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Women Workers Label Naacp ‘A Boy’s Club’ Class-Action Lawsuit Cites Pattern Of Sex Discrimination

Tue., March 28, 1995

Two female employees of the NAACP on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit against the civil rights organization, accusing it of perpetuating a pattern of sexual discrimination against female professional employees.

Stephanie Rones, 37, of the District of Columbia, and Barbara Coggins, 42, of Illinois, brought the action as an amended complaint to a lawsuit Rones originally filed in February in D.C. Superior Court. Earlier this month, the case was transferred to U.S. District Court in Washington.

The amended complaint alleges that the NAACP was run by a group of men, “a boy’s club,” whose members were typically paid as much as 50 percent more than women doing equivalent or greater amounts of work.

A string of legal actions have been taken by former female NAACP employees. Last year, disclosures about sexual misconduct led to the ouster of director Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., who arranged to pay Mary E. Stansel, a former employee, $332,400 in organization funds to settle a sex discrimination complaint. Chavis also was accused of financially mismanagement.

According to the lawsuit, highranking male employees often referred to women as “bitches,” “troublemakers” and “snitches” if they complained about their treatment.

“By joining forces, the two women hope to get the NAACP to focus attention on their long-standing grievances,” according to a statement issued by their lawyer, David E. Blum.

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