EEOC affirms Administrative Judge’s dismissal of federal employee hearing. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability when he received a letter from the Agency denying his request for a transfer. Following the initial investigation Complainant requested a hearing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) later ended the hearing process and ordered the Agency to issue a decision when the Complainant failed to respond to the AJ’s order to reply to the Agency’s discovery request. The Agency issued a final agency decision (FAD) finding no discrimination concluding that Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination based on disparate treatment because Complainant did not meet the requirement of the disability standard. The FAD further concldued that, even if the Complainant established a prima facie case, the Agency had articulated a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its action by a preponderance of the evidence. The Agency further noted in its Final Decision that Complainant’s transfer request was denied due to 12 unscheduled absences in one year in Complainant’s record. Complainant appealed.

On appeal the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) had to determine whether Complainant was considered a disabled person and whether the Agency knew of Complainant’s disability. After a review of the record, the OFO held that Complainant was not subjected to discrimination, reasoning that even if Complainant had established a prima facie case of discrimination, the Agency articulated a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its action denying the transfer request- namely Complainant’s poor attendance. The OFO further noted that because the Agency officials involved in the transfer denial had no idea of Complainant’s disability, they could not intentionally discriminate against said disability.

William F. Huggins v. United States Postal Service, EEO Appeal No. 01A43730 (November 22, 2004)