EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations affirms dismissal of employee case. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability and reprisal when the Agency held his disability retirement documents for almost two months before submitting them to the Office of Personnel Management. Following the initial investigation, the Complainant requested a hearing which was denied by the Administrative Judge (AJ) because the Complainant failed to submit a witness list. The AJ remanded the case to the Agency, which issued a Final Agency Decision (FAD) concluding that although Complainant established that he is an individual with a disability, the alleged actions were not an adverse action.  The Agency further found that the Agency provided legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for its actions, but Complainant did not prove that the Agency’s reasons were pretext for unlawful discrimination. Complainant appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) Office of Federal Operations (OFO).

On appeal, the OFO agreed with the Agency’s FAD, holding that assuming the Complainant was a person with a disability for purposes of the Rehabilitation Act and proven a prima facie case, the Agency had articulated a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its actions. Specifically, the Agency accounted for the entirety of the time lapse, and was able to show that such a timeline was typical for processing disability retirement benefits. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s FAD finding no discrimination.

Muhammad v. Social Security Administration, EEOC Appeal No. 0120111071 (September 10, 2012)

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in hearings before the EEOC and the MSPB throughout the United States. You can set a 15 minute free consultation with Attorney Angel right on this website.