Developments at the EEOC: On May 8, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) issued its decision in Lidia B. v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 2019001712. Lidia B. involved a settlement agreement where the Agency had agreed to reassign Complainant Lidia B. to a specific office where Complainant was on detail, to be accompanied by a transfer of Complainant’s full-time equivalent (FTE), and a recredit of Complainant’s leave. After the settlement agreement was signed, the Agency then unilaterally declared the settlement agreement void on grounds of alleged mutual mistake, claiming that there was no position to reassign Complainant to in the receiving office (because the Agency hadn’t moved over Complainant’s FTE yet). The Agency took back Complainant’s leave recredit and unilaterally reinstated Complainant’s EEO complaint for processing. Complainant timely petitioned to enforce the breached settlement agreement, and further amended in a new claim while OFO was considering Complainant’s Petition for Enforcement. OFO agreed with Complainant, finding that no mutual mistake had occurred, and therefore the Agency was bound to implement the terms of its settlement agreement. OFO accordingly declared the settlement agreement reinstated and ordered the Agency to implement all remedies in the settlement. OFO ordered the Agency to update its claims processing for the reinstated EEO complaint to reflect that the original claim was settled, with processing to continue on Complainant’s later-amended claim (which was outside the scope of the settlement agreement). OFO further ordered the Agency to pay Complainant’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
Complainant Lidia B. was represented by Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan and Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Principal Andrew J. Perlmutter.