September 21, 2021 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Office of Federal Operations (OFO) upheld a decision by an Administrative Judge, awarding $85,000 in compensatory damages, plus payment of full attorneys’ fees to a federal employee client of Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC, who complained of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under the Rehabilitation Act. The responding Agency was an office of the EEOC itself, which was found to have not provided a reasonable accommodation to an employee who was a qualified individual with a disability, and by removing that employee from their position. The EEOC found, among other things, that because of the failure to accommodate, the employee’s alleged performance problems thereafter were not a valid reason to terminate her federal employment, as the Agency did. The decision required the Agency office retroactively reinstate the employee with backpay and interest, to pay compensatory damages, to restore leave, and to pay attorneys’ fees and costs. The office was also required to post public notice of the decision and provide training to the responsible management officials and consider taking disciplinary actions against those officials.
Click here to contact KPWH to discuss your legal rights or legal matter, including if you believe you experienced disability discrimination in your workplace.
Kator, Park, Weiser & Harris, P.L.L.C. attorneys Cathy Harris and Daniel Clark joined with the National Women’s Law Center to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of almost 50 civil rights organizations in support of female student victims of cyber harassment. The brief supports the position that the University of Mary Washington did not fulfill its legal duty under Title IX, which requires schools to address sexual harassment against students. Kator, Park, Weiser & Harris, P.L.L.C. is proud to stand with the National Women’s Law Center to advance the cause of equal access to education for all students, and to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity.
On April 9, 2012, Michael Kator, Chair of KPW’s appellate practice section, argued a highly anticipated case that will help determine the legal requirements for discrimination claims. KPW represents Jorge Ponce, a federal employee who claims to have been discriminated against because of his race when he was not selected for a position at the Library of Congress. At trial, the District Court for the District of Columbia informed the jury that it could not rule in Mr. Ponce’s favor unless he showed that the illegal discrimination was the “sole” reason for the selection decision. On appeal, KPW argues that the court’s jury instruction was in error, as it is inconsistent with the anti-discrimination laws and Supreme Court precedent. KPW was supported by amicus briefs filed by the AARP and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
If you have a discrimination case that is on appeal or may be appealed, contact KPW by clicking here for a free consultation.
On February 10, 2012, Michael Kator argued before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case involving threats to due process protections for federal government employees. In the case of Norris v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Kator asked the court to reverse a termination decision, and protect worker due process rights. The agency’s decision to fire Mr. Norris was based in part on evidence not provided to him. Also, an arbitrator reviewing the case had refused to consider evidence regarding changes in Mr. Norris’s medical condition, and how the improvement in his condition may have impacted his ability to perform his job. Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk described the questions presented by the case as a “difficult area” of the law. The court took the case under advisement.
To listen to a recording of the oral argument, please click here.