Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC

A Washington, D.C. based law firm with a civil practice in employment law

Category: EEOC (page 1 of 2)

EEOC Issues Decision in SSA Class Action

The EEOC issued an appellate decision in the Jefferson v. SSA Class Action. Find out more about the decision by clicking here.

Class Action Victory — Claims Due Now

The EEOC entered a final decision finding that the U.S. Postal Service discriminated against the Class of approximately 130,000 USPS employees when it subjected them to the National Reassessment Process (NRP) between May 5, 2006 and July 1, 2011.

Class Member claims for individual money awards are due now. The deadline for an individual Class Member to submit a claim for money damages and other relief is 30 days from when the individual receives a written notice from the USPS about the case. To be safe, attorneys for the Class have recommended that Class Members submit a claim by April 12, 2018. If a Class Member fails to submit a timely claim, the Class Member may lose the ability to seek any individual relief in the case.

Directions for submitting claims, a sample suggested Claim Form, and more information about the case is available at NRPclassaction.com.

KPWH is proud to have represented the class in this case, and to have achieved this monumental legal victory.

SSA Issues Final Decision in Class Action

The Social Security Administration issued its Final Decision in the Jefferson v. SSA Class Action in September 2017. Both parties are appealing the matter to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations. For additional details, click here.

SSA Class Meeting

Thursday, March 30, 2017
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Woodlawn Senior Center
2120 Gwynn Oak Avenue, Woodlawn, Maryland 21207

 

NBC News reports on SSA Class Actions

NBC News Baltimore affiliate WBAL reported on the class actions that KPWH continues to fight on behalf of African American males at the Headquarters of the Social Security Administration. Click here to view the report.

For more information about the SSA class actions, click here.

Contact Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris for a free consultation to discuss your own potential legal matter.

CBP Officer Class Action certified

The EEOC certified a class action filed by Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, challenging the selection process for CBP Officer positions. The class action alleges that the physical fitness test for CBPO positions discriminates against female candidates.

Learn more about the CBP Officer class action by clicking here.

KPWH Settles Sexual Orientation Case

Kerrie Riggs and Cathy Harris of Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC proudly represented Dr. Patricia Kinne, a lesbian psychiatrist at the VA, in her complaints before the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the EEOC. The case was recently settled with the help of the Office of Special Counsel, with Dr. Kinne receiving essentially full relief, including compensatory damages and attorneys fees. Dr. Kinne was discriminated against when she was threatened with removal after patients complained that she had disclosed she was a lesbian or referred to her wife. The patients cited Dr. Kinne’s sexual orientation as a basis for discontinuing their treatment with her. VA management at the Louisville VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Kentucky stated that Dr. Kinne’s disclosure of “personal information” was harmful to the doctor-patient relationship and warned she might be terminated. OSC investigated and found that while there were several hundred change-of-provider requests from patients against psychiatrists during the relevant time period, only two requests – the ones related to Dr. Kinne’s sexual orientation– were treated as potential corrective or disciplinary issues. In their OSC interviews, VA management officials were unable to distinguish their treatment of Dr. Kinne’s conduct from others who had received complaints, and provided inconsistent reasoning to support their actions. Dr. Kinne is a well-regarded psychiatrist with no other reported performance or conduct issues, and was complimented by the VA in 2013 for having relatively few patient complaints. The case settled just before an EEOC hearing on Dr. Kinne’s discrimination claims.

See OSC’s Press Release about the case by clicking here.

See Government Executive coverage of the case by clicking here.

Other coverage on settlement available by clicking here.

DEA Class Action Victory — Claim Forms Due Now

The EEOC has confirmed the finding of class-wide discrimination against female DEA special agents.  The process for individual awards to Class Members has begun, and Claim Forms should be submitted immediately.  For more information about the case, please click here.

EEOC Finds Class-Wide Discrimination

A June 2013 order from the EEOC found that the Drug Enforcement Administration engaged in class-wide discrimination against female DEA Special Agents. The EEOC ordered that separate hearings be conducted to determine the extent of monetary damages due to class members, damages that are expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars.  KPW has proudly represented the class of female DEA Special Agents for decades. To learn more about the case, click here.

EEOC Modifies Regulations For Discrimination Cases Filed By Federal Employees

After issuing a 2009 notice of proposed rulemaking and receiving comments, the EEOC issued changes to federal regulations on July 25, 2012.  These modifications to the federal regulations impact the consideration of discrimination complaints filed by federal employees and applicants.  Significant modifications to 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 are discussed below.

Compliance

Federal executive agencies are required to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies.  Under the recent modifications of 29 C.F.R. Part 1614, the EEOC will review agency programs for compliance with Civil Rights laws and the EEOC’s Management Directives.  If the EEOC determines that an agency’s EEO program is not in compliance, the EEOC will give the agency a reasonable opportunity to cure defects that have been found, provide a reasonable justification for its non-compliance, or establish that its program is in compliance.  If an agency fails to satisfy one of these criteria, a notice of non-compliance will be issued.  Under the rule, the EEOC Chair has discretion to determine whether a notice of non-compliance should be made public.

Pilot Projects

Under the new rule, the EEOC may allow agencies to conduct pilot programs for procedural complaint processing procedures that vary from the requirements of 29 C.F.R. Part 1614.  An approved pilot project can run for two years, and may be extended for an additional year if good cause is shown.

Notice of Rights

Under the EEOC regulations, an agency is required to complete its investigation and notify a complainant that he has the right to request a hearing (or an immediate final decision) within 180 days from the filing of the complaint.  The modified regulations now require that if the agency does not complete its investigation within 180 days, the agency must, within 180 days, issue a written notice to the complainant informing him that the agency has been unable to complete its investigation within the required time limits, and the agency must estimate and provide to complainant a date by which its investigation will be completed.  The notice must also inform the complainant that if he does not want to wait until the agency complete its investigation, he may instead request a hearing or file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court.  The EEOC, in the explanatory preamble, makes clear that a full range of sanctions are available should an agency not complete its investigation within the required time period, and that these sanctions may be warranted even if the agency issues the required notice under the new final rule.

Retaliation

Under the new rule, the EEOC clarified that federal employees alleging discrimination in proposals to take personnel actions or other preliminary steps to taking personnel actions should be dismissed unless the complaint alleges that the proposal or preliminary step is retaliatory.  That is, challenges to proposals or preliminary steps are actionable if the federal employee alleges that the proposal or preliminary step was issued: (1) because the complainant had engaged in prior EEO activity; (2) because the complainant had opposed a practice which he believed violated one of the federal EEO laws; or (3) to dissuade the complainant, or a reasonable person in the complainant’s circumstances, from engaging in protected EEO activity.

Class Complaints

The EEOC’s final rules makes two significant changes to the class complaint process.  First, the final rule seeks to shorten the class certification process.  An appeal of the acceptance or dismissal of a class complaint will be processed by the EEOC within 90 days.  Second, the final rule makes an administrative judge’s decision on the merits of a class complaint a final decision, which the agency can fully implement or appeal in its final action.  If the agency does not fully implement the administrative judge’s decision, the agency may appeal the parts of the decision that it wishes to contest.

EEOC Process: Electronic Filing

Agencies are now required to submit appeals and compliant files to EEOC in a digital format.  Complainants are encouraged to submit their documentation electronically.

MD-110

In addition to the explicit changes to 29 C.F.R. Part 1614, the EEOC indicated that it will revise Management Directive 110 to provide additional guidance regarding the changes made by the final rule.  The EEOC will continue to review the federal sector EEO process in order to improve its quality and efficiency.

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