Amtrak, the federally funded corporation that runs the nation's passenger railroad system, has agreed to take steps to make job opportunities, promotions and training available to black employes who contend they are victims of employment discrimination.
The affirmative action measures were laid out in a consent decree approved yesterday by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell. The decree settles a class action lawsuit brought in June 1979 by 54 black employes at Amtrak headquarters in Washington. They contended that they had been denied promotions, segregated from other Amtrak employes and more frequently disciplined than other workers.
The consent decree also provides that Amtrak will pay a minimum of $120,000, to be split among the 54 employes, to resolve the claims against the company. Most of those 54 employes were in so-called "sub-management" jobs, many as clerical workers in an Amtrak acounting department.
Amtrak made no admission that there had been any violation of civil rights laws, and no such finding was made by the court.
Approximately 1,400 persons are employed at Amtrak headquarters at 400 North Capitol St. About 400 of them are black, all of whom will be affected to some degree by the decree.
The decree provides that additional training will be made available to blacks, complaints of harassment will be investigated as will reports of unfair disciplinary actions.
The agreement also specifies that Amtrak will take steps to select a black "hearing officer" to review complaints from inside headquarters and to train black employes to work as hearing officers.