US Secret Service Settles Discrimination Case
The United States Secret Service has agreed to pay $24 million to settle a case involving more than 100 African-American agents.
The agents claimed they faced discrimination at work because of their race.
The Secret Service also agreed to take steps to help its employees move up within the organization.
Secret Service agents have been in the news this week because of increased security for the swearing-in of Donald Trump as president.
The Secret Service guards the president, his family and other U.S. officials. The agency also investigates financial crimes.
In 2000, ten agents asked a federal court to force the agency to make changes in the way it promoted its agents. They said the Secret Service showed discrimination in deciding who was offered employment, moved to a higher position, sent to other offices and received bonus payments. They also said race played a deciding role in how people were punished for wrongdoing.
Reginald Moore worked as a Secret Service agent for more than 20 years. He claimed that between 1999 and 2002, he asked for a job promotion more than 180 times but was never chosen.
Moore was later promoted twice. But in court documents he said those moves happened only after he was moved to another office, made an official protest against the agency, and then took legal action.
Many of the other agents said they had similar experiences. A 2006 court document says top agency officials had for many years failed to act on their criticisms.
The agents said the Secret Service, in their words, "has failed to protect its African-American Special Agents from racial discrimination in virtually every aspect of their employment. Discrimination against African-American Agents in the Secret Service has become part of the fabric of the agency and has spanned several decades."
The agreement reached this week says the agents who made claims will be paid up to $300,000.
The Secret Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Jeh Johnson leads the department. In a statement, he said the agreement is "the right thing to do." He said the agency has made changes to its policies.
"I am pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us. Had the matter gone to trial, it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend."
Court documents note that the agency's promotion system begins with examiners rating agents on their writing and speaking ability. The agents are also rated on their ability to lead and direct others and to consider problems and suggest solutions.
Those ratings are then used to create a list of agents who the examiners believe are best-qualified for promotion. Having the top rating does not guarantee that an agent will be promoted, however. Instead, a senior agency official makes a suggestion to a group of other leaders. This group then tells the director of the agency who it believes should be promoted.
The agreement notes that the agency has made changes to the first step in this process -- the rating system. These changes were based on the suggestions of experts who do not work for the agency.
The agreement says the second part of the process -- choosing the agents to be promoted -- will also be changed, using ideas from non-agency experts.
The group of officials who tell the agency director which agents should be promoted is now required to note why each agent was chosen. The group must also note why agents were not chosen.
Also, the Secret Service will pay a non-agency expert to examine the process to decide if any parts of it cause harm to African-American candidates. If the experts find that harm is caused, they will advise the agency on ways to end it.
I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.
The president spoke at the swearing-in of the new Director of Homeland Security.
2.on the mend 正在好转
The baby had been poorly but seemed on the mend.
3.racial discrimination 种族歧视
Racial discrimination is abhorrent to my council and our staff
4.move up 提升；上升
His chairs can swivel, but they can't move up or down.
1.The Secret Service also agreed to take steps to help its employees move up within the organization.
take steps to 采取措施
She is not content with her present lot and wishes to take steps to improve it.
The directors will take steps to insure against possible failure.
2.The Secret Service guards the president, his family and other U.S. officials. The agency also investigates financial crimes.
financial crimes 金融犯罪
But the penalties for financial crimes when the state is the victim can be extreme.
However, at the same time, a number of financial crimes against the credit industry have appeared.
美国特勤局负责总统、总统家人及其他美国官员的人身安全 。该机构还负责调查金融犯罪案件 。
2000年，曾有10名特工要求联邦法院强制特勤局改革员工晋升方案 。他们表示，特勤局在雇佣、晋升、调离及奖金分配方面存在种族歧视 。他们还表示，在惩戒违法行为方面，种族也起到了决定性作用 。
雷金纳德·摩尔（Reginald Moore）在特勤局工作20多年 。1999年到2002年期间，他曾递交过180多次晋升申请均被拒 。
虽然摩尔有了两次升职机会 。但他在法庭文件中称，这是因为他调往另一个办公室后，对特勤局提出正式抗议并采取了法律行动 。
其他多位特工均表示有相似经历 。2006年的一份法庭文件指出，长久以来，高层官员对他们的抗议熟视无睹 。
特工们说，“其实在就业的各个方面，特勤局并没有保障非洲裔特工免受种族歧视 。在特勤局，歧视非洲裔特工已成为特勤局的一部分，而且已经延续几十年 。”
特勤局隶属于国土安全部 。杰·强森（Jeh Johnson）是国土安全部部长 。他在一份声明中表示，达成协议是正确的选择 。他说特勤局已对相关政策做出了改革 。
强森表示，“很高兴终于了结特勤局这段历史 。倘若将此事交由法庭裁决，我们就得回顾那些陈年往事，那时的特勤局正在好转 。”
法庭文件指出，特勤局的晋升制度起初由审查员根据特工写作及口语能力选拔 。此外，还会参考特工领导、指挥及考虑问题并提出解决方案的能力 。
这套评定标准后被用于审查员挑选最适合晋升的特工名单 。然而，评级最高的特工并不一定能获得晋升 。而是由一名高级官员向其他多名领导人提建议 。然后再转达给特勤局负责人获得晋升的人选 。
协议显示，特勤局已对第一步流程即评级体系进行了改革 。此番改革是根据非该机构专家建议进行的 。
特勤局还将聘请专家审核选拔流程，检查是否存在伤害非洲裔候选人的流程 。如果专家发现存在不公平的流程，他们还将建议特勤局中止这样的流程 。