The Secret Service, a federal agency responsible for protecting the president, will pay more than $24 million to settle a lawsuit from more than 100 Black agents who alleged racial bias.
The lawsuit, which focused on the treatment of Black agents from 1995 to 2005, states the Secret Service did things like systematically deny them promotions in favor of less qualified White agents.
According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the deal won’t require the Secret Service to admit wrongdoing, but is “simply the right thing to do.”
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The eight plaintiffs in the case will receive compensation of approximately $300,000 each, effectively closing this 16-year-long legal battle.
Jennifer Klar, the lead attorney for the agents, said her clients are thrilled with the result and hope it will prevent future discrimination within the agency.
“At long last . . . Black Secret Service agents will not be constrained by the glass ceiling that held back so many for so long,” she said.
Johnson said he is pleased to “finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us” and that “while the Secret Service takes all allegations in this case seriously… It is time to move forward rather than look back to remnants of the past."