EEOC agrees federal employee did not prove discrimination based on disability. Complainant filed and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the bases of race (Caucasian), sex (female), reprisal (prior EEO activity), and mental disability (emotional stress). This occurred when she was mandated to meet with a postal service attorney, she was issued a notice of removal, and she was allegedly harassed when she received a solicitation of interest. Following the initial investigation, the Agency issued a Final Agency Decision (FAD) finding Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of racial, sex, disability, and reprisal discrimination because she presented no evidence that similarly situated individuals not in her protected class were treated differently under similar circumstances. The FAD further found that the Agency was able to present legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its actions and Complainant was unable to show such reasons were pretextual. Complainant appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) found that Complainant failed to demonstrate that her emotional stress substantially limited one or more of her major life activities, nor was there any record of such an impairment; therefore, the OFO held she was unable to prove a prima facie case of disability discrimination. The OFO further held that the harassing events Complainant complained of were not enough to rise to the level of conduct that creates a hostile work environment. Finally, the OFO held that the Agency was able to articulate a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its actions, and therefore the Complainant was unable to prove discrimination. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s FAD finding no discrimination.

Carey L. Anderson v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 01970254 (February 23, 2000)

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in EEO claims and in hearings before the EEOC and MSPB nationwide.