A group of 26 women yesterday accused Labor Secretary Ray Marshall of deliberately failing to take action against Uniroyal, Inc., on charges of sex discrimination.
In a suit filed in U.S. District Court here, the women asked that Marshall be ordered to follow through on a decision by an administrative law judge that Uniroyal be barred from receiving federal contracts, and that its current contracts be cancelled, in connection with a sex discrimination case.
The decision was handed up in April 1978 and there has been no public word from Marshall's office since.
At the time of the decision, the judge found Uniroyal guilty of discriminating against women employes at a Mishawaka, Indiana, plant. He also concluded that company officials had given false answers to the government, withheld pertinent information in the case and interfered with the questioning of employes.
Under federal rules, the labor secretary is required to issue a final order based on the administrative judge's recommendation and on any reports prepared by the department's appeals board if a case is appealed, as Uniroyal's eventually was.
"We believe he has exempted Uniroyal for political reasons," declared Alta Chrapliwy, spokesperson for the plaintiff group. The suit was filed as a class action on behalf of 521 women currently or formerly employed at the Indiana plant.
Carin Clauss, Labor Department solicitor attorney, denied any intentional delay. She said the department's administrative process normally "takes a while," particularly, when an appeal is involved. She said Marshall's opinion "is in the final review process" now.