Firm Files Second FAA Discrimination Suit

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A law firm has filed a second class-action suit against the FAA based on the agency’s air traffic controller hiring practices in 2014. The lawsuit alleges that the biographical assessment added to the initial air traffic controller application process in late 2013 was used to “intentionally disadvantage [Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, and other] applicants based on race.” Law firm Curry, Person & Wooten is representing plaintiff Lucas Johnson and, according to the firm, potentially more than 28,000 additional applicants who took the highly controversial assessment in 2014.

The suit also claims the FAA ignored qualified applicants with significant aviation experience and that the February 2014 biographical assessment was never properly validated. “The federal employment process is supposed to be open and fair,” said lead attorney on the case Michael Pearson. “Not only were the FAA’s actions illegal and done with a cloak of secrecy, they frustrate the will of Congress and are contrary to our fundamental system of fairness and justice.”

After its addition, the biographical assessment came under fire from Congress and the requirement to complete it was eventually removed for veterans and graduates of approved ATC Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) programs. Curry, Person & Wooten’s first lawsuit related to the FAA's 2014 ATC hiring practices was filed in 2015. That suit alleges that the agency illegally eliminated between 2,500 to 3,000 ATC applications from CTI graduates without considering them after the new ATC hiring practices were instituted in 2014. As previously reported by AVweb, that lawsuit is still in progress.