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MSPB ordered employee back to work, but does not find discrimination and EEOC concurred. Petitioner filed a petition with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) seeking a review of a Final Order issued by the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB). He alleged that he was discriminated against on the basis of disability (unspecified compensable injuries) by constructively suspending him twice. After a hearing with the MSPB Administrative Judge (AJ), the AJ ordered the Agency to reverse the two suspensions, but not based on disability discrimination.

The facts were as follows: Petitioner had experienced a panic attack at work during a quarrel with his supervisor and branch manager. After the episode, the branch manager contacted the occupational health officer who told her that the Petitioner should not be allowed to return to work unless he provided medical clearance documentation. Despite providing the requested documentation, the Petitioner was not allowed to return to work until a month later. The second suspension occurred when he was interviewed by several postal inspectors concerning alleged irregularities in his worker’s compensation claims. Following the relevant interview, the branch manager placed him on administrative leave and ordered him not to return until the investigation had been completed. The investigation did not result in any criminal charges; however, the Petitioner was not allowed to return to work for almost two months.

The MSPB AJ found that the Agency placing him on enforced leave constituted constructive suspensions for which the Petitioner had been denied due process, but that neither incidents resulted from disability discrimination.  On appeal, the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) held that the Petitioner did not present any evidence tending to show that the panic attack he experienced was caused by or symptomatic of a physical or mental impairment, not had he presented any evidence that he had a record of an impairment that substantially limited a major life activity. As a result, the OFO concurred with the MSPB AJ’s final decision finding no discrimination based on disability.

Martinez v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Petition No. 03A00039 (July 17, 2001) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/03A00039.txt