NBPC Puerto Rico Class Action Lawsuit



In late 2017, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Agency”) announced, orally and/or in writing to currently employed United States Border Patrol Agents that it was seeking agents for details and/or assignments to travel to Ramey Sector in Puerto Rico and assist with Hurricane Maria relief efforts. The Agency explicitly excluded any agent with “family ties” to Puerto Rico, thus discouraging agents from applying and/or denying them an opportunity to participate based on their own Hispanic/Puerto Rican race and/or national origin and/or their association with others of Hispanic/Puerto Rican race and/or national origin. The National Border Patrol Council, through the Law Office of Sherry J. Downer PLLC, initiated informal EEO counseling and filed individual and class action complaints on behalf of a number of identified agents including the class representative, Durango Ayala-Quinones (“Class Agent”).

Aug 13 2020

EEOC Administrative Judge Sharon E. Debbage Alexander issued an order certifying the matter as a class action (“Class Certification Order”).

Sept 22 2020

The Agency issued its Final Agency Decision refusing to implement the Class Certification Order.

Sept 23 2020

The Agency appealed class certification.

April 29 2021

The EEOC Office of Federal Operations denied the Agency’s appeal, upholding certification of the class and required the Agency to notify potential class members of the accepted class claim.

Link to OFO Decision here.

May 14 2021

The Agency notified potential class members. Class Action Notice here

The Agency sent this notice to individuals who were working within the following five sectors (El Centro, Big Bend, Yuma, El Paso and Tucson) at the time the detail solicitation was sent in or around October 2017 (“Class Action Notice”). If you received or heard about the Class Action Notice or think you may be a class member, please complete the Puerto Rico Class Action Screening Questionnaire. We will then let you know whether or not you meet the criteria to be a member of the class and, if so, what the next steps are.

Puerto Rico Class Action Screening Questionnaire

Your Name(Required)
Were you a member of the National Border Patrol Council in or around October 2017?(Required)
Did you receive or hear about a solicitation for a detail assignment in Ramey Sector in or around October 2017 to assist with ongoing humanitarian efforts due to Hurricane Maria?(Required)
Were you excluded and/or discouraged from applying and/or denied the opportunity to participate in a detail assignment to Ramey Sector based on the race/national origin (Hispanic/Puerto Rican) of you and/or your family?(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.