Federal employee fails to show that he was not promoted due to discrimination or reprisal. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the bases of race (Mongoloid), national origin (North American Indian), age (DOB: 5/26/41), disability (20% disability in left knee), and reprisal (prior EEO activity) when he was not selected for the position of Supervisory Planner and Estimator. Following a hearing, the Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision finding no discrimination, finding Complainant failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the members of the recommending panel were aware of the alleged disability. Although Complainant testified that he advised one of the panel members of his disability 15 years prior, the AJ found that conversation to be too long ago to be expected to remember, and that the small notation on the first page of his application noting he was disabled was too easily overlooked to constitute knowledge of the Complainant’s disability status. The AJ further held that the Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of national origin or race discrimination, finding that none of the panel members were aware of the Complainant’s race or national origin, since he looks like a white man. The AJ also found that the Complainant failed to establish a prima facie case of age discrimination or reprisal, and that the Agency articulated legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its employment action towards Complainant- specifically that it chose the most qualified candidate. The Agency implemented the AJ’s decision in its Final Agency Decision (FAD), and the Complainant appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

On appeal, EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO). held that the AJ properly summarized the relevant facts and referenced the appropriate regulations, policies, and laws. The OFO further held that the Complainant failed to provide evidence that any of the Agency’s actions were motivated by a discriminatory animus for his age, race, national origin, or disability, or in retaliation for prior EEO activity. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s FAD finding no discrimination.

Joseph Kozloski, Jr. v. Department of the Navy, EEOC Appeal No. 01984947 (May 24, 2001) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/01984947.txt

Attorney Kirk J. Angel represents federal employees in EEO claims and EEOC hearings. If you are a federal employee, you can set a free 15 consultation right on his website.