On Wednesday, Florida said it is rejecting the Labor Department’s findings, claiming they were politically motivated. As evidence, the state said that an official with the Civil Rights Center has “publicly made or endorsed politically and ideologically charged statements about her role at the Department of Labor.” Specifically, Florida cited a bio for department lawyer Denise Sudell on a website that promotes LGBT comic books and their authors and readers.
The bio says, “In her paying job, she’s an attorney working underground (read: within the system) to keep the evil overseers of the Bush administration from dismantling U.S. federal civil rights laws.” The apparently dated bio was still available online Wednesday via Google’s cache.
“In other words, the USDOL CRC’s Acting Chief of External Enforcement has publicly stated or endorsed the notion that she brings a political and ideological agenda to her civil-rights enforcement role in the federal government,” the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said in letters to House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) and the Labor Department’s independent investigator.
The Florida department also says the federal Civil Rights Center improperly collaborated with the advocacy groups that complained about the state’s unemployment law.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a law slashing the duration of jobless aid and making Florida the first state to require unemployment claimants to answer a series of basic math and reading questions. Answering a certain number of questions correctly isn’t necessary to be eligible for benefits, but claimants have to get through … Continue reading »
Florida violated federal civil rights law with its new and unusual requirement that unemployment claimants file online and take math and reading tests before they can receive benefits, the U.S. Labor Department determined this month. The department’s Civil Rights Center’s initial determination lays out the problems some non-English speakers and people with disabilities have encountered … Continue reading »