The class action lawsuit against the federal government by current and former Black employees has reached another milestone with certification hearing dates set for September 21-23, 2022.
Federal court judge Jocelyne Gagné rejected the government’s earlier request for a delay. This hearing is a crucial step and will determine if the class action proceedings will continue.
The lawsuit continues to gain momentum, with 1,082 former and current Black federal public service employees seeking over $2.5 billion in damages. A large number of plaintiffs are past and present PSAC members.
If you identify as Black, Caribbean or of African descent and currently work or have worked for the federal government in the past 50 years, you are eligible to join the class action.
The lawsuit reaches back 50 years, arguing the federal government perpetuated Black employee exclusion: the systemic practice of limiting skilled Black workers from career advancement opportunities, which has led to them being disproportionally underrepresented at the highest levels of the federal public service.
According to 2020 Treasury Board statistics, Black employees are one of the largest groups of racialized workers in the federal government at 3.5 per cent, yet only comprise 1.6 per cent of those at the executive level. Black workers also tend to be clustered in lower-level administrative categories.