The Commission found that the settlement agreement was void for mutual mistake. The Commission affirmed the Agency’s finding that Complainant did not establish a prima facie case of national origin or sex discrimination with regard to the ERB position, because two of the interviewees were members of Complainant’s protected groups. Further, the record showed that Complainant’s supervisor set the tone in the workplace, creating an environment where sexually vulgar commentary could be used to denigrate subordinates, and thus she created a hostile work environment. There were only 7 age discrimination cases filed in FY 2020, … 20-CV-852, 2020 U.S. Dist. Specifically, whenever the responsible management officials received affidavits to respond to with respect to Complainant’s EEO complaints, they would display displeasure toward Complainant, and say things like “this EEO business” needs to be dropped. 0120180736 (Aug. 30, 2019). 21, 2019), Rochelle F. v. U.S. 0720180030 (Aug. 20, 2019), Trey M. v U.S. Moreover, the Commission found that the Agency failed to make good faith efforts to reasonably accommodate Complainant. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Myrtie P. v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., EEOC Appeal No. Shanta S. v. U.S. The Commission noted that the contradictory witness statements provided detailed and supporting documentation, while the supervisors’ testimony was vague and brief. 0120181500 (Aug. 7, 2019). Complainant stated that after she informed the In-Plant Manager and Plant Manager of the Manager’s conduct, the harassment continued and became worse. 2019000352 (Nov. 29, 2018). Additionally, the Commission concluded that the Agency failed to engage in the interactive process when Complainant made his request to take additional breaks. ), Commission Increased Award of Damages to $50,000. Stanton S. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 0120181998 (Nov. 6, 2018), Jermaine G. v. U.S. In support of his claim for damages, Complainant submitted a letter indicating the Agency’s retaliation caused him three years of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and headaches. 0120181195 (June 12, 2019). 0120170703 (Mar. Lashawna L. v. U.S. Complainant challenged the Agency’s assertion that he was not officially appointed to the position of Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary. Therefore, the Commission ordered the Agency, among other things, to retroactively place Complainant into the Patent Examiner position with appropriate back pay and benefits and compensate him for any adverse tax consequences. Complainant had previously reported his medical conditions and medication use to the Agency. This too is fairly typical. Allegation Concerning Letter that Was Not Part of Personnel File Failed to State a Claim. Viable Reprisal Claim Stated. Complainant visited her psychiatrist and went to the emergency room when she overdosed on medication prescribed for her anxiety caused by the discrimination. Agency Not Vicariously Liable for Coworker Harassment. The AJ properly approved the class settlement which excluded appellant’s time period. Julius P. v. Dep’t of the Air Force, EEOC Appeal No. Complainant Entitled to Attorney’s Fees Related to Securing Compliance with Settlement Agreement. Complainant’s physician described the Agency’s decision and explanation given to revoke Complainant’s teleworking as “senseless,” and Complainant’s husband vividly described the initial and continuing impact that the manager’s decision had on complainant and on her family as a whole. Retaliatory Harassment Found. The AJ ordered Complainant’s attorney and opposing counsel to provide independent recollections of the hearing. Due to a car accident, Complainant was diagnosed with long-term back and neck injuries. 131 M Street, NE As such, the Commission found that Complainant had not alleged the same claim as in her prior EEO complaint because, while similar, the new allegation did not involve the same time period or incident. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Complainant, the Commission found that there was a genuine issue of material fact on the question of whether or not the Agency intentionally denied Complainant the accommodation of an assigned route without stairs. Therefore, the Agency improperly dismissed Complainant’s claim of ongoing sexual harassment, as well as her claim that upper-level management did not properly respond after she reported the incidents. 0120171018 (Dec. 11, 2018). 3, 2019), Porter P. v. U.S. While the Agency argued that there were “security reasons,” it did not provide any details describing the concerns. The Agency awarded Complainant $1,000 in non-pecuniary damages following a finding by the Commission that it failed to reasonably accommodate him. Law360 (January 21, 2020, 10:22 PM EST) -- The U.S. 0120180964 (Dec. 4, 2018). The Commission affirmed the AJ’s findings of discrimination on appeal. While Complainant was not granted as much time on one occasion when the facility was short-staffed, he was granted more official time the next day. EEOC-NVTA-0000-29. 3, 2019), Horace A. v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., EEOC Appeal No. 0120181309 (Aug. 30, 2019), Lenny W. v. Dep’t. Agency Improperly Dismissed Harassment Complaint for Failure to State a Claim & Untimely EEO Contact. Zenia M. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. The authorized use of this system is for official EEOC case … Neither Complainant nor the comparison employees had a record of discipline. In a prior decision, the Commission found that the Agency was Complainant’s joint employer. 0120171405 (Mar. Complainant’s physicians diagnosed her with Dysthymic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder. Complainant also noted that the named responsible management officials were also previously listed in his prior EEO complaint, and, thus, Complaint raised an allegation of reprisal. 2019004448 (Sept. 11, 2019), Vaughn T. v. U.S. Two supervisors stated that both alleged incidents were minor and not terminable offenses. The Commission ultimately found that the supervisor’s comments to Complainant constituted reprisal, and ordered the Agency to conduct a supplemental investigation on Complainant’s entitlement to compensatory damages, among other things. The Commission also affirmed the Agency’s award of $29.49 in pecuniary damages for antidepressants and sleep medication related to the depression and insomnia he experienced due to the discrimination. The Commission found that an award of $10,000 was consistent with its prior decisions in similar cases. Complainant provided statements from his physician and family members addressing Complainant’s reaction to not receiving the award, including shame, embarrassment, withdrawing from family, friends and activities, anxiety, sleep problems, and sadness. The Commission concurred with the AJ that the class was not so large that consolidated or separate complaints would be impractical. The Doctor, who served as Complainant’s reserve supervisor, threw things and hit walls when he could not communicate with Complainant. Complainant did not sign the agreement. 2019001343 (Mar. 2019003252 (Aug. 16, 2019). Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC… Commission Increased Award of Nonpecuniary Damages to $10,000. 0120170934 (Apr. The Commission found that the increased award was in line with similar cases. 0120172563 (Nov. 8, 2018), (the Commission found the agreement, providing, in pertinent part, that the Agency would treat Complainant fairly and in accordance with Agency rules and regulations with regard to promotions and merit increases, was unenforceable because it was vague and lacked consideration. The Commission was not persuaded by Appellant’s arguments to redefine the class at this juncture, noting that, as a matter of policy, the Commission encourages settlement of EEO complaints at any stage of processing. Complainant Stated Valid Harassment Claim. 27, 2019). Further, the record contained no evidence that providing Complainant with a different or shorter route, or with assistance when he was unable to complete his route would have caused the Agency significant hardship. 27, 2019). Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. 0120181358 (Aug. 14, 2019), Glenna D. v. Dep’t of the Air Force, EEOC Appeal No. The Agency subsequently awarded Complainant $10,000 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages, and the Commission increased the award to $15,000 on appeal. Ludie M. v. U.S. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Complainant alleged the Agency failed to accommodate him through the day of his removal. The Commission reversed the Agency’s dismissal of Complainant’s complaint alleging that she was discriminated against when she was placed in off-duty status on March 30, 2017. 0120181516, (Sep. 11, 2019). The Agency found that management failed to engage in a good faith effort to reasonably accommodate Complainant, and awarded her $2,000 in nonpecuniary damages. This means that Complainant can obtain the full amount of back-pay, front pay, and compensatory damages from either one of the employers alone or from both combined. On the same day the Agency issued its decision dismissing the complaint, Complainant’s attorney submitted a request to amend which included various incidents involving the Postmaster, including an allegation that Complainant was constructively discharged. 2, 2019) (Complainant filed a formal complaint alleging that the Agency improperly conducted the hiring process for his reader assistant and hired a lesser qualified candidate, thereby denying him a reasonable accommodation. Instead, the Area Manager reported that Complainant had expressed that “she did not feel she could be successful” at her current site and wanted to be moved to a different environment to improve her interpersonal and communications skills. Alycia R. v. Dep’t of Hous. Carolyn M. v. U.S. 202-663-4900 / (TTY) 202-663-4494, Call 1-800-669-4000 2019002130 (June 20, 2019). 12, 2019). Complainant Stated Viable Claim of Disability Discrimination. The Agency noted that the records submitted only accounted for a portion of the requested total. Keri C. v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., EEOC Appeal No. Sharon M. v. Dep’t of Transp., EEOC Appeal No. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. … The Agency failed to fully read the document submitted by Complainant, which alleged timely events and that she had been subjected to a hostile work environment. Specifically, while Complainant’s resume was qualifying, the Selectee had experience that was critical to the position, including managing an international dependent program and serving as an International Military Student Officer, which Complainant lacked. The Commission noted that Complainant obtained other benefits through the agreement, and, therefore, ordered the Agency to specifically comply with the terms related to the named supervisor. The most noticeable trend of FY 2020 is the marked decrease in coast-to-coast filings that we have seen compared to past years. In dismissing the complaint, the Agency stated the subject claims constituted a generalized grievance and were insufficiently vague to state an actionable harassment claim. 0120172733 (Oct. 31, 2018), Cleo S. v. U.S. Updated June 23, 2020: What Are EEOC Complaints? Although the Agency took effective corrective action, upon review, the Commission found that the Agency’s action was not prompt. The Commission affirmed the AJ’s finding that the Agency violated the Rehabilitation Act when a supervisor disclosed Complainant’s confidential medical information to a contract employee. Elease S. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. The Commission stated that the Agency was responsible only for loss caused by the alleged discrimination and that the substantial evidence of record did not support a finding that Complainant’s continuing medical conditions were caused by the discrimination. 0120180973 (Apr. In the present complaint Complainant alleged the Agency failed to update her equipment for her accommodation. Both the Notice and an earlier final interview letter informed Complainant of the applicable deadline and the proper address to file her formal complaint with the Agency. (A summary of the Commission’s decision regarding attorney’s fees can be found above- Editor. 26, 2019), Alden G. v. Social Security Administration, EEOC Appeal No. 0120170459 (May 9, 2019). The Commission stated, however, that the record showed that Complainant experienced specific negative consequences due to the unlawful reassignment. Vaughn T. v. U.S. The Agency did not show good cause for its noncompliance, and the Commission noted that it must ensure that all parties abide by its regulations. She is a strong advocate with a focus on LGBTQ+ issues. Nevertheless, the record showed that the religious object helped Complainant cope with work-related stress and her conditions worsened after the item was removed from her desk. Complainant alleged that her supervisor (S1) retaliated against her for engaging in EEO activity. 0120171676 (Nov. 29, 2018). Complainant experienced sleeplessness, crying spells, weight loss, humiliation, anger and feelings of helplessness. Nevertheless, the proposed 30-day suspension was not received by CW until May 16, 2017, nearly a month after it was allegedly drafted, and there was no reason given for the delay. Complainant alleged that management denied him a promotion to a higher-grade level, and on 2 occasions told him to look elsewhere for a promotion. The Commission initially noted that the Agency fragmented Complainant’s claim of harassment, and improperly dismissed two incidents for failure to state a claim. Complaints of discrimination and bias in the workplace were highest in Alabama (62.2 complaints per 100,000 residents), Mississippi (60.8), Arkansas (51.7), and Georgia (50.3). Equal Pay Act Claim Improperly Dismissed. As an initial matter, the Commission found that the Agency has sufficient control over the Complainant’s employment to be her joint employer. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. The Commission further found that the performance counseling memorandum and placement on a PIP for performance issues directly resulted from the Agency’s failure to reasonably accommodate Complainant with adequate technology required to effectively telework from home. Further, the Agency failed to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the pay disparity between Complainant and two male comparators, and, as such, Complainant also established her claim of sex discrimination under Title VII. Shanti N. v. U.S. 2, 2019), Daisy B. v. Dep’t of Health & Human Serv., EEOC Appeal No. On appeal, the Commission noted that when, as here, the Agency qualifies as Complainant’s joint employer, it is liable for discriminating against Complainant on the same basis that it would be liable for discriminating against any of its other employees. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Instead, she and Complainant had been told there would be significant back pay due to Complainant. Leora R. v. Dep’t of Health & Human Serv., EEOC Appeal No. The Commission previously found that the Agency discriminated against Complainant when it revoked her telework accommodation and failed to reasonably accommodate her. 0120171070 (Nov. 9, 2018). There was no evidence that the grievance process addressed the same accommodation matters raised in Complainant’s EEO complaint. The Agency found that Complainant was subject to discrimination when it failed to reasonably accommodate Complainant’s physical and mental disabilities in a timely manner. The Agency adopted the AJ’s finding that Complainant was subjected to discrimination and harassment, as well as the award of $10,500 in nonpecuniary compensatory damages. 0120180942 (June 11, 2019). While the Commission agreed with the Agency that Complainant could not be awarded damages for pain and suffering that occurred prior to the discrimination, the Commission found that Complainant established that the Agency’s discriminatory actions exacerbated her pre-existing depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Agency, EEOC Appeal No. She also alleged the Agency summarily denied her request for an ergonomic chair and frequently relegated her to the least desirable assignments such as working in the lobby. On appeal, the Commission found that supervisor’s comments violated Title VII. Ronnie R v. Dep’t of Health & Human Serv., EEOC Appeal No. The Commission noted that “working on a particular tour” is not a class protected by the anti-discrimination statutes. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Complainant’s doctor also noted that Complainant experienced an unrelated traumatic incident that she had difficulty getting over. The EEOC uses its resources to protect federal employees from workplace discrimination, and to hold the appropriate parties responsible for their actions. 2019002286 (May 7, 2019), Candi R. v. Dep’t of Def., EEOC Appeal No. Complainant received the benefit of the agreement for almost 11 years. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Complainant provided no other objective evidence of his emotional distress beyond his personal statement. He also failed to identify an attorney who might represent the class. Agency Mischaracterized & Improperly Dismissed Disability Claim. The Commission found, however, that an award of $65,000 was more consistent with Commission precedent. Complainant filed an EEO complaint alleging, among other things, that the Agency subjected her to retaliatory harassment when her supervisor verbally threatened her due to her EEO activity. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. A Security Specialist then advised Complainant to find another job. 0120171266 (Oct. 23, 2018), Sanora S. v. Dep’t of Health & Human Serv., EEOC Appeal No. On January 15, 2020, the U.S. Complainant established a prima facie case of reprisal discrimination, and the Agency did not articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its action. Complainant blacked out the portion of the document that indicated it was confidential and subject to a protective order. Garret W. v. U.S. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. 2019002089 (Apr. The Agency stated that it terminated Complainant because of two incidents that were being investigated. Complainant’s wife and sister-in-law stated that Complainant suffered emotional pain, and mental anguish as a result of the denial of accommodation, and this exacerbated his condition. Further, the supervisor’s conduct had the effect of deterring Complainant from pursuing an EEO complaint at that time. The federal employee whose EEO investigation has been concluded can elect a decision by the Agency or by an EEOC judge if the election is made within 30 days of receiving the investigative file. The Commission has previously held that where a settlement agreement assigns a position but does not specify the duration of the position, it is reasonable to assume that the parties did not intend that the position would last forever. "The Equal Pay Act of 1963." Commission Increased Award of Compensatory Damages to $5,000. The Commission found, however, that the Agency’s 50-percent reduction of the remaining fees was too severe, and instead reduced the requested fees by 25 percent due to a number of vague entries such as “Fact Research,” and “daily report.”  The Commission also reduced the fee award for supplemental fees, stating that work performed by a financial expert was not related to the finding of discrimination. The Commission Affirmed the Agency’s Award of $2,500 in Nonpecuniary Damages. 2019000438 (Feb. 8, 2019), Mui P. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Request No. On appeal, the Commission found that the AJ’s dismissal of the hearing request was appropriate, because Complainant failed to provide adequate responses to the discovery requests and rebuffed the Agency’s attempt to discuss the deficiencies in his response); Alden G. v. Social Security Administration, EEOC Appeal No. Blog Home. The Agency then reduced that amount by 50 percent, reasoning that Complainant prevailed on only part of her claim. Pamala L. v. U.S. Employers find themselves once again looking out over a dim and uncertain horizon, as it remains to be seen how new priorities and strategies will be applied to a radically different employment landscape. 0120172935 (Feb. 26, 2019), Carroll R. v. Dep’t of the Navy, EEOC Appeal No. Thus, the time limitation is not triggered until Complainant reasonably suspects discrimination, but before all the facts that support a charge of discrimination have become apparent. 2019001265 (Apr. Complainant filed an EEO complaint alleging, among other things, that he was subjected to harassment in retaliation for his protected EEO activity. The Commission was not persuaded that common questions existed among the purported class members. Based on the events of this case, the Commission found that six months was not prompt. Complainant entered a settlement agreement with the Agency providing that Complainant would fill out a form and verbally remind management of medical appointments during work hours and call her supervisor with any questions about delivery issues. 2019002336 (June 11, 2019), Zenia M. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 29, 2019), request for reconsideration denied, EEOC Request No. 5, 2019), Jerold Y. v. U.S. Portal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. The supplemental petition for work expended by the successor attorney on tasks such as reviewing the file, sending introductory emails to Complainant, and providing payment information to the Agency was unreasonable and the additional work was not productive. 20-5288 (6th Cir. The Agency was ordered, among other things, to investigate Complainant’s entitlement to compensatory damages, and to provide training to management officials at the facility emphasizing the Agency’s obligations regarding reasonable accommodation. Denial of Reasonable Accommodation Found. Darell C. v. U.S. Formal Complaint Timely Filed. Among other remedies, the Agency awarded Complainant $500 in non-pecuniary damages for the harm she suffered because of the failure to accommodate. 14, 2019). The Commission also awarded Complainant $50 in pecuniary damages, noting that the Agency did not contest Complainant’s claim. The Commission affirmed the Agency’s dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim, stating that Complainant failed to provide evidence showing a causal connection between S1’s comments and her EEO activity. 3, 2019), Leisa C. v. Dep’t. While Complainant questioned the AJ’s finding that the Agency engaged in the interactive process after the 10-week period, the Commission found that substantial evidence showed that the Agency attempted to obtain additional information regarding Complainant’s condition after it granted his request to telework, and it was reasonable to allow time to implement the accommodation. 0120170802 (May 17, 2019), Kyong L. v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. The Commission noted that a brief failure to satisfy a time frame specified in a settlement agreement does not prevent a finding of substantial compliance of its terms, especially when as here all required actions were subsequently completed. Complainant’s absences, some of which required hospitalization, were due largely to symptoms of her diabetes, and Complainant or her husband consistently and timely notified Complainant’s supervisor of the absences, including the reasons for them. Therefore, Complainant was subjected to unlawful retaliation. Complainant stated that he had to forgo participating in local mountain trail races and was not able to train because of mental and physical exhaustion. The Commission found that Complainant had established a prima facie claim of disability discrimination, and that the Agency stated a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for not allowing Complainant to take a polygraph test, specifically that a polygraph test was required of all new employees of the department and that there was no waiver. The Commission found that Complainant was not alleging that a single personnel action was discriminatory. Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. 2019002676 (July 3, 2019). Postal Serv., EEOC Appeal No. Since the Agency found Complainant could not perform the essential functions of his current position with or without reasonable accommodation, the Agency, absent undue hardship, was obligated to offer or provide reassignment to a vacant position, which it did not do. Complainant’s work history did not reflect any of the critical experiences or credentials. COVID-19 Guidance. Agency Failed to Support Dismissal for Untimely EEO Contact. Claims of a few isolated incidents were insufficient to state a harassment claim. Commission disagreed with the EEO Counselor contact workers on other tours received overtime, while the ’. Fully developed regarding S1 and S2 ’ s time period investigation to the Commission agreed with the AJ properly the. Documentation establishing her emotional and physical harm he suffered due to the Agency ’ harassing... & untimely EEO contact 2019003096 ( July 17, 2019 ), iliana v.! 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