Pensacola civil rights leaders need CareerSource Escarosa DOJ investigation

Two of Pensacola’s most prominent civil rights activists told the news journal that they had sent a letter to the US Department of Justice earlier this week asking federal agencies to investigate management practices at CareerSource Escarosa.

The news journal received a copy of the letter on Friday. The document alleges that members of the senior management team at CareerSource Escarosa hinted at, bullied and discriminated against, past and present Employees based on racial and gender bias, including submitting qualified candidates for promotions based on gender and color.

The letter was signed by Ellison Bennett, a spokesman for the National Movement for Civil and Human Rights, and Rodney Jones, current President of the Movement for Change and former President of the Pensacola division of the NAACP.

CareerSource Escarosa is a non-profit organization that helps people find work and provides training resources for job seekers and employers.

Marcus Mcbride is the CEO of Careersource Escarosa

Marcus McBride, CEO of CareerSource Escarosa, denied the allegations against the nonprofit that were contained in the letter to the DOJ.

“CareerSource Escarosa has an open door policy and internal forums where employees can inform the organization as well as the HR business partner of any workplace concern,” said McBride in a written statement. “CareerSource Escarosa takes all allegations seriously, investigates the allegations thoroughly and is committed to creating a positive work environment in which all employees are treated fairly.”

Bennett and Jones announced their intention to mail a letter to the DOJ earlier this month at a press conference outside the CareerSource Escarosa Pensacola office on North Ninth Avenue.

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“Some of the things that came to our attention are just not fair ways to treat employees,” Bennett said at the event. “There are federal and state laws that say this shouldn’t be done.”

Jones also spoke at the press conference, adding, “People who were experienced and met all of the criteria to be promoted have been screened and I would say that a different ethnic group was promoted instead.”

Both men told the News Journal that their allegations against CareerSource Escarosa were based on private conversations with the past and present Employees who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Ellison Bennett, a spokesman for the National Movement for Civil and Human Rights, holds a press conference in front of CareerSource Escarosa on March 6th announcing plans to send a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into the organization.

The letter sent to the DOJ alleged 40 to 50 employees had either resigned or been fired “amid the discrimination and toxic work culture” sponsored by the nonprofit led by former CEO Sheryl Rehberg.

Rehberg said in a statement emailed to the news journal that for two and a half years, as CEO, I have always had high standards of fair employment policy and practice.

“The organization has clear guidelines on hiring, employment and all human resource management practices,” the statement said. “These policies are periodically reviewed by HR management and the legal advisor is asked to review or ask questions about fair employment practices. All policies are approved by the authorities and distributed to all staff annually, and updates are required at all times. I am confident that that CSE is new The leadership continues to adhere to the same high standards of fairness and compliance, with the dignity and respect that all people deserve. “

Rodney Jones, the current president of the Movement for Change and past president of the NAACP's Pensacola division, speaks at a news conference in front of CareerSource Escarosa on March 6, 2020 about plans to send a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into asks the organization about discrimination claims.

Rehberg retired on June 29, 2020 and McBride took the helm as the organization’s new CEO.

However, the letter claims that the problems within the company did not end with the transition from one CEO to the next.

Shortly after McBride became CEO, according to allegations in the letter to the DOJ in August 2020, he fired “the first minority on the executive board who are also a woman” and “one and a half weeks later another minority woman”.

The letter alleged that one manager had refused interviews with qualified minority women and instructed supervisors to lower ratings of minority women, while another manager made excessive disciplinary attributions and decreased ratings of minority women, leading to it that many former employees have resigned or retired.

The letter also alleged that minority employees who reported to a particular manager were made available for their entire eight-hour shift, which was never required of employees in that department or any other department in the organization, before that employee became a manager.

Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8680.

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