EEOC Finds Freddie Mac Biased, Retaliatory on Blacks

Article excerpt

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. discriminates against its black employees and has failed to address repeated complaints of racial harassment in its offices.

The determination, made public yesterday by attorneys representing a former employee, concludes that the McLean-based loan company, commonly known as Freddie Mac, has systematically denied promotions to qualified black employees and attempted to cover up complaints of racial abuse.

The report also said racially offensive jokes were disseminated through the company's e-mail system, racial epithets were written on company walls, and that the company retaliated against employees who lodged complaints.

"The totality of the evidence reveals that the charging party and a class of employees were discriminated against . . . and retaliated against in regards to the terms and conditions of their employment because they protested acts of employment discrimination," the EEOC said.

Sharon McHale, a Freddie Mac spokeswoman, denied the EEOC charges and said the company has taken immediate corrective action in the few racial incidents that have occurred.

"We have reiterated our zero-tolerance policy," Miss McHale told the Associated Press. "We have had a handful of racially sensitive incidents over the past six or seven years and we have said they won't be tolerated."

Tony Morgan, former director of executive relations for Freddie Mac, said the company laid him off in 1996 in retaliation for a memo he wrote concerning what he saw as Freddie Mac's poor performance in purchasing mortgages for minority and low-income home loan borrowers.

"What happened to me has happened to a lot of Freddie Mac employees. They have maintained a work environment that is hostile to minorities for many years," said Mr. …