EEOC Affirms Agency FAD that refused to implement an Administrative Judge’s Decision. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging the Agency discriminated against him on the bases of race (Hispanic), sex (male), color (Brown), disability (lumbar strain and bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome), and age (D.O.B. 2/13/43). Complainant request a hearing following the initial investigation. The Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision dismissing most of the claims. However, the AJ found that the Agency had discriminated against Complainant because of his association with someone with a disability by refusing to grant Complainant’s request for a different work schedule. The AJ ordered Complainant be paid $5,000 for pain and suffering and that the Agency work with Complainant to find an accommodation for his child. The Agency did not implement the AJ’s decision, and on appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

On appeal, the Agency requested that the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) to affirm its Final Order. The OFO found that summary judgment for the claims was appropriate, and that the claims regarding Complainant and his son should be analyzed under a Disparate Treatment analysis. The OFO held that although Complainant could establish that he was subjected to an adverse employment action, was qualified for the job at the time, and his employer knew at that time that he had a relationship with an individual with a disability, he was unable to show that the adverse employment action occurred under circumstances which raised a reasonable inference that the disability of the individual with whom he had a relationship was a determining factor in the employer’s decision. Because the Agency was able to establish that similarly situated employees were treated the same as Complainant, and that the main reason for denying Complainant’s request was because he lacked seniority. The OFO reversed the AJ’s finding of disability discrimination on the basis of association discrimination.

Julio A. Helena v. Defense Logistics Agency, EEOC Appeal No. 07A30108 (September 30, 2004)