EEOC finds Agency unaware of employee’s disability. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability when he was not selected for the position of General Engineer and he was not selected for the position of Mechanical Engineer. Following the initial investigation, Complainant requested a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge (AJ). Following the hearing, the AJ issued a decision finding no discrimination based on the facts of the case- specifically that the Agency had shown that Complainant did not possess one-year of specialized experience directly related to the position’s duties, and that Complainant failed to prove that management officials were aware of his disability. The Agency implemented the AJ’s decision in their Final Agency Decision (FAD) and Complainant.

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) held that the AJ properly summarized the relevant facts and referenced the appropriate regulations, policies, and laws. The OFO further held that the Agency did not have adequate knowledge of the Complainant’s disability, and that lack of live testimony from one witness was insufficient to show that the AJ’s findings were not supported by substantial evidence. Even assuming the Complainant was an individual with a disability, the OFO found substantial evidence in the record to support the AJ’s conclusions that the Complainant failed to prove the Agency knew of his disability. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s final decision.

Ray v. Department of Energy, EEOC Appeal No. 01983058 (June 28, 2001) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/01983058.txt

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in EEOC hearings and you can set a free 15 minute consultation with him on this website.