Federal agency not liable for harassment because it took prompt action. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging employment discrimination on the basis of sex (as a gay man) and reprisal for the harassment he faced from a coworker. Complainant requested a hearing after the initial investigation; however, he ultimately withdrew his request and the Agency issued a final decision without a hearing in favor of the Agency. Following the FAD, Complainant appealed.

On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) held that the Agency was still not responsible for the harassment because management began immediate investigations and mitigation efforts once the Complainant reported the harassing behavior. Further, the Agency held sexual harassment meetings, counseling was made available for the workers, the coworker was reprimanded, and there was no evidence that the harassment continued after the mitigating actions by the agency.

Colby S. v. Dep’t of the Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. 0120172604 (Apr. 2, 2019) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/0120172604.pdf

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