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EEOC EXPANDS COMPENSATORY DAMAGES AWARD IN GROUNDBREAKING P&K CASE

On June 9, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a precedential decision in Lara G. v. U.S. Postal Service, EEOC Request No. 0520130618. On its own initiative, the EEOC reopened the case to reverse prior precedent on compensatory damages awards. Previously, EEOC administrative judges were required to issue compensatory damages awards similar to prior EEOC damages decisions. P&K argued that this comparison should adjust the earlier damages awards for inflation, to avoid eroding the real value of older compensatory damages awards. In earlier decisions in this case, the administrative judge and the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) both ignored P&K's novel legal argument. The EEOC's new decision-issued directly by the Commission members themselves through the Executive Secretariat-overrules the prior OFO decisions and directs that future damage awards include an adjustment for inflation, increasing compensatory damages awards for both Lara G. and future complainants. Lara G. was represented by Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan. 

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