August 22, 2011

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

U.S. Attorney General’s Office

Attn: U.S. Attorney General Erik H. Holder Jr.

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

Massachusetts State House

Office of the Governor

Attn: Governor Deval Patrick

Room 280

Boston, MA. 02133

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office

Attn: Attorney General Martha Coakley

One Ashburton Place

Boston, MA. 02108

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Washington Office

Attn: Attorney Mindy Weinstein, Acting

131 M Street, NE

Forth Floor, Suit 4NW02F

Washington, DC. 20507-0100

Re:  Verizon Communication’s Illegal, Unethical EEO Investigations and Corporate Security Investigative Practices.

Dear: U.S. Justice Department,  U.S. Attorney General Erik H. Holder Jr., Atty. General Martha Coakley, Governor Deval Patrick and U.S. EEOC Atty. Mindy Weinstein,

My name is Neal W. Dias from Swansea Massachusetts. I am a former U.S. Marine, honorably discharged, and I have been through hell over the last seven and half years fighting for my rights and justice.  I was a Verizon employee in both union and management from May 1997 – November 2008.  My last four years of employment with Verizon was as a manager. I am writing you specifically because I was not being heard or receiving equal justice because of my race and color while working for Verizon in Massachusetts. At one point I had no choice but to reach out to external State and Federal Agencies looking for help and guidance.

When I was terminated in November of 2008 for filing complaints against some very powerful and connected Verizon managers, and after years of using my proper chain of command with patience and hope, I reached out to the Verizon CEO – Ivan Seidenberg as a last resort and was also ignored as well. I currently have a case in Federal Court in Boston Massachusetts (file number 10-CV-10496-NG), because of what I know was a wrongful termination for filing these complaints as a form of retaliation.

I am not writing you today in reference to my civil suit for wrongful termination, racism, discrimination and harassment. I am writing you today for what I believe were unethical and illegal investigation practices that were conducted by Verizon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator and Corporate Security Department during my tenure. I believe that Verizon tampered with evidence. There was obstruction of justice and conspiracy to terminate me as my proof will show. Verizon’s main EEO Investigator is an attorney as well as EEO Department Head in Boston Massachusetts for Verizon New England. His name is Mr. Paul McGovern, and he acknowledged under oath in a deposition recently that he has full knowledge of Verizon’s EEO and Code of Conduct Policies, state laws and federal laws pertaining to racism, discrimination and harassment. I suspect his full knowledge and obligation was hampered by his connection with Verizon, to do the right thing. He had a legal obligation to investigate EEO complaints without prejudice, and I believed he failed to do so.

It wasn’t until Mr. Paul McGovern’s deposition on March 30, 2011, that I found out about the lies and cover-ups that had taken place and found his statement and actions inexcusable, unethical and possibly illegal.

As I had learned that day in the depositions, Verizon was stringing me along for two years, and never fulfilling their obligation to a proper unbiased EEO investigation into my claims of racism, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The investigation was intentionally prolonged and I was then forced to proceed outside of Verizon by trying to seek justice and answers with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD). Verizon failed to protect me, my rights, and in the end, I was blackballed and retaliated against for standing up for myself.

During my employment as a manager, I was forced to sit in assigned seating in the back of the room full of Caucasian managers (as punishment) for making complaints. I was advised that blacks were of less quality and deserving of certain positions. I was advised that blacks were stupid. I listened to Caucasian managers tell black jokes. I was advised that blacks only received their positions because of Affirmative Action. I was advised that hiring stupid blacks did nothing for diversity in Verizon and was advised how blacks eat certain foods. The racial comments were many inexcusable, and that’s just the beginning.

Verizon had full knowledge of these racial complaints as they were reported to EEO, and to just who exactly was making these comments to me, but they failed to question them.

At another time I was told to my face by a Verizon employee that he hated f*****g black people. He also advised me that he hated working for f*****g minorities.

The fact that these Verizon employees still work at Verizon is proof of the acceptable racial norm that exist.

Verizon also stated in a response letter to MCAD, that a minority manager was not deserving of his position.  It stated; “Numerous managers, including the promoted African American manager himself, questioned whether the promotion was warranted give the lack of technical knowledge.” I decided to track this retired African American manager down in North Carolina.  Read the statement that Verizon stated about him what Verizon has stated in the response letter to MCAD.  He was appalled as the statement from Verizon and advised me that his promotion was warranted.  The manager felt that he was highly qualified for the position and had more than enough experience.  Verizon lied about the claim that this African American manager stated about himself.

Over the course of my last fours years as a manger, I was harassed in many ways. I was threatened and bullied while other managers and employees were present and nothing was done about it.  I was intentionally given low ratings in performance reviews to set me up to be terminated in the future.  I was asked to do the work of another Caucasian manager and I received less pay as to raises and bonuses. I was stripped of benefits (as to duty status), pay and overtime as a form of control and punishment. I was forced to do additional paperwork compared to my Caucasian co-workers. I was ridiculed, belittled, sworn at and yelled at in front of my subordinates and peers because I refused to lie down and be treated badly.

I write you today to request a look into my case specifically on a Local level and extend your investigation nationally if need be to look into Verizon’s unethical and illegal procedures when investigating EEO Violations and Violations to the Verizon Business Code of Conduct by their Corporate Security Department.  As Verizon has stated, they receive thousands of EEO complaints a year.  Verizon has proven to me that they have obstructed justice, protecting perpetrators, tampered with evidence and violated my human rights to equal and proper investigations into EEO and Verizon Code of Conduct Practices.

I am particularly requesting an investigation into just how my complaint to Verizon’s EEO Department was handled by Verizon and EEO Head Compliance Officer and Attorney Mr. Paul McGovern in February of 2005. I opened an internal Investigation into the violations against my human rights by Verizon management with their EEO Compliance Department.

During that time, Mr. McGovern requested supplementary data to support my claims besides the numerous notes I had already provided him in the initial complaint.  As time went on, I would ask Mr. McGovern through telephone calls and emails on the progress or conclusion of my case.  Mr. McGovern would often tell me that he was still working on my case, as this went on for years.

It was not until Mr. McGovern’s depositions that I had found out the truth.  After seven months of my EEO complaint being opened with Verizon in February of 2005, he closed it out in October of 2005.  Mr. Paul McGovern during depositions admitted that he had closed out my EEO complaint and stated there were no findings to support my claim of any EEO violations or of any Verizon Business Code of Conduct violations.

Six years later, in March of 2011, the truth was uncovered about the investigation and exposed the cover-ups.  It was in the depositions that I found out Mr. Paul McGovern closed out my case long before he had ever stated that he did. Mr. McGovern through telephone conversation and emails would advise me that he was still working on the case and at one point around August of 2006 stated that he was waiting for his boss to talk with him about it.  He stated this, when in fact it was already closed out almost one year previously.

About August of 2006, I wrote Mr. McGovern (a year and a half into my so-called complaint being investigated) requesting information of the results and was advised to keep my ears to the ground to find out the conclusion.  I then patiently waited six more months (with my ears to the ground awaiting results) for a total of two years and wrote Mr. Paul McGovern a letter.  In February 2007, I wrote Mr. McGovern a letter stating that I had waited two years for the completion of my EEO complaints and still no response from him.  I also requested certain outcomes of my case and never received any confirmation of any sort.  Once again, Mr. McGovern never responded to me and I was forced to file externally with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination in February of 2007 (which I believe is an umbrella under EEOC in Boston Massachusetts).

Mr. McGovern during the depositions admitted that he never investigated the two Verizon management employees in Brockton Massachusetts (Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best).  Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best are the Verizon managers that I complained about causing havoc in the workplace and directly towards me.  The complaints were in reference to harassment, sabotaging of my work, retaliation, discrimination, threats to do bodily harm, creation of a hostile work environment, bullying, racial comments, racial jokes and racial comparisons.  These were direct violations of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct, federal and state laws, which I believed protection my human rights.  Mr. McGovern stated that he closed out my case in seven months and never spoke to either Mr. Malcome Benvie or Ms. Anne Best about my complaints. I was left to fend for myself in an environment full of retaliation and hostility.

Mr. McGovern did state that he spoke to Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Ann Best about my complaint after it was closed out, “during another investigation” and complaint against them, while they were working at a Verizon garage in Plymouth Massachusetts.  Mr. McGovern stated that was the first time that he had spoken to both of them about my complaint, as this was also was in his company notes.

Verizon admits several times during the response letters to MCAD and through EEO and Verizon Corporate Security notes that, Mr. Benvie and Ms. Anne Best were not the most ethical employees and have been part of a long history of several ethics complaints against them.  They were known to use profanity often and had been warned to stop. They made threats to other Verizon employees, falsified records, and the list goes on with violations.  Yet, Mr. Paul McGovern and Verizon never spoke to them about my complaint of harassment, sabotaging of my work, retaliation, discrimination, threats to do bodily harm, creation of a hostile work environment, bullying, racial comments, racial jokes and racial comparisons and closed it out.

These violations began in 2004 and are still in existence because Verizon continues to protect and allow Mr. Malcome Benvie and Ms. Anne Best to treat Verizon employees poorly and blacks even worse.  It is still in existence because it continues to allow a Mr. Paul McCarthy to discriminated, retaliate and harass me as well.

In 1997 I was hired as a lineman. After receiving my first of two degrees in Electrical Technology, and working on my second degree in Business Management-Human Resources, I decided to apply for the position in management in 2004. I was hired, and started in the Brockton Massachusetts garage at 1690 Main Street.  Within a short period of time, my natural leadership was noticed and I advanced very rapidly and was now on the fast track within Verizon.  I became the number one operations manager in that garage as to leadership, productivity, and reliability.  I was respectful, courteous, outgoing and on target to move forward.

I was soon appointed as one of the top members on the Verizon New England Diversity Committee.  After successful achievements, I had received top honors in New York by one of the Presidents in Verizon in front of hundreds of higher executives and managers as well.  I was the leader in helping to ensure that Verizon’s first-ever “Verizon Diversity Week” went according to plan.  I was the guest speaker that week in garages throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. I was also responsible to ensure the scheduling of all speakers throughout Verizon New England. The lectures that took place from New York to New England during the Verizon Diversity week was focused on the importance of inclusion, diversity, respect and teamwork in the workplace, as it was seriously lacking at that time.  It was for all the employees in Verizon New York – New England, not just for certain groups of employees within the company.  It was a success and this was the reason for my award in New York.

I was the only Verizon employee in New England to be nominated to attend a top minority mentoring and leadership course in Boston, Massachusetts called the “Partnership Inc” in 2005.  At the graduation commencement, I was nominated (by my peers) as the top male graduate giving the commencement speech. This took place in front of the class and alumni from many fortune 500 companies, Harvard Professors, CEO’s and other top minority professionals.

I was recognized and nominated for many top honors within and outside of Verizon and was on other leadership boards as well. I received numerous awards and recognition letters for outstanding customer service and helped to improve other manager’s productivity in the district.  I did things that benefited Verizon and was applauded for it.  I was also asked to volunteer my service representing Verizon in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, to partake in functions for the less fortunate as well as being a part of Junior Achievement representing Verizon, at the local school during class time.

Outside of Verizon I was the lead organizer for the rebuilding of a sports complex for the Swansea/Warren Rhode Island Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading league.  I was awarded for (volunteer of the year) for my contribution.  What made even more special was that my children were not active in the league.  I did this just to help when I was called upon to do so. I would always come and help anyone in my community when called upon with no intensions or expectations in return.  It’s in my soul to help. That’s just me.

I was and still am second in command on a fundraising committee to raise money for children in a local High School and College in Fall River.  I am heavily involved in my community and enjoy helping others.

Within Verizon, my success was real and I was doing very well until my morals got in the way.  I was witness to things that were so appalling, I was stunned that it was an acceptable norm.  The mistreatment to Verizon employees was baffling to me.  When I brought this unethical treatment to my superiors, I became the target. I was advised by upper Verizon management that if I was going to make a stand to stop unethical and immoral behaviors, my career would be over.  I was advised that I would indeed be blackballed.  I was to turn the other cheek and continue to allow the unethical and immoral behaviors, abuse, hostile environment, abusive verbal and mental treatment and racism to happen within Verizon.  I was also advised, “To take one for the team” and not report specific managers to Verizon’s EEO, like Mr. Malcome Benvie, Ms. Anne Best, AOM –Jim Fennell and Director Robert Glynn for ignoring my request for help prior to going to Verizon’s EEO.

I was not the type of person that could turn the other cheek and stand there watching Verizon employees be set up and mistreated in the abusive manner that they were, in fact, being treated.  I could not do this and feel good about my success and my life, as it is not how I teach my children.  I was not brought up that way, nor do I raise my children in that manner.  I will never succeed on the blood of another man, nor will I ever allow anyone to diminish me as a person or race.

My life has purpose, it has value, and I am here only one time and I will never sell my soul for anyone.

There were two well educated female black managers during this time that were also advised that if they were to report any racial, discriminatory, or harassing complaints to the EEO, and or Verizon Corporate Security, in reference to Caucasian managers, that they would be blackballed.  In fact, they were specifically advised that they both would be blackballed like Neal Dias if they chose to make any complaints.  These two female managers had separate incidents, but yet were notified of my blackballing within Verizon, and it was used it was used as a threat to their careers as well. These abuse and bullying tactics Verizon inflicted upon the two minority women was simply a disgrace.  They were trying as well to reach out for protection and for their equal rights and were violated in the process.  This is wrong, and I believe that Verizon broke the law and should be held accountable.

While in director meetings in Providence, Rhode Island, I witnessed Verizon management give speeches about how they would try and build up cases against Verizon employees to discipline or terminate them.  In a room full of managers of first, second and third level, “If you can’t find anything on them, just lie.” Instead of disagreement or disappointment, there was applause by the crowd. I sat there and watched as I saw them going after their own family… people who they worked with each day.

I watched Verizon management take safety tools off the trucks of the technicians and then go out to their job sites and discipline them for not having them.  I was a witness to Verizon management call other Verizon employee’s inappropriate words like it was nothing and belittle them in front of other workers.  I sat and watched male management lose control on female employees and the female employees would cry and not want to return to work and or be in his presence.

I remember a technician who was suspended for going to his home during his lunch break to give his child an insulin shot (as the child was dying), because the mother could no longer give the shots.  The manager told him as she suspended him, “This is no hospice.”

In June of 2008, I was working for a new boss, Mr. Paul McCarthy, and the harassment never stopped as I was indeed blackballed and treated differently because of making EEO complaints.  After filing complaints over the last year or so there was an incident that I felt I had no choice but to report to Verizon Corporate Security.  Even though I had lost faith in Verizon’s investigative procedures, this could not be ignored.  I was forced to report my present boss Mr. Paul McCarthy to Verizon for violation of the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as enough was enough.

After about 2 years of dealing with discriminatory, racial, harassing and threatening acts from Mr. Paul McCarthy, in June of 2008 he lost control of himself in my office.  He used profanity, threw papers in my face, charged at me several times not allowing me to speak and cornering me in my office.  It so happens that there were, two other witnesses in the room.  An investigation was opened the very next day, because of a complaint I filed that day for workplace violence.  The witnesses testified to the violations and abusive treatment that I was forced to endure.

Over the next three months I did request information on the investigation from Verizon Corporate Security and never received a response from them until September of 2008. I was then instructed to contact my Director Mr. John Puopolo on the conclusion of my case.  Mr. John Poupolo never contacted me when I requested help in this matter.  The investigation was closed with no violation found from Mr. Paul McCarthy’s misconduct as I was then notified by Human Resource’s Eileen Cannon.  I was then terminated from Verizon soon after in November.

Once again I was denied justice and my rights were violated.  There were two other witnesses in my office that provided their honest and truthful statements of what occurred on that day.  Verizon management covered up another investigation and protected Mr. McCarthy.  Verizon Corporate Security stated to myself and the witnesses that day that our testimonies were valid with support of one another.

In or about 2010, I was advised by a retired Verizon minority manager about how he had complained of racial pictures and gestures that were posted on a bulletin board at one of the Verizon garages in the Southeastern Massachusetts area.  He stated that he had complained of this issue to his boss and Verizon’s EEO Compliance Department and nothing was ever done about this.  The same boss that this retired manager complained too, was the same boss that I had complained of racial issues to back in 2004.  Also, he had complained to the Verizon EEO department (headed by Mr. Paul McGovern) about this incident and once again, nothing was done about his complaint.  A retirement package came at a good time for him, so he left Verizon but racial incidents like this, really helped him to make his decision possible.

I can also provide documented proof and comparisons of how Verizon disciplines or terminates minorities compared to Caucasian employees.  Unequal justice is the track that Verizon has chosen when compared to minority employees.

I never thought in a million years that a company so large that promotes the notion that they care for their employees could do such a thing in this century.  I like how Verizon places on their recruiting web site the Verizon Business Code of Conduct as a selling point as to why you would want to work there.  They want outsiders think that they treat their employees with the utmost respect, the overall reality is not true.

Throughout my tenure as a manager with Verizon, I was not given the equal rights nor justice as a minority when it came to making racial, discriminative, harassing and retaliatory complaints against Caucasian management employees.  In fact, I was ignored and investigations were indeed covered up.  My rights under the law were violated and Verizon needs to be held accountable for these violations and practices.  I lost my job only because I was following the rules of the company and the law in which I was governed by.

These complaints that I am asking you to address will justify to my family the fight we have been a part of and the heartache and pain we have endured.  It will justify to my family that what Verizon, Mr. Paul McGovern from EEO, Verizon Corporate Security, Mr. Jim Fennell, Mr. Robert Glynn, Mr. Malcome Benvie, Ms. Anne Best and Mr. Paul McCarthy and others did to us has repercussions and they should be held accountable.

We have at least eight documented perjury statements from Mr. Paul McCarthy that he had made during depositions, which I guess will have to be discussed.

It will help so many Verizon employees come to work each day without the fear of abusive treatment because you helped to enforce accountability.  It will force Verizon to do the right thing and protect the employees that are making a complaint knowing that there will be no repercussions.  It will force Verizon to produce a smaller time frame on completing EEO investigations and forced them to notify the employee of the outcome. It will help to stop cover-ups and force Verizon to do the right thing as accorded to the LAW.

Your investigation will force Verizon Corporate Security to never cover-up any investigation.  Verizon has a legal obligation to uphold the Verizon Business Code of Conduct, State and Federal Laws and never be blinded by color or powerful influences when it comes to justice.  I witnessed Caucasian managers make complaints to Verizon EEO and Corporate Security and it was handled instantly and in great detail.  When it came to minorities making the same violation complaints, we were derailed, threatened not to do so and it was also disregarded in general.

As I looked at the national statistics on workplace violence, it stated that 1.7 million people were victims of violent crimes.  Your investigations into Verizon practices will also reduce violence in the workplace which as you know happens when people make poor decisions.  I am a person of integrity and courage and my most important value in life is my family.  I never allowed Verizon or these perpetrators to push me to a limit I would regret and never will.  I’m better than that.  I love my family, and I fight with all the courage that I have inside of me, proving to my children that justice prevails for all good people.  I will continue to fight for justice, believe in God and the judicial system.

I am not a complainer.  I just believe that if I have to work at Verizon under certain rules and guidelines, then so should others.  Having to follow rules and laws shouldn’t have bearing on your position, financial status or color, as equality is a priority.  I have thousands of documents, affidavits, statements, notes and other data to prove that I was a productive and ethical manager.  I was indeed only targeted for protecting my rights under the law, as a minority manager.

Below are contacts from within Verizon to help you in this pursuit.  If there is anything you need from me, including talking to Verizon employees past and present, union or non-union, I will be able to get that as well.

I have been asked time and time again by so many people: “What do I really want out of all of this?”  From 2004 (when this all began) up to the present (August of 2011), in seven and a half years it never changed – it’s still the same.  I am looking for Accountability and Justice.

I am requesting that you open a local and national investigation into Verizon’s EEOC policies, procedures and investigative practices into how their EEO Complaints are handled – especially mine.  I also anticipate that you will investigate the cover-up into the Verizon Corporate Security investigation that I opened in June of 2008 that ultimately led to my wrongful termination.

I thank you in advance for any and all assistance that you may be able to give to this matter.

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

                                                                                                                  Edmund Burke

Yours truly,

Neal W. Dias

Fightingfor7years@hotmail.com

Verizon Code of Conduct: https://www22.verizon.com/about/careers/codeofconduct.html

Below are Verizon Contacts:

Verizon President & COO

Mr. Lowell C. McAdam

One Verizon Way

4th Floor – Room E037

Basking Ridge, NJ. 07920

908-559-7310

Lowell.mcadam@one.verizon.com

Verizon Executive Vice President Corporate Human Resources

Mr. Marc Reed

140 West Street

Floor 29

New York, NY 10007

212-395-1093

Marc.reed@one.verizon.com

Verizon EVP & GC Legal

Mr. Randal Milch

140 West Street

Floor 29

New York, NY. 10007

212-395-2384

Randal.s.milch@one.verizon.com

Verizon New England President of Legal

Ms. Donna C. Cupelo

125 High Street

Oliver Tower                                                                                                        Donna.c.cupelo@one.verizon.com

07 Floor Room 714

Boston, MA. 02110

617-743-8800

How can I a good ethical manager who followed proper protocol when it came to reporting bad behavior from bad employees and perform well in the company, get terminated?

The business code of conduct states, “I was not supposed to be retaliated against and I was.”  I did all the right things for the company and my family and yet, I am torn.

Page 2 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section “Discrimination or Harassment.  It states, “If you believe you are a victim or a witness of discrimination or harassment, you must report it to your supervisor or Human Resources Business Partner, or make a confidential complaint to the VZ Ethics and EEO Guideline.  You may also address the suspected discrimination or harassment directly with the person engaging in such conduct if you are comfortable doing so and you believe the conduct is unintentional.”

 

Page 3 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section “Confidential Reporting and No Retaliation.  It states, “Reports and complaints will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and by the company’s need to properly investigate the situation.  Verizon prohibits retaliation against employees who, in good faith, submit or participate in the investigation of any complaints.  If you believe you or others are the subject of retaliation for reporting suspected misconduct or participating in an investigation, you must report the matter to the VZ Ethics and EEO Guideline or the Legal Department.

 

Page 4 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section 1.2 “Discrimination and Harassment.  It states, “Verizon has a policy of zero tolerance for discrimination, sexual harassment or other unlawful harassment based on age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other legally protected category under federal, state or local law.  Harassment includes but is not limited to, racist, sexist or ethnic comments. Jokes, gestures, or any action or statement creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

 

Page 4 of the Verizon’s Business Code of Conduct – in the section 1.3 “Workplace Violence.  It states, “We all deserve to worm in an environment that is free from violence or hostility.  Verizon will not tolerate any threatening, hostile or abusive behavior by employees in the workplace while operating company vehicles or on company business, or by persons on company property, and will take immediate and appropriate action against offenders, up to and including termination and referral for criminal prosecution.  Damage of property is also prohibited.

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