faces age bias lawsuit
A woman alleges Raytheon
passed her over for a clerical
job on Johnston Island
A Los Angeles woman is suing a former Air Force contractor on Johnston Atoll for allegedly refusing to hire her because of her age.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this was the second federal discrimination suit filed against Raytheon Technical Services, a subsidiary of Lexington, Mass.-based Raytheon Co., which won the Air Force contract to provide base support operations on Johnston four years ago. Johnston Atoll is 800 miles west-southwest of Oahu.
The EEOC, in a statement, said Raytheon denied Etta Dial, 58, a secretarial position in June 2000. According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu on Monday, Dial has a college degree and has more than 30 years of experience as a secretary, and was passed over for "two women in their 30s, with less experience and qualifications than Ms. Dial."
Kristen Pinto-Coleho, a Raytheon spokeswoman, said Etta Dial's suit has no merit and that the company has "nondiscrimination policies which are enforced."
Dial had held a clerical position with Kalama Services in 1999 on Johnston. She applied for the secretarial position a year later after Raytheon assumed the contract from Kalama.
This is the second discrimination suit filed against Raytheon. In a November 2002 lawsuit, George Dial, Etta Dial's husband and a black, maintained that Raytheon hired five painters who were not as qualified as he was. None of the five hired painters was black.
That lawsuit will be heard in April.
George Dial worked for Kalama on Johnston as a journeyman painter and has more than 20 years experience in job-related skills.
William Tamayo, EEOC regional director, said the Dials were forced to move to the mainland for work.
"Raytheon seems to have made a pattern of not necessarily hiring applicants with the most experiences and job qualifications," Tamayo said.
Johnston Atoll was a site for the storage and destruction of U.S. chemical weapons. The chemical weapons disposal facility on Johnston was built in 1985 after Congress ordered the Army to destroy its chemical stockpile.
Its assembly line shut down 15 years later, but it took the Army until last summer to demolish the facility and clean up the area.
Raytheon held the five-year contract with the Navy to provide water, power, transportation, food, housing and other services using civilian workers on Johnston Atoll from 1990 to 1995, when the contract went to Kalama Services for another five years.
In March 2000, the Air Force took over the contract and gave it to Raytheon, which held it until the end of last December.
The Air Force relinquished control of the island in June and returned it to the U.S. Department of the Interior.