EEOC finds federal employee did not show discrimination and was a direct threat. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the bases of sex (male), disability (bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder), and age (DOB 1953). The claims stemmed two incidents. First, a supervisor putting his hand within inches of Complainant’s face in a threatening manner. Second, Complainant was not allowed to work for several days one month despite providing a medical release to return to work. Following the initial investigation, Complainant requested a hearing after which the Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision without a hearing finding no discrimination on the rationale that Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. Complainant appealed.

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) held that the AJ’s findings of fact were supported by substantial evidence in the record and that the AJ’s decision properly summarized relevant facts and laws. The OFO noted that the Complainant failed to present any evidence that the Agency’s actions were motivated by discriminatory animus, and concurred that the complainant was not permitted to return because he failed to follow Agency regulations. The OFO further held that the Agency had a reasonable belief that complainant could pose a direct threat due to his medical condition, and thus the request for medical clearance was job-related and consistent with business necessity. The OFO affirmed the agency’s Final Order.

Donald Bruno v. United States Postal Service, EEO Appeal No. 01996301 (January 16, 2002)

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