EEOC Issues Annual Performance Report
On November 15, 2017, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its annual Performance and Accountability Report, accompanied by a press release that touted the Agency’s improved management of case inventory, and the $86 million in monetary relief for federal employees and applicants that was secured through the EEOC.
The report indicates that during FY17, the EEOC resolved 6,661 hearing requests on behalf of federal employees alone. The EEOC also reported that it resolved 4,284 appeals of final agency decisions, including “85 percent of appeals that were more than 500 days old at the beginning of the fiscal year.”
In FY17, the EEOC issued 68 findings of discrimination, including some that the EEOC noted with specificity in its report due to their notable precedent. Marine v., et al v. Social Security Administration, EEOC Appeal Nos. 0720170001 – 0720170008 (March 20, 2017), included a finding of age discrimination “on complaints filed by a group of Social Security Administration employees when the agency used the Administrative Careers with America (ACWA) exam as way to screen out internal employees and recruit younger external hires for Claims Representative positions in certain district offices in New Jersey.”
In Lara G. v. USPS, EEOC Request No. 0520130618 (June 9, 2017), the Commission, “overruling its contrary precedent, held that when determining an award of non-pecuniary compensatory damages, it may consider the present-day value of comparable awards. Thus, after determining a compensatory damages award based on the severity of the complainant’s injury and the amount awarded by the Commission in prior cases involving similar injuries, the decision-maker may then take into consideration the age of the comparable awards and adjust the current award accordingly.”
In Brenton W. v. Department of Transportation (FAA), EEOC Appeal No. 0120130554 (June 29, 2017), the Commission “determined that a former Air Traffic Controller, removed during the PATCO strike by presidential order in 1981, was discriminated against based on age when he was excluded from eligibility for reemployment for any controller position above the GS-9 level. The decision found that the Agency’s policy excluding ex-PATCO candidates from consideration for GS-12/13/14 positions almost exclusively affected workers who were 40 years of age or older, and the agency conceded that the age of ex-PATCO applicants was considered in the decision to only hire them at the GS-9 level. As such, OFO found that the Agency used ex-PATCO status as a proxy for age. The agency was ordered to retroactively place Complainant into a GS-12 controller position effective October 31, 1996, until the date on which he would have reached mandatory retirement.”
In Velva B., et al. v. USPS, EEOC Appeal Nos. 0720160006 & 0720160007 (September 25, 2017), the Commission “affirmed the EEOC administrative judge’s determination that the United States Postal Service violated the Rehabilitation Act on a class-wide basis affecting thousands of employees nationwide through the implementation of its National Reassessment Program (NRP).” According to the Commission’s report, “the NRP was ostensibly designed to save money by eliminating ‘make work’ positions. The true purpose was to get disabled employees off the agency’s rolls without regard to their rights under the Rehabilitation Act.”
Read the full report: Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2017
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Posted in Case Law Update