EEOC dismisses federal employee case because he offered no evidence of a disability. Complainant filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) alleging discrimination on the basis of physical disability (lumbar strain of the back) and retaliation when he was not hired for a restricted custodial position. During the initial investigation, Complainant withdrew his allegation of retaliation. The Agency issued a Final Agency Decision (FAD) dismissing Complainant’s complaint on the ground that it failed to state a claim under EEOC regulations, reasoning that the complaint was based on his entitlement to employment preference as a veteran with a 10-point civil service preference, not for disability under the Rehabilitation Act. The EEOC reversed the agency’s dismissal, finding that complainant clearly stated his belief that he was discriminated against on the basis of his disability and therefore stated a claim under the Rehabilitation Act. The Agency conducted a supplemental investigation and issued a new FAD in which it found that Complainant did not establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination because he did not establish that he was “disabled” or “qualified” as defined by the Rehabilitation Act. The Agency further held that management had articulated a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for failing to hire complainant. Complainant appealed.
On appeal the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) noted that the Complainant provided very little evidence that he meets the Rehabilitation Act’s definition of disabled. Without any evidence establishing that he was disabled under the Rehabilitation act, Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination. The OFO affirmed the agency’s finding of no discrimination on the basis of disability.
Comador Springs, Jr. v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 01972844 (January 21, 2000) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/01972844.txt
Attorney Kirk J Angel represents federal employees in EEO investigations throughout the US. If you are a federal employee, you can set a free 15 minute consultation with Attorney Angel right on this website.