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Developments at the EEOC: Passman & Kaplan Wins Default Judgment

Developments at the EEOC: On April 6, 2015, the General Services Administration (GSA) decided not to appeal the default judgment order imposed against it in EEOC No. 570-2012-00608X. GSA was sanctioned for its failure to timely investigate an EEO complaint, in a case where the Complainant did not receive the report of investigation from GSA until 506 days after the formal complaint, and 350 days after the last amendment.

Complainant claimed that GSA had discriminated on the bases of race, sex and/or reprisal through various actions, including removal from the Senior Executive Service, issuance of a negative performance evaluation, and harassment. Under EEOC caselaw, agencies who fail to timely complete formal complaint investigations within the deadlines specified in EEOC regulations are subject to sanctions, up to and including the imposition of default judgment against the agency. After GSA failed to timely investigate the complaint, Complainant filed a request for hearing and motion for default judgment. EEOC Supervisory Administrative Judge Regina Stephens found that GSA's delay in investigating the complaint-which exceeded the deadlines in EEOC regulations by no less than 170 days-warranted default judgment on all claims. After holding a damages hearing, Supervisory Administrative Judge Stephens awarded Complainant retroactive reinstatement to the SES, back pay, $50,000 in compensatory damages, a neutral reference should Complainant decide to look for an alternative job, just under $50,000 in attorneys' fees and costs, remedial EEO training at GSA, and posting of notice.

Complainant was represented by Passman & Kaplan Senior Associate Adria S. Zeldin.

If you are a federal employee with a discrimination complaint, and wish to discuss your rights, please consider contacting Passman & Kaplan, P.C. to request an initial consultation.

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