Complaint Improperly Dismissed as Untimely and for Failure to State a Claim. The Commission rejected the Agency’s assertion that Petitioner did not have the necessary prior experience or training, stating that if that were true, the Agency would not have placed Petitioner into a GS-11 position which also required prior experience and training. 915.003 Section 2: Threshold Issues, § 2-IV C (rev. While the Agency provided evidence that the Notice of Right to File was delivered to Complainant’s address of record on January 7, 2019, Complainant stated that he never received the Notice and the signature on the delivery receipt appeared different from Complainant’s signature on other documents of record. While Complainant indicated that she was told of her termination in January 2019, Complainant’s most recent personnel form showed that her last day in pay status was November 30, 2009, and correspondence relating to her OWCP claim indicated that her wage compensation benefits were terminated by the Department of Labor in August 2015. Complainant alleged the Agency’s policy of using salary history to determine the starting salaries of external hires caused a disparate impact on females and African Americans. A fair reading of the formal complaint and the related EEO counseling report showed that Complainant alleged harassment, and the two incidents were cited as examples thereof. The Commission, in Shara D. v. Department of Veterans Affairs,  reversed the Agency’s dismissal for failure to state a claim. 2019005757 (Nov. 5, 2019), Heath P. v. U.S. The Commission affirmed the Agency’s finding that Complainant failed to prove her claim regarding an additional 14-day suspension. 2019004002 (Oct. 3, 2019), Doria D. v. U.S. Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for enforcement, asserting that the Agency failed to provide him with all the relief to which he was entitled. Thereafter, the Agency issued Complainant a notice of his right to file an EEO complaint (Notice). Even assuming Complainant established a prima facie case of discrimination, his claims ultimately failed because the Agency articulated a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating his employment. Complainant in Reita M. v. Department of Transportation  alleged that her supervisor and supervisor’s deputy subjected her to ongoing harassment. 216, said the agency’s decision to send more cases to the “killing fields” — closing them without investigation — is a problematic solution to budget and resources woes. The Commission ordered the Agency to change Complainant’s assessment results to a passing score and to process his candidacy in the same manner that it processed the candidacies of other applicants who received passing scores. Safeway, Inc. agreed to pay $75,000 to Joel Silbert to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. 2019001426 (Nov. 29, 2019) (while Complainant, a bagger, had access to the Agency Commissary so she could bag the purchases of customers and bring them to their cars, Complainant was chosen by a head bagger who was an independent contractor. The Commission determined that the modified award was more consistent with Commission precedent. Nevertheless, the Commission modified the Agency’s overall reduction in fees to reflect work performed on unsuccessful claims from 50% to 25%, because the denial of reasonable accommodation accounted for the majority of the attorney’s time spent on the case. Given that many of the alleged incidents occurred within the 45-day period preceding Complainant’s EEO Counselor contact, the Commission also found that Complainant’s entire harassment claim was timely. 0120182601 (Nov. 8, 2019). Complainant alleged that the Agency breached the settlement agreement, citing several instances where she felt demeaned by her supervisor’s reactions when she asked a question. The Agency provided a sworn affidavit indicating that an EEO poster with the appropriate time limits for seeking EEO counseling and contact information was posted at the facility where Complainant was employed. Complainant alleged that he was ridiculed by his supervisors and co-workers because of his disability and was the subject of jokes and sarcastic remarks. This is a low watermark for the EEOC’s caseload and represents 3,743 less charges than were filed in FY 2018.  A complainant may state a claim of harassment by alleging conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an abusive work environment that alters the conditions of the complainant’s employment. The U.S. The Agency acknowledged that Complainant was an individual with a disability, and the Commission determined that Complainant was offered, and accepted a Clerk position within her restrictions. The agency resolved 180 pieces of litigation, including 173 merits cases. 2019003096 (July 17, 2019), Freddie K. v. U.S. 2019002133 (Aug. 22, 2019). Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Part 1614 (EEO MD-110), at Chap. A review of the complaint and pre-complaint documents revealed that Complainant asserted that the OIC excessively scrutinized his work, told him to “clock out,” threatened to have the police remove him from the workroom floor, and questioned him regarding the amount of time it took to perform his route. The Commission also noted that the agreement did not provide Complainant with any monetary benefits or other benefits beyond what is already expected in the workplace. S1 testified that he did not explore any type of accommodation for Complainant that would address her inability to work on Sundays. The Commission noted that while “LMOU” may stand for “Local Memorandum of Understanding,” the settlement agreement did not expressly specify which union, date, or geographic region the LMOU adhered to with regard to the detail rotation list.  Further, in Annice N. v. Department of Defense, the Commission noted that an agency should not dismiss a formal complaint for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond a doubt that the complainant cannot prove a set of facts in support of the claim which would entitle the complainant to relief. What happens to workers the agency doesn’t help is … The Commission reversed the Agency’s decision on appeal, stating that Complainant was alleging an ongoing claim of harassment/hostile work environment. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Howard G. v. Dep’t of Transp., EEOC Appeal No. The Commission noted that back pay should include all forms of compensation and must include privileges of employment to which Petitioner would have been entitled but for the discrimination. In 2004, the first full year of EEOC tracking this category, 1,100 charges resulted in $2.2 million in monetary benefits and settlement payments. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. No one identified what the factors were, however, and Agency officials refused to provide information about the assessment questions and materials. The U.S. However, only a much smaller percentage of men actually report the harassment. Appendix B includes summaries of significant EEOC consent decrees, conciliation agreements, judgments, and jury awards. The Commission previously affirmed the Agency’s finding of no discrimination, but determined that the Agency’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) acted improperly during the pre-hearing stages of the EEO process by assisting management officials and other witnesses in the preparation of their affidavits. 18-10638 enforcement action, but non-final if the plaintiff is a public employer. In the underlying decision, the Commission found that the one-page affidavit that Complainant’s attorney submitted to the Agency was insufficient to support the requested $450 hourly rate. Part 1614 (EEO MD-110), at Chap. The Commission found that the Agency failed to support its decision dismissing Complainant’s complaint on grounds that it stated the same claim as that raised in a prior complaint. Specifically, the record did not contain statements from any of the named co-workers or management officials. Other than Complainant's own subjective belief, he provided no evidence that he was treated differently than others under similar circumstances because of his protected statuses. In response to the EEO case manager’s email inquiring if she received any disciplinary action, Complainant asserted that her supervisor retaliated against her “by taking the duties I had been performing for the past 3 ½ years from me and they were given to someone else who she favored more.” The Commission found that by alleging a pattern of harassment, complainant had stated a cognizable claim under the EEOC regulations. Leading the pack in new filings are the Charlotte and Philadelphia district offices, with 15 and 14 filings respectively. Complainant alleged that the Agency discriminated against him on the basis of his religion when the Postmaster accused Complainant of requesting medical leave to miss work on Sundays in order to attend church, threatened to send Postal Inspectors to Complainant’s church to verify his attendance, gave him a pre-disciplinary interview, and warned him that he could be fired for missing work to attend church, and made a negative comment about Complainant attending church. Complaint Improperly Dismissed for Abuse of Process. According to the record, Complainant’s manager stated that he was instructed by the Plant Manager to pay limited duty employees the same level as their base pay because if they were paid more “that would [be] encouraging others to get hurt on the job to get more pay.” Therefore, the Commission found that the Agency paid Complainant only her base pay (and not the higher-level pay) because of her medical restrictions. Complainant in Rosie T. v. U.S. 2019005688 (Nov. 5, 2019), Dionne W. v. Dep’t of the Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. , In addition, one of the reasons the distinction between claims and supporting evidence is important is because, to pursue a complaint of discrimination, a federal sector complainant must initiate the EEO process by first raising his/her allegations with an EEO Counselor within the timeframe specified in the Commission’s regulations. Complainant filed an EEO complaint alleging, among other things, that the Agency discriminated against her on the bases of religion (Christian) when she was issued the suspensions. Claim Barred by Doctrine of Laches. 2019001549 (Oct. 24, 2019), Marvin D. v. U.S. Additional Decisions Addressing Viable Harassment Claims Include: Delphia F. v. U.S. Brandee B. v. Dep’t of Agric., EEOC Appeal No. However, the Agency appealed the AJ’s award of $125,000.00 in non-pecuniary damages.  Rosendo F. v. U.S. Since the Agency’s EEO office erred by giving Complainant appeals rights to the Commission instead of the MSPB, the Commission ordered the Agency to file a request for a hearing on behalf of Complainant, and stated that the request should be deemed timely. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will continue to hold employers' feet to the fire … Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. The Commission previously affirmed an Administrative Judge’s (AJ) issuance of a default judgment against the Agency, and finding that the Agency retaliated against Complainant when it terminated her from employment. Summary Judgment Affirmed. There are a few surprises in the enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2019 released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. EEOC Retaliation EEOC Retaliation rules, which outline workplace conduct laws, is outlined by the The U.S. The Commission found that the Agency erred in defining Complainant’s claim as concerning only two incidents relating to a work assignment and training. TJ Simers thought his claim was worth more and in August 2019, he was proved right. Complainant must also raise any allegations concerning a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) under that process). The categories explored were age, color, race, equal pay, national origin, religion, and sex discrimination. Just two years prior, the EEOC only resolved 125 pieces of litigation, including 109 merits suits (those involving substantive claims, excluding subpoena enforcement or pure requests for preliminary injunctions). . 2019003503 (Oct. 25, 2019). Therefore, the Commission used its discretion to excuse Complainant’s delay in seeking contact with an EEO counselor within the required 45-day period. The Agency dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, finding that Complainant did not raise a covered basis in the formal complaint. The award comes in a case brought by the U.S. Petitioner would not be entitled to payment for annual or sick leave, because he remained a federal employee during the back pay period and there was no variation in leave accrual rates based upon a federal employee’s grade level. In Bettyann B. v. Department of Veterans Affairs,  Complainant alleged that her supervisor sexually harassed her, including forcibly kissing her and grabbing and squeezing her face. The Commission found that the Agency improperly dismissed Complainant's discrimination claims when it determined that Complainant had previously raised the claims in a negotiated grievance procedure. In considering the harm Complainant suffered, the Commission found that his request for $20,000 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages was in line with Complainant's harm and the Commission's case law. 0120180367 (Sept. 25, 2019). The Digest is available online through EEOC’s homepage at www.eeoc.gov/digest. Mark D. v. Dep’t of Justice, EEOC Appeal No. Upon Dhillon’s appointment, and despite two remaining vacancies, the three-member Commission satisfies quorum and has since resumed full operations at the EEOC. 2019002089 (Apr. 2020000050 (Dec. 10, 2019). The Commission redacts Complainants' names when it publishes decisions, and all federal sector appellate decisions issued for publication use a randomly generated name as a substitute for the name of the complainant. According to Complainant, when she instructed a contract driver he could not unload his shipment because it was improperly loaded and posed a safety risk to her staff, the driver became angry, entered a restricted area, and threatened her.  An agency can dismiss a complaint as untimely if the complainant does not raise the claim of discrimination within the specified 45-day limitation period. The Commission has frequently addressed the issue of fragmentation of harassment claims, both in the context of dismissals for failure to state a claim and dismissals on the grounds of untimely EEO contact. Lynwood R., v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. The Agency considered that the OIG investigation against Complainant lasted approximately nine to ten months and Complainant experienced damage to his professional reputation. 2019005199 (Nov. 15, 2019). The Agency dismissed the Complaint as untimely, and the Commission reversed the decision on appeal. The most recent year of the data is 2018. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. National Origin & Age Discrimination Found When Agency Terminated Complainant’s Candidacy for a Position. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Skip to main content This total number of filings is significantly less than the last two years (see here and here), and is more in line with the drop off in filings that we saw in FY 2016 (see here). Aug. 2009). Appendix C highlights appellate cases where the EEOC has filed an amicus or appellant brief, and decided appellate cases in FY 2019. National Origin: 7,009 (9.6%) 7. The EEOC filed suit against McLeod for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), because McLeod required a longtime employee with a disability to undergo a work-related medical exam and then wrongfully discharged her based on her disability. The Commission found that the evidence in the record directly contradicting the manager’s stated reasons for her decision to reassign Complainant raised both a credibility issue and issues of material fact that required a hearing and strident cross-examination. The Commission found that the Agency improperly dismissed Complainant’s complaint. 2019005199 (Nov. 15, 2019), Zenobia K. v. Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. Finally, the record failed to show that the Agency adequately investigated Petitioner’s claim for damages, and ordered the Agency to conduct a supplemental investigation into that matter. Bryan Y. v. Soc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released their filing data for the 2019 fiscal year. EEOC Regulation 29 C.F.R. Even as the workforce grew and the EEOC took on more responsibilities, its funding and staffing dropped. Orlando O. v. Envtl. Search U.S. Supreme Court Cases By Year 2019 Welcome to FindLaw's searchable database of U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1760. While Complainant experienced anxiety, exhaustion, fear, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, elevated blood pressure, marital stress, and humiliation, the evidence of record only supported the nature of his harm and did not address the severity or duration of the harm caused by the Agency’s discriminatory actions. 8, 2019). The Commission noted that the Agency should not fragment, or break up a complainant’s legal claim during the EEO process, as fragmented processing compromises a complainant’s ability to present an integrated and coherent claim. Specifically, agencies often separately dismiss these fragmented individual incidents raised in support of a claim of harassment and hostile work environment for failure to state a claim and/or failure to timely initiate the EEO process. The Chicago district office is usually at the head of the pack, but has been bumped to the shared number three spot along with New York and Houston at 12 filings each. The Commission concurred with the Agency that Complainant’s claim was barred by the doctrine of laches, because she initiated EEO contact years after the alleged discrimination, and, as such, failed to diligently pursue her claim. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. When the MSPB dismissed Complainant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, Complainant filed his formal EEO complaint. Fragmented processing of a claim can compromise a complainant’s ability to present an integrated and coherent claim. (See, also, “Findings on the Merits,” and “Remedies” this issue.). The EEOC’s data shows that there were only 72,675 charges of discrimination filed in FY 2019. Therefore, the Agency failed to meet the burden of obtaining sufficient information to support a determination as to timeliness. The Agency stated only that it had assessed 726 candidates, that 272 passed the assessment, and that the candidates who passed as well as those who did not pass the assessment “ranged from all ages, races, and gender[s].” Based on the Agency’s statement regarding the candidate pool, the Commission found that Complainant established prima facie cases of discrimination based on race/national origin and age. What is the EEOC? For summaries of decisions involving claims of harassment, see “Findings on the Merits” by statute, as well as “Under Multiple Bases.”. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – which advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – announced that a major retail chain had agreed to pay $6 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC that claimed the retailer’s criminal background check process … 202-663-4900 / (TTY) 202-663-4494, Call 1-800-669-4000 0120182005 (Dec. 13, 2019), Lynwood R., v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 0120182004 (Oct. 11, 2019), Bryan Y. v. Soc. However, Feldblum was the first openly gay member of the Commission, and a champion of LGBT rights. 5, 2019), request for reconsideration denied EEOC Request No. The Agency also reported that the lanyard with the CAC contained a key fob, which gives the possessor access to the numerous buildings and the server room. So the where of EEOC filings not only shows which areas of the country are most heavily targeted, but also offers a clue as to which priorities the EEOC is focusing on for the coming year. These incidents, taken together, collectively constitute one “unlawful employment practice.” In National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, the Supreme Court recognized that hostile environment claims involve repeated conduct over a period of days or even years, and the unlawful practice cannot be said to occur on a particular day. Annalee D. v. Gen. Serv. Remedies Discussed. According to the record, the EEO Counselor sent Complainant and her non-attorney representative a Notice of Right to File via email on May 13, 2019. Agency Failed to Properly Process Informal EEO Complaint After MSPB Dismissed Appeal. Glenna O. v. Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. Last year, 1,868 charges resulted in $7 million in payments. EEOC No.  See Shantel H. v. U.S. A fair reading of the complaint, however, reflected that Complainant alleged a pattern of harassment and the entire complaint did not exclusively consist of the one incident mentioned by the Agency. 1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone) 2019003503 (Oct. 25, 2019), Alfredo S. v. Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. Complainant identified herself as a contractor, and acknowledged that contract supervisors controlled the means and manner of her job. As a result, the Commission found that the Agency violated Title VII when Complainant was disciplined for her refusal to work on Amazon Sundays. Appendix C highlights appellate cases where the EEOC has filed an amicus or appellant brief, and decided appellate cases in FY 2019. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. 2019004004 (Nov. 7, 2019), Minh G. v. Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Appeal No.  See Equal Employment Management Directive for 29 C.F.R. Sec. Judie D. v. Nuclear Regulatory Comm’n., EEOC Appeal No. In Hana D v. U.S. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Agency Failed to Support Assertion that Complaint Was Untimely Filed. 2019005742 (Nov. 6, 2019). The article is generally based on EEOC documents available to the public at the Commission’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/, as well as on Commission case law and court decisions. A new jury this year awarded TJ Simers $15.4m for personal and emotional suffering. By alleging a pattern of harassment, Complainant stated a cognizable claim under the EEOC Regulations and the Agency improperly dismissed her complaint. Wayne C. v. Dep't of Transp. Specifically, Complainant stated the Agency subjected her to ongoing harassment. The Commission affirmed the AJ’s finding that Complainant failed to prove his claim of harassment. 2019000663, (Oct. 10, 2019).  Nat’l R.R. 2019004213 (Sept. 30, 2019). Supreme Court opinions are browsable by year and U.S. Reports volume number, and are searchable by party name, case title, citation, full text and docket number. 2019005073 (Sept. 30, 2019). Doria D. v. U.S. Seen any more interesting cases? Retaliation: 39,110 (53.8% of all charges filed) 2. Complainant advised her supervisors that she would not work Sundays due to her religious beliefs, and did not report to work on Sunday, December 3 and 10, 2017. Complainant filed a formal complaint alleging discrimination and harassment, including being notified that she would be downgraded, moved or dismissed. Private mediators may also be called on to assist. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site. The Agency did not dispute that Complainant was qualified for the Clerk position. The Commission reversed the Agency’s dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim, finding that, when viewing all of Complainant’s allegations together and assuming they occurred as alleged, Complainant stated a viable claim of discriminatory hostile work environment. Complainant also raised other incidents, including negative comments made by her supervisor. Foster M. v. Dep’t of Energy, EEOC Appeal No.  Reita M. v. Dep’t of Transp., EEOC Appeal No. This leaves open the possibility of three Commissioner appointments by President Trump during the upcoming election year. Complainant, however, stated that management told him at the time of the agreement that the LMOU addressed the matter. Hostile work environment claims are based on the cumulative effect of individual acts over a period of time. Further, the Agency’s Notice advising Complainant of her right to file a complaint specifically referenced race, religion, and sex as bases for the alleged discrimination. 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