News from the Federal Circuit: Although the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) continues without quorum, its chief reviewing court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has continued deciding federal sector adverse action cases. Recently, the Federal Circuit issued two new decisions of interest:
News from Passman & Kaplan: The discrimination complaint of Tricia Newbold, an employee at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, was recently featured in the press. Ms. Newbold has alleged that she suffered ongoing disability discrimination based on her dwarfism at the hands of her supervisor, among other claims. Ms. Newbold's supervisor allegedly discriminated against her by repeatedly impairing Ms. Newbold's office access and by allowing office equipment and files to be placed out of her reach on several separate occasions. For example, Ms. Newbold alleges that her supervisor moved work-related security files that Ms. Newbold needed to a high location and then told her, "You have people, have them get you the files you need; or you can ask me." Based on these allegations, Ms. Newbold has filed a discrimination complaint, which is currently pending at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Newbold's story was first publicly reported in a January 24, 2019 by NBC News. Ms. Newbold is represented by Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Edward H. Passman.
Developments at the EEOC: On October 15, 2018, Chief Administrative Judge Patrick Kokenge of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Miami District Office issued a Consent Order awarding the Complainant remedies in EEOC No. 570-2014-001194X.
Developments at the EEOC: On September 26, 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Office of Federal Operations issued its decision in Cleveland C. et al. v. Dept. of Defense, EEOC Appeal Nos. 0120170405-0120170414. Shifting from prior precedent, the EEOC recognized reasonable accommodation protections for persons suffering from pseudofolliculitis barbae (PB).
News from Passman & Kaplan: Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan will present a webinar on disability issues in the federal workplace on September 13, 2018, at 12:00pm Eastern. The webinar, entitled "Accommodating and Managing Federal Employees with Mental and Intellectual Disabilities" is presented by LRP Publications. For further information, see LRP Publications' website: http://www.lrpfederalwebinars.com/register.html.
News from Passman & Kaplan: As a public service, Passman & Kaplan wished to generally warn federal employees about the often-short response deadlines that apply when federal employees are faced with a proposed adverse action, in light of recent changes in the law.
News from the Courts: On August 11, 2017, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its revised opinion in Ortiz-Diaz v. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, No. 15-5008. Reversing its own prior decision, the panel reinstated portions of Mr. Ortiz-Diaz's EEO complaint.
News from the Courts: On June 16, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a precedential decision in Lee v. U.S. Agency for International Development et al., No. 16-5276. The D.C. Circuit addressed the issue of whether a federal employee has a civil remedy for alleged false statements by managers under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
Developments at the EEOC: On January 3, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register, 82 Fed.Reg. 654-681. The Final Rule clarifies the federal government's obligations as a model employer of disabled individuals.
Developments at the MSPB: On November 18, 2016, the Merit Systems Protection Board issued its decision in Hess v. U.S. Postal Service, 2016 MSPB 40. The Board affirmed its authority to award compensatory damages in mixed cases where discrimination is alleged.