civil action in a U.S. District Court within 30 days of receipt of the Commission’s Final Decision.

A civil action may also be filed any time after 180 days of the date of initial appeal to the Commission, if a Final Decision has not been rendered.


Ben H. Read
Director of Equal Employment Opportunity
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1977–1978, Box 6, Chron November 1977. No classification marking. A copy was sent to David Kane at the Civil Service Commission.
  2. See Document 195.