CLCMA Takes on the Watchlist in Employment Cases

CLCMA is taking on the Watch List in the employment context as well as travel, in relation to government-issued credentials that may be denied or revoked based on determinations that the persons are a security threat, resulting in either the loss of jobs or the inability to accept contingent job offers.

You may recall Mr. Lassana Magassa’s case. After the conclusion of a lengthy administrative process, which ultimately found him not to constitute a security threat, Mr. Magassa now sues to challenge the two-and-a-half-year suspension of his aviation-worker credential and security privileges, which resulted in the loss of his job at Delta Airlines. This revocation occurred without any explanation at all, and he received no reason during the nearly three year administrative process that ensued to challenge this decision. During these years, Mr. Magassa missed out on job advancement and wages, and experienced stigmatization among members of his community.

You may also remember hearing about Mr. Mohamed Al Seraji’s lawsuit. Mr. Al Seraji was unable to work in his chosen profession for three years, due to the denial of a necessary identification badge known as a Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC). This denial resulted in Mr. Al Seraji being unable to accept a job offer he had from a shipping company, which was contingent only on him obtaining a TWIC card. Like Mr. Magassa, Mr. Al Seraji never learned the reasons why the government perceived him to be a security threat. Mr. Al Seraji also later received confirmation that he does not, in fact, constitute a security threat (after a three year administrative battle), but this occurred at the expense of Mr. Al Seraji’s job opportunities, wages, and reputation amongst colleagues.

Similar to many CLCMA clients, these individuals experienced the denial or revocation of these government-issued credentials after they declined to serve as informants, and also encountered travel difficulties consistent with the treatment of persons on the Watch List. These clients don’t want others to have to wait years to be redeemed, while still never knowing why they were denied credentials in the first place. CLCMA’s attorneys hope these lawsuits will result in additional protections for persons on the Watch List, as well as those who require credentials from government agencies to work in their chosen professions. Mr. Magassa’s and Mr. Al Seraji’s cases are currently pending before the Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez, United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington, Seattle Division, and the Honorable Reggie B. Walton, Senior United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia, respectively.