EEOC agrees with Agency that federal employee did not show discrimination. Complainant filed an EEO complaint alleging disability discrimination when he received a letter from the Agency denying his request for a transfer. Following the initial investigation, Complainant’s requested for a hearing before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . The hearing was cancelled when the Complainant failed to respond to the Administrative Judge (AJ’s) order to reply to the agency’s discovery request. Thereafter, the Agency entered a Final Agency Decision (FAD). The FAD concluded that Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination because Complainant failed to meet the requirements of the disability standard. The FAD further noted that the Agency’s proffered nondiscriminatory reason for its actions were supported by evidence of the Complainant’s attendance record. Complainant appealed.

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) noted that in his affidavit, Complainant failed to answer several relevant questions such as what his disabling condition was, whether it was permanent or temporary, whether he was regarded as the agency as having an impairment, whether the impairment limited one or more of his major life activities, whether he had requested reasonable accommodations, and more. The OFO first addressed the dismissal of the hearing, holding that the AJ was within his rights to dismiss the hearing as a sanction on the Complainant for not responding to the AJ’s order. As to the discrimination claim, the OFO affirmed the Agency’s finding of no discrimination, holding that the Agency articulated a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its actions in denying the transfer request.

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

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in EEOC and MSPB hearings nationwide.