Federal agency loses appeal of decision in favor of federal employee. Complainant, a federal employee, filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of race and sex. After the conclusion of the initial investigation, the Complainant requested a hearing before an Administrative Judge (AJ). The AJ issued a decision finding discrimination on the bases of race and sex and awarded damages. The Agency issued a final agency decision (FAD) rejecting the AJ’s decision and filed an appeal.

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) agreed with the AJ decision. The OFO found that the Complainant had proved he was subjected to discrimination. It also found that the Agency’s articulated reasons for its actions were pretextual. It based the decision, in part, on the basis that the Agency regarded him as a “big, Black man” and racially stereotyped his behavior as aggressive and intimidating. The OFO further held that the AJ’s award of damages was appropriate and reversed the Agency’s final decision.

Marquis K. v. Dep’t of the Navy, EEOC Appeal No. 0720180014 (May 10, 2019) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/0720180014.pdf

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