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The State : Sex-Bias Case Angers Judge

An irate San Francisco federal judge upheld a contempt citation against the government for failure to comply with a consent decree in an employment sex-discrimination case against the Forest Service. U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti, confirming a December contempt finding by U.S. Magistrate Claudia Wilken against Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng, said it “bothered” him that the government failed within a five-year period to implement an affirmative action program in the Forest Service. He added that he was irate because the Agriculture Department, which oversees the service, “dragged its feet” in the sex-bias case. Conti noted that $750,000 was spent from 1981 to 1986 to implement the affirmative action program but it was not completed. He extended the implementation period three years and went along with Wilken’s recommendation to spend $1.5 million more for the program. The decree affects 1,500 women employees in California and Hawaii.


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