Arizona State University graduate Andrew Brigida worked hard and got the right education to become an air traffic controller (ATC). He graduated from a program that briefly made him a preferred hire. But he was rejected when the federal government changed the rules. In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided to scrap a merit-based test, and soon after started making candidates take a biographical questionnaire instead. Despite scoring a 100% on the exam used before the rule change Mr. Brigida “failed” to qualify under the new requirements.
He is not alone. The FAA’s new rules prevented Mr. Brigida and thousands of others from achieving their career ambitions because they didn’t fit the minority group it was trying to attract with the new system. Recently, two new class representatives, Matthew Douglas-Cook and Suzanne Rebich, joined the reenergized lawsuit against the FAA.
On Nov. 1, 2019, MSLF attorneys sought class action status for more than 2,500 people in the case of Brigida v. U.S. Department of Transportation. With class action now under consideration by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the case’s impact is poised to expand and reaffirm that all people deserve to be treated equally under the law, regardless of race.