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Federal Employment Case Victories

Complainant v. FERC, September 2018 – Ms. White negotiated a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client alleging a hostile work environment and reprisal.

Complainant v. Federal Fire Department, September 2018– Ms. Cottrell obtained a five-figure settlement against the Department of the Navy’s Federal Fire Department where she represented a female employee who faced sexual harassment and retaliation after she reported the harassment.

Complainant v. Agency, August 2018 – Ms. White settled a non-promotion complaint brought by an employee alleging gender and age discrimination, including the promotion and payments into the retirement system so the client received credit for the years she was denied the promotion due to discrimination.

Appellant v. U.S. Health and Human Services — The Agency removed the client from Federal service based on allegations of misrepresentation and conduct unbecoming a law enforcement officer. In June 2018, Mr. Pitts-Wiley negotiated a clean-record retirement. The Agency agreed to pay 5-months of back pay, six-figures in damages, and all attorneys’ fees and costs, just shy of six-figures.

Appellant v. NIH – In April 2018, Mr. Pitts-Wiley represented a law enforcement officer under investigation for misconduct. The client was exonerated in July 2018.

Complainant v. Dep’t of the Air Force, March 2018—Ms. Cottrell obtained a complicated settlement against the Department of the Air Force where she represented a female employee who faced sex discrimination and retaliation.

Phoebe O. v.  National Reconnaissance Office, EEOC Appeal No. 0120161129 (Mar. 30, 2018) – The Office of Federal Operations vacated the National Reconnaissance Office’s procedurally deficient Final Agency Decision, which was issued after Ms. McKinin’s client had already timely submitted a valid hearing request. OFO ordered that Ms. McKinin’s client’s EEOC hearing request be remanded to the Hearings Unit for processing.

Complainant v. AAFES, February 2018 – Ms. White won findings of race discrimination and reprisal in an EEO complaint brought by an employee regarding unfairly low ratings he received two years in a row.  The agency did not appeal.

Complainant v. Defense Media Activity, July 2017—Ms. Cottrell obtained a liability finding after a default judgment against the Defense Media Activity for retaliation, age, gender, and disability discrimination on behalf of a client who was denied an accommodation of a flexible schedule and telework and suspended. Mrs. Cottrell was able to obtain a sizable settlement that included relief beyond that awarded in the liability finding.

Complainant v. Dep’t of Homeland Security, Appeal No. 0720150002 (2017): Ms. Friedman represented a complaint which involved allegations of sex and retaliation discrimination and harassment creating a hostile work environment that eventually led to the Complainant no longer being able to work due to impact of the work environment on her health. The Administrative Judge issued sanctions against the agency through a default judgment in EEOC No. 410-2012-00197X for the agency’s obstruction of the discovery process, and its failure to timely complete an expedited investigation of an amendment to the complaint. Upon the agency’s appeal of the damages award, the Office of Federal Operations sustained the hearing judge’s decision to award Complainant six-figures in non-pecuniary compensatory damages, six-figures in pecuniary compensatory damages and six-figures in attorney fees. This award of compensatory damages is one of the biggest awards ever by an EEOC administrative judge.

Complainant v. Central Intelligence Agency, Appeal No. 0120130510:Ms. Friedman represented a complaint involved in allegations of sexual harassment creating a hostile work environment and reprisal discrimination resulting in the termination of the Complainant. The Office of Federal Operations reversed the Administrative Judge’s decision granting summary judgment finding that the allegations of harassment did rise to level of actionable harassment and there were material facts in dispute about whether certain responsible management officials knew of Complainant’s protected EEO activity and its connection to his termination.

Complainant v. Department of the Air Force – On September 7, 2017, an EEOC Administrative Judge found the Agency was liable for discriminating against the employee on the basis of race and in reprisal for prior EEO activity for failing to renew her term appointment and subjecting her to a hostile work environment harassment. Subsequently, in August 2018, Mr. Pitts-Wiley negotiated a settlement in which the Agency agreed to retroactively reinstate her effective October 1, 2011, to a supervisory term appointment with back pay and benefits plus interest, including all within-grade step increases. The Agency will provide her with training. The term appointment is extended to no earlier than February 2022. Term appointments are often renewed on an annual basis, but the client is guaranteed an appointment for the next 3.5 years. Additionally, the Agency agreed to a six-figure lump sum payment.

Complainant v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC No. 520-2012-00400X: Ms. Friedman represented a complaint which involved allegations of race, sex, disability and reprisal discrimination and harassment creating a hostile work environment. The Administrative Judge issued sanctions against the agency to include an adverse inference on all of Complainant’s discovery requests, and ultimately a default judgment against the agency for its failure to provide timely and sufficient discovery responses. The Order awarding damages included: implementation of reasonable accommodations; reassignment; cleaning of personnel files; amended performance evaluations; restoration of leave hours; payment of six-figures in non-pecuniary compensatory damages; payment in pecuniary compensatory damages; and reimbursement of five-figures in attorney fees.

Miskill v. U.S. Social Security Administration, United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, No. 2016-1598, (Decided July 20, 2017) Judith Miskill, who was represented by Ms. D’Agostino and Tom Gagliardo, AFGE Local 1923, prevailed in a challenge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to an Arbitrator’s award sustaining her removal by the Social Security Administration for violations of the Agency’s time and attendance policy. Because the Arbitrator’s decision is not in accordance with law, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the matter in a precedential decision clarifying the use of comparator information in a federal agency penalty analysis.

Appellant v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC Appeal No. 0120162226 (March 7, 2017) After the CIA dismissed the Appellant’s sexual harassment complaint for alleged untimeliness, Ms. D’Agostino successfully appealed the decision to the EEOC, which overturned the CIA’s decision to dismiss the complaint and ordered the CIA to investigate the claims.

Complainant v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC No. 570-2013-00431X (February 16, 2017) Ms. D’Agostino successfully represented a senior CIA employee who faced retaliation after reporting disability discrimination and harassment following treatment for cancer, in an administrative hearing before the EEOC. An Administrative Judge found the CIA liable for discrimination and awarded appropriate relief.

Plaintiffs v. Department of Education, January 2017 – Ms. White obtained a seven-figure settlement in a ten-year federal lawsuit in which she represented a group of former employees of the Department of Education in a complaint alleging disability and age discrimination, stemming from a 2005 Reduction in Force (“RIF”).

Agnus L. v. U.S. Department of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 0120161698 (Sept. 20, 2016) – Ms. McKinin achieved a favorable result for her client on appeal of Department of the Army’s Final Agency Decision dismissing her client’s pro se formal EEO complaint during the formal investigative stage of the EEO process. The Office of Federal Operations agreed with Ms. McKinin that each of the bases of dismissal proffered by the Department of Army were erroneous, and accordingly, rescinded the determination and remanded Ms. McKinin’s client’s EEO complaint for the proper adjudication.


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