EEOC finds no discrimination where managers were unaware of employee’s disability. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability (partially amputated foot) when the Agency terminated his transitional employment and offered him casual employment. Following the initial investigation, the Complainant requested a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge (AJ). The AJ issued a decision finding no discrimination, specifically finding that the Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination because he was not a qualified individual with a disability and that there was no connection between his impairment and his termination. The Agency issued a Final Agency Decision (FAD) concurring with the AJ’s finding of no discrimination, and Complainant appealed to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO).

On appeal, the OFO noted that the record was not fully developed regarding Complainant’s impairment, but even assuming the Complainant is considered a qualified individual with a disability, the circumstances did not create an inference of discrimination. Complainant did not notify his supervisors of his impairment and the issues he was dealing with regarding his food because he felt like they would not understand and label him a whiner. Without knowledge of the situation, the Agency terminated the Complainant’s transitional employment based solely on his absences. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s findings of no discrimination based on disability.

Bebee v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 01980011 (September 28, 2001)

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in EEO claims and EEOC hearings nationwide. You can set a free 15 minute consultation with him directly on his website.