EEOC OFO Reverses Summary Judgment in Sexual Harassment Case

In Paula James v. Leon Panetta, DOD (Defense Threat Reduction Agency), EEOC Appeal No. 0120102361 (OFO Jan. 4, 2012), the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations reversed summary judgment in a sexual harassment case. The decision is interesting because, besides reversing a summary judgment decision in favor of the agency, it deals with a situation where the complainant claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a coworker in 2002 but did not file a complaint at that time (due to fear, shame, fright and confusion as experienced by many sexual harassment victims).

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

D.C. Court of Appeals Orders Office of Employee Appeal to Resolve Cases in Timely Manner

In Washington Teachers’ Union, Local #6 et al. v. Clarence Labor, Jr. et al, No. 11-OA-36 (D.C. Jan. 27, 2012), we (Jay Holland, Veronica Jackson and Brian Markovitz) just got a big victory for Washington Teachers' Union, and in fact all D.C. public employees, before the D.C. Court of Appeals re: the Office of Employee Appeals (OEA) failing to timely complete cases. WTU filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus to force OEA to come into compliance regarding the timely resolution of employee appeals. MWELA and Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO wrote amicus briefs in support, which greatly helped.

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

EEOC Administrative Judge Grants Default Judgment Due to Agency’s Misconduct

In Theresa Devine v. Defense National Guard Bureau (Airforce National Guard, Army Reserve National Guard), EEOC No. 531-2011-00321X (EEOC - Baltimore Field Office Jan. 11, 2012), my co-counsel Gary Gilbert and I are please to report a default judgment was awarded to our client against the D.C. National Guard. The Judge held that the Agency's EEO Director failed to properly inform employees of their rights to file civilian discrimination complaints. Theresa Devine, a former civilian employee of the D.C.

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

Contractor Found to be De Facto Government Employee May Employ Federal EEO Complaint Process

I thought I'd share a recent decision we received from the Office of Federal Operations in the case of Jones v. McHugh (Army), Appeal No. 01-2011-3677. The Agency dismissed Ms. Jones's complaint of sexual harassment in a cursory order stating that she was a contractor, not an employee, and therefore not entitled to the federal EEO complaint process.

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

Virginia Court Awards $116,000 in Attorneys’ Fees

“Advanced Employment Law and Litigation – 2012: 24th Annual ALI-ABA Course of Study,” featuring a Live Mock Jury Demonstration, ThursdaySaturday, March 22-24, 2012,Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, N.W.,Washington, D.C.

MWELA members Bob Fitzpatrick, Bruce Fredrickson, Rick Salzman, Jenny Yang and Debra Katz are on the faculty (along with Peggy Mastroianni, who is always outstanding). Bruce will be doing a mock jury demonstration with Tina Kearns (of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), presided over by Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

Full Fees Awarded at Laffey Rates

Tarquini v. New Dimensions Inc., No CL 80592 (Circuit Court of Prince William County, VA).

Thank you to each of you who graciously provided advice, affidavits and assistance with the fee petition I filed in state court arising from damages under the Equal Pay Act. There were two counts in the complaint - breach of contract and EPA. The damages awarded after trial were $33,985.53 for the contract claim and $13,734.08 for the EPA (comp and liquidated). On January 9, 2012, the court awarded $116,000.00 in fees and $8,500 in costs.

– submitted by Marni E. Byrum

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January

OFO Affirms Default Judgment

Adkins v. FDIC, EEOC Appeal No. 0720080052 (OFO Jan. 13, 2012).

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Wins at EEOC and County Personnel Board

I am pleased to report two wins in January 2012, one in a federal employee EEOC case that was heard by Administrative Judge Palmer over 2 ½ years ago, and the other in the Prince George’s County Personnel Board. The federal employee case involved retaliatory non-selection for a GS-13 position and an unending detail to a clerical position where the AJ ordered a promotion with 4 ½ years of back pay, benefits, and interest, an end to the detail, and a modest $15,000 in compensatory damages.

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Newsletter - January/February 2012
January

MSPB Awards Full Fees at Laffey Rates

Robert Lee Greene v. Department of Homeland Security, No. AT-0752-10-1029-A-1 (MSPB Atlanta Regional Office Jan. 25, 2012).

I am thrilled to report that we won full fees (except $43.25 in costs) at Laffey Rates before the Merit Systems Protection Board. Thanks to Tracy Gonos for writing an outstanding and successful fee petition.

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January