A federal judge in Alexandria is forcing a defense agency to review its handling of workplace discrimination complaints after what he described as ongoing retaliation against an employee.

Patricia Burke successfully sued the Defense Security Service in federal court in Alexandria for creating a hostile work environment after she filed a discrimination complaint. The agency oversees contractors who work with classified information.

When she went back to work under the same counterintelligence director she testified mistreated her, Burke said in a sworn affidavit, her annual performance evaluation score dropped from 4.7 to 3.3. (A formal review panel ultimately raised the score to 4.2.)

The director, William Stephens, will not speak to her, Burke added.

The trial and Burke's statement to the court afterward "demonstrate a systemic failure by DSS to comply with the law and to ensure cessation of the retaliatory hostile work environment," Judge Liam O'Grady wrote.

The DSS must ask the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to review its workplace discrimination program and come up with a formal plan to implement any recommendations. The judge might order further changes based on the review and the agency's response, he said.

The agency must also change Burke's supervision so she is not in a chain of command that involves supervisors Stephens, Frank Malafarina and Michael Buckley, the judge ruled.

At trial, Burke testified that all three men harassed her after she filed a complaint saying she was not given child-care accommodations when male employees were. Other DSS employees and former workers testified that Stephens had talked about isolating and demeaning employees who file complaints and had done so in the past, and that he and other managers interfered with the investigation of her complaint.

"Ms. Burke looks forward to a time when the agency's employees can trust the agency to protect them from discrimination and retaliation," Jacob Small, her attorney, said in an email.

Jurors sided with Burke after the trial but awarded her only a dollar in damages. In subsequent filings, she demanded an overhaul of how workplace complaints are handled at DSS and 0asked that the managers who harassed her undergo additional training and be separated from her.

The Defense Department responded that her demands were far too broad and that for a judge to grant them would violate the separation of powers between the judiciary and executive branches. But O'Grady ordered the review and other changes.

A 2017 survey that found a widespread perception that the DSS counterintelligence leadership was a "old boys' club" hostile to women and minorities. Employees described an atmosphere of distrust, fear and general unhappiness.

In response to that survey, Stephens and other leaders asked the agency's Equal Employment Opportunity Office for additional training, according to a government court filing.

Malafarina is currently on a fellowship at Harvard University, according to a court filing from the agency, and then will be on a two-year rotation with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. There are no specific plans for him to return to DSS.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which represented the Defense Department, declined to comment on O'Grady's ruling.