EEOC affirms Agency FAD finding employee did not show discrimination or failure to accommodate. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the bases of disability (neurological) when her request for a reasonable accommodation was denied and the Agency understated her rate of pay. Complainant requested modified assignment with restrictions of no pushing/pulling/lifting over five pounds; no bending or stooping; and primarily sedentary duties requiring a chair with back support- all of which the Agency denied stating Complainant’s physician did not provide sufficient medial rationale to support Complainant’s claim that she was an individual with a disability. Complainant then filed an appeal of the final decision with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The MSPB Administrative Judge (AJ) held a jurisdictional hearing and found that Complainant had failed to establish jurisdiction over her restoration appeal. Complainant then filed a petition for review with the full MSPB Board, which affirmed the MSPB AJ’s finding that Complainant had not established jurisdiction. Afterward, the Agency advised Complainant of her right to request a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) AJ or a final agency decision without a hearing, and Complainant requested a final decision (FAD). The Agency issued the final decision which concluded that Complainant failed to prove that the Agency subjected her to discrimination as alleged and that Complainant had not shown that she was an individual with a disability. While the Agency noted that Complainant had a record of a physical condition, it determined that Complainant had not provided evidence that she was substantially limited in her ability to perform a major life activity. The Agency further held that she did not show that she could perform the core primary duties of her position as a City Carrier, with or without an accommodation. Finally, the Agency found that management officials articulated legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for their actions. Complainant appealed to the EEOC.

Assuming the Complainant was a qualified individual with a disability, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) held on appeal that Complainant did not show that there was a vacant, funded secretarial position available for her. Additionally, she did not submit any evidence showing that she was qualified to perform the essential functions of the secretary position she was seeking, or that there was a likelihood that a secretary position would become available. The OFO further held that Complainant was unable to sufficiently prove that the Agency discriminated against her when it understated her rate of pay. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s FAD finding no discrimination.

Sara S. v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 0120142732 (May 19, 2016)