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DiscriminationSucks  
#1 Posted : Monday, December 10, 2018 12:14:08 PM(UTC)
DiscriminationSucks

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Hello All,

I am new to this forum and the EEO process and have several questions regarding the process and my options. I apologize in advance for the loaded questions!

Context: I have two complaints that are in the formal stage, and I have received a letter stating that the investigation has taken longer than the 180 days allotted and I have the right to request a hearing, or terminate the case and file in district court. If I let the investigation continue, once they are done (in a few months) I can request a hearing or ask the agency to issue a final decision.

1) If any, what are the benefits of requesting a hearing now prior to the investigation being complete? In my head I'd like to think there is some benefit to doing so but I am not sure what.

2) It has only been a few days since I have received the 180 day notice. How feasible is it that sanctions might be posed on the agency? Is this something that I request formally? If so how? Is it done in conjunction with requesting a hearing prior to the investigation being complete?

3) The letter states that I can petition the district court for what sounds like a "free" attorney. Has anyone had any experience doing this? Also, is it safe to assume that since its an appointed attorney, that they won't work in my best interest? How do I go about petitioning for said attorney?

4)The letter states that I can engage in "discovery" as a part of a pre-trial/pre-hearing. I would need documents relating to comparators since one of the claim is based on salaries. Does discovery allow me access to information? At what point do I enter into the discovery process? Do I need to request a hearing first?

5)Is there any overall advice that you guys can provide at this stage of a formal complaint? I am not sure what the best option is here. I have reached out to the agency in attempts to renegotiate a settlement as I'd rather not continue down this dark path if I do not have to. I think the obvious best case scenario would be to have a sanction issued where a judgment is ruled in my favor where the agency is not allowed to respond to any of my documentation. What is the likelihood of this given that I just received a 180 day notice.

Any insight you guys can provide will be EXTREMELY helpful, and know that I am thankful for any information I received.

Have a great day!

Thanks again.
frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:09:21 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
Hello All,

I am new to this forum and the EEO process and have several questions regarding the process and my options. I apologize in advance for the loaded questions!

Context: I have two complaints that are in the formal stage, and I have received a letter stating that the investigation has taken longer than the 180 days allotted and I have the right to request a hearing, or terminate the case and file in district court. If I let the investigation continue, once they are done (in a few months) I can request a hearing or ask the agency to issue a final decision.

1) If any, what are the benefits of requesting a hearing now prior to the investigation being complete? In my head I'd like to think there is some benefit to doing so but I am not sure what.
it puts pressure on the agency to finish the investigation ASAP to try and avoid any major sanctions. Downside, it may turn out that the evidence you need to win just isn't there (the burden of proof is on you to prove discrimination occurred) and a final investigation report may help you see that before you spend the filing fees, etc.

Quote:
2) It has only been a few days since I have received the 180 day notice. How feasible is it that sanctions might be posed on the agency? Is this something that I request formally? If so how? Is it done in conjunction with requesting a hearing prior to the investigation being complete?
Depends...how often have they been late with the investigation? How many times did you amend your complaint? How complicated is the complaint? Have key witnesses left the agency? And so on. All could be legitimate reasons for the delays. They also could have waited until 150 days after you filed to assign the file to an investigator...not a good sign or a way to not get slapped by the judge. You request sanctions AFTER you request a hearing and once an AJ is assigned. You also would need to request specific sanctions (offer a range of options for the AJ, ranging from default judgment to tossing evidence supporting their position or to accepting your statements as facts, etc.

Quote:
3) The letter states that I can petition the district court for what sounds like a "free" attorney. Has anyone had any experience doing this? Also, is it safe to assume that since its an appointed attorney, that they won't work in my best interest? How do I go about petitioning for said attorney?
You can make the request, but understand you will have to submit a financial report showing you cannot afford an attorney (and it may turn out to be moot if the AJ will dismiss your case any way.

Quote:
4)The letter states that I can engage in "discovery" as a part of a pre-trial/pre-hearing. I would need documents relating to comparators since one of the claim is based on salaries. Does discovery allow me access to information? At what point do I enter into the discovery process? Do I need to request a hearing first?
Once you have request a hearing, the next step is a a discovery meeting with the AJ. In that both sides discuss what types of discovery (interrogatories, depositions, etc) and how much of each. Over reach and the AJ will rein you in (and the same goes for the agency if they try to go overboard). The salary comparisons should be in the investigation report. If you haven't provided that info (as in these people are doing the same work as I am , etc and are paid more) to the investigator, then the ROI will be deficient. If I was the agency, I'd make certain that info is in the report to avoid sanctions (if they are true comparators).

Quote:
5)Is there any overall advice that you guys can provide at this stage of a formal complaint? I am not sure what the best option is here. I have reached out to the agency in attempts to renegotiate a settlement as I'd rather not continue down this dark path if I do not have to. I think the obvious best case scenario would be to have a sanction issued where a judgment is ruled in my favor where the agency is not allowed to respond to any of my documentation. What is the likelihood of this given that I just received a 180 day notice.
Trying to settle is always a good thing. And sometimes the agency will wait to go through discovery to decide they really don't want to risk a ruling against them and then they settle (I've been here myself). That said, the first thing the judge will do is direct the agency to complete the investigation in "X" amount of days (typically 60 to 90 days is given). If the agency blows that deadline, then the AJ starts looking at sanctions.

Reality is, you do not know what they know. The Investigation Report (aka ROI) goes a long way to establish a baseline of what they can use and what you need to address in your case before the AJ.

If it were me, I'd ask the agency when they expect the Investigation to be complete and when you can expect to receive the ROI. Please note, if you find anything missing or wrong in the ROI, you can let the agency know, and they need to to fix it or they can leave it as is, but either way your statement of your issues with the ROI must be included with it in the official record. So you need ot go through it with a fine tooth comb to find anything missing that should be there.
You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
yulacu  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 1:47:23 PM(UTC)

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You didn't specifically ask this question, but if I were you I would read over the EEOC Compliance Manual as it relates to the comparator pool for compensation claims. Agency's don't get a lot of pay/compensation related cases, so they aren't the most adept at investigating/adjudicating them. The comparator pool should contain individuals performing similar tasks. Relative qualifications should not be taken into account at the comparator pool stage.

"Although minimum objective qualifications should be taken into account in defining the pool of similarly situated employees,employees' relative qualifications should not be considered at this stage. While differences in qualifications, experience, and education ultimately may explain a pay differential, such factors require a pretext or disparate impact analysis to determine whether they are legitimate,(22) and thus should be considered only after the pool of comparators has been determined (see 10-III A.2 and B, infra). This approach allows for an orderly analysis that first identifies the relevant comparators, and then gives due consideration to factors that might explain compensation disparities."
https://www.eeoc.gov/pol...20the%20Charging%20Party

You should also take a look at the EEOC manual as it relates to threshold issues because if your case is a compensation case and not a failure to promote case you can use the Lilly Ledbetter Act to combat the Agency's quest to dismiss your claim for untimeliness.

With regards to sanctions, it's more likely that the AJ will grant a default decision in your favor if you establish a prima facie case first.

Good luck!
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:25:40 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: yulacu Go to Quoted Post
You didn't specifically ask this question, but if I were you I would read over the EEOC Compliance Manual as it relates to the comparator pool for compensation claims. Agency's don't get a lot of pay/compensation related cases, so they aren't the most adept at investigating/adjudicating them. The comparator pool should contain individuals performing similar tasks. Relative qualifications should not be taken into account at the comparator pool stage.

"Although minimum objective qualifications should be taken into account in defining the pool of similarly situated employees,employees' relative qualifications should not be considered at this stage. While differences in qualifications, experience, and education ultimately may explain a pay differential, such factors require a pretext or disparate impact analysis to determine whether they are legitimate,(22) and thus should be considered only after the pool of comparators has been determined (see 10-III A.2 and B, infra). This approach allows for an orderly analysis that first identifies the relevant comparators, and then gives due consideration to factors that might explain compensation disparities."
https://www.eeoc.gov/pol...20the%20Charging%20Party

You should also take a look at the EEOC manual as it relates to threshold issues because if your case is a compensation case and not a failure to promote case you can use the Lilly Ledbetter Act to combat the Agency's quest to dismiss your claim for untimeliness.

With regards to sanctions, it's more likely that the AJ will grant a default decision in your favor if you establish a prima facie case first.

Good luck!
to get a default decision, you have to establish a prima facie case, period. Without that, your case gets dismissed.

And, they are loath to grant default judgement (at least to complainants) if the investigation is delayed by a short period of time. Now, if they give the agency x amount of time to complete it, and the agency fails to meet that deadline...now they are more inclined to show the agency they need to listen to the AJ, and do so via sanctions.

And you are correct it is what you do, not what qualifications you have. You can have PhDs, Lawyers and someone with a High School diploma all doing the same job... if they are the same grade, then the agency wins (if the steps are different, the case is not impossible, but extremely close to it!). If they are different grades, but the tasks are identical, then the complainant is likely to win. If the tasks are similar, but different...then the details become critical, and those differences can mean the differences in grade. A classifier may be a good SME witness to bring in to explain the difference in grade and why those specific details matter.

And while Lily Ledbetter act can help avoid timeliness issues (each pay day is a new potential violation), unlike the private sector, the federal government's use of pay grades generally helps protect them from typical disparate pay claims.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
yulacu  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:34:55 AM(UTC)

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“to get a default decision, you have to establish a prima facie case, period. Without that, your case gets dismissed.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could have sworn I read cases where the agency fails to transfer the ROI to the EEOC (pre-fedsep days) and the Commission would enter default judgment against the agency without discussing the prima facie aspect because they have to protect the integrity of the EEO system. I feel like I’ve read similar cases in terms of Agency’s failing to investigate at all. I don’t think those occurrences are common, but I don’t know if a blanket statement that you have to establish a prima facie case is necessarily true.

Edited by user Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:35:43 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

frankgonzalez  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 7:25:20 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: yulacu Go to Quoted Post
“to get a default decision, you have to establish a prima facie case, period. Without that, your case gets dismissed.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could have sworn I read cases where the agency fails to transfer the ROI to the EEOC (pre-fedsep days) and the Commission would enter default judgment against the agency without discussing the prima facie aspect because they have to protect the integrity of the EEO system. I feel like I’ve read similar cases in terms of Agency’s failing to investigate at all. I don’t think those occurrences are common, but I don’t know if a blanket statement that you have to establish a prima facie case is necessarily true.
If you don't have a prima facie case, we can dismiss it at the formal stage without an investigation under 29 CFR 1614.107 (a)(1) (failure to state a claim). But some agencies are cowards and accept every complaint for investigation vs doing their jobs and properly review the case per 29 CFR 1614.107.


That said, I have not seen a case where the EEOC entered a default judgment on a federal case where the agency wasn't given a chance to complete the case first (and sometimes they are given a couple of chances to fini***** first). It is only when they fail to follow the AJ's order is when the sanction of a default judgement is rendered.

Edited by user Wednesday, December 12, 2018 7:27:37 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
DroneBee  
#7 Posted : Friday, December 14, 2018 9:02:15 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
Context: I have two complaints that are in the formal stage

I'm so sorry that you were discriminated against. I am more sorry that you put in EEOs - the stats are not in your favor, and you may be fired for doing so. That said, good luck on the EEOs. However, my advice would be to apply for a job in a different agency immediately - forget the EEO if this occurs - just GO. Your welfare and your family's welfare are at stake.

Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
1) If any, what are the benefits of requesting a hearing now prior to the investigation being complete? In my head I'd like to think there is some benefit to doing so but I am not sure what.

The agency has total control over the EEO complaints - remember, the EEO office is within the agency and under the agency's director.
You should not give the agency any additional time - push for a hearing. This delay is a stall tactic that benefits the agency.

Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
2) It has only been a few days since I have received the 180 day notice. How feasible is it that sanctions might be posed on the agency? Is this something that I request formally? If so how? Is it done in conjunction with requesting a hearing prior to the investigation being complete?

You have to read the https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/directives/md110.cfm manual - it will provide the information needed.

Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
3) The letter states that I can petition the district court for what sounds like a "free" attorney. Has anyone had any experience doing this? Also, is it safe to assume that since its an appointed attorney, that they won't work in my best interest? How do I go about petitioning for said attorney?

There are no free attorneys. You will have to pay through the nose in court. Your best bet is to go through the EEO process and get all the documents for free prior to going to court. The agency has to supply you with the Investigation File (IF), sometimes referred to the Report of Investigation (ROI). Also, after the hearing, the judge has to supply you with the hearing records. Please note that you will lose in all places - please, please, please, hear my advice - start applying for new jobs now while you still have your job!

Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
4)The letter states that I can engage in "discovery" as a part of a pre-trial/pre-hearing. I would need documents relating to comparators since one of the claim is based on salaries. Does discovery allow me access to information? At what point do I enter into the discovery process? Do I need to request a hearing first?

It seems as though you need a lawyer now because you don't understand any of the process. Please read MD-110 at least. Without a lawyer, you will be eaten up alive. The agency has a huge number of lawyers, clerks, etc. and you just have yourself (it appears). Also, if you go to court, the agency attorneys are there for back-up, but the Department of Justice attorneys take the case to court. You will be crushed - financially, emotionally, physically. Please start applying and get out now.

Originally Posted by: DiscriminationSucks Go to Quoted Post
5)Is there any overall advice that you guys can provide at this stage of a formal complaint? I am not sure what the best option is here. I have reached out to the agency in attempts to renegotiate a settlement as I'd rather not covor where the agency is not allowed to respond to any of my documentation. What is the likelihood of this given that I just received a 180 day notice.

The agency will doctor documents, have your work friends lie, make the supervisors lie, and make you look like a disgruntled, horrible worker. There is no up side.

There used to be a site on https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/index.cfm that listed reports by agency, but I can't find it now. There is the most recent report at https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2015/ - maybe you can look up your agency here to see the percentage of complainants who "won" (there is no winning - "Pre- complaint resolutions that included monetary benefits resulted in an average award of $7,976" (https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2015/).

I found this Table: https://www.eeoc.gov/fed...15/462_b_tables.cfm#b-15 - Table B-15 FY 2015 Complaints Closed with Findings of Discrimination - which is very sad and depressing. 0% of finding discrimination on behalf of the complainant.

Good luck and God Bless.

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acivilservant on 12/17/2018(UTC)
frankgonzalez  
#8 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 5:37:10 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
usual anti-EEO process complaining...

If someone lies in the process and you can prove it (or at least raise credibility issues regarding the witness), then you can press for sanctions.

Most witnesses tell the truth...but some complainants just don't understand a coworker voice sympathy and dislike of a supervisor with them while also providing statements that actually support the actions of the supervisor even while expressing distaste at the supervisor's actions.

And agency attorneys know that trying to get people to commit perjury through false statements can not only hurt their case if discovered, but can be grounds for disbarment and potentially open up previous cases they worked on for scrutiny (and potentially allowing them to be appealed as a matter of justice). Not saying there are some who are idiots and open themselves up for this, but they are in the tiny minority.

Complainants do not lose in all places...enough win to prove this statement false. That said, the burden of proof is on the complainant, not the agency.



You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
acivilservant  
#9 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 10:18:10 AM(UTC)
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DroneBee:
However, my advice would be to apply for a job in a different agency immediately -
Mine:
Yes, seek other work for the short and long game, especially if you've been removed.

My higher command "bumped" me a few times; but, sadly they kept me in the same environment, giving my mobbing group pervasive access to me.

Anyway, I notice in federal court, an element of the defendant's Answer to the Complaint defense section always reads, "Plaintiff has failed to mitigate her damages."  Meaning, the Plaintiff did not look for other work.

Keep in mind they're in the right about that, if factual.

The Clean Hands Doctrine “closes the doors of a court of equity to one tainted with inequitableness or bad faith relative to the matter in which he seeks relief, however improper may have  been the behavior of the defendant.”  

And, when you're not selected for your strong applications to vacancies on USAJOBS, raise complaints of reprisal to MSPB for material evidence.
nightchop  
#10 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 10:31:00 AM(UTC)

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Some of the damage control tactics I see on FedSoup are funny. Wouldn't it have been easier to just do the right thing? Instead of worrying about what complainants are or aren't during, some agencies would do well to focus on preparing their best defense.
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emrlddragon on 1/8/2019(UTC)
DroneBee  
#11 Posted : Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:05:32 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
usual anti-EEO process complaining...

...
Complainants do not lose in all places...enough win to prove this statement false. That said, the burden of proof is on the complainant, not the agency.


You make me laugh!

Look at Table B-16:
Table B-16 FY 2015 Complaints Closed with Findings of No Discrimination,
https://www.eeoc.gov/fed...15/462_b_tables.cfm#b-16

... how many is the "enough win"? "% Merit FADs Finding No Discrimination" = 98.55%. Even if the complainant "won" (was part of the 1.45%), does the Agency have to comply with the AJ's decision? Hmmm.... the answer is no. The entire EEOC/OFO process is a complete sham in order to weed out all the whistleblowers. By the time the EEOC/OFO is through with the complainant, the complainant is broken. I mean, even the name applied to these whistleblowers - complainant - is horrendous - why aren't they called Justice Seekers? Because they are all whiny complainers who can't focus on their own jobs, don't want to do any work, and are concerned with what everyone else is doing - that's what the agency says. Anyone who puts in an EEOC complaint, is neither of these things - it takes too much grit and determination to fight for the truth. I whistleblew because I wanted to help my country - I had no inclining that I would have to face what I have faced, and that I would put my family through hell.

If you like paying your bills, please don't file an EEO complaint. It is not worth it.


frankgonzalez  
#12 Posted : Thursday, December 20, 2018 1:01:55 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
usual anti-EEO process complaining...

...
Complainants do not lose in all places...enough win to prove this statement false. That said, the burden of proof is on the complainant, not the agency.


You make me laugh!

Look at Table B-16:
Table B-16 FY 2015 Complaints Closed with Findings of No Discrimination,
https://www.eeoc.gov/fed...15/462_b_tables.cfm#b-16

... how many is the "enough win"? "% Merit FADs Finding No Discrimination" = 98.55%. Even if the complainant "won" (was part of the 1.45%), does the Agency have to comply with the AJ's decision? Hmmm.... the answer is no. The entire EEOC/OFO process is a complete sham in order to weed out all the whistleblowers. By the time the EEOC/OFO is through with the complainant, the complainant is broken. I mean, even the name applied to these whistleblowers - complainant - is horrendous - why aren't they called Justice Seekers? Because they are all whiny complainers who can't focus on their own jobs, don't want to do any work, and are concerned with what everyone else is doing - that's what the agency says. Anyone who puts in an EEOC complaint, is neither of these things - it takes too much grit and determination to fight for the truth. I whistleblew because I wanted to help my country - I had no inclining that I would have to face what I have faced, and that I would put my family through hell.

If you like paying your bills, please don't file an EEO complaint. It is not worth it.


That table does not include all the case that are settled at any stage. I know in my case, the agency decided after we had completed discovery and depositions, that they suddenly wanted to settle my complaint. I could prove the facts of my complaint, and discovery simply piled on the evidence in my favor. Add in a bad witness for the agency (and if they didn't call him, we would!), and settling was a better option. And for me, settling the complaint made sense...happy in my current position, and going to that agency wouldn't place me in a better position than I am in now (which is what would have been the remedy for the AJ if I had won), so we calculated what the pay differential was and some extra, plus legal/attorney fees, and they paid out a hefty sum. What was annoying was they could have settled prior to my hiring an attorney and saved over $20k in attorney's fees. But...they didn't and so wrote a couple of large checks.

Could I have continued? Could I have won? I think I had a good shot, and my attorney thought so too. I work in the field so did a lot of research at every stage to make certain I could meet my burden of proof. But why bother when I was compensated nicely for the discrimination that occurred (I claimed reprisal and national origin as the bases) and I could walk away happy and move on.

Many agencies are happy to resolve and settle a complaint before it hits the EEOC if they think the complainant may win (and not even a large chance, just as long as there is something there, resolution is easier).

But you continue to preach your gospel of whoa upon those who use the system.

Me? I'll continue to encourage people to use the system if they think they have been discriminated against. And I'll reality check them if they come in with something petty or stupid (ie. "My boss didn't say good morning to me when he came in. Even though I was under my desk looking for the pen I dropped when he walked by and even though he couldn't see me, he should have said something!!!" Or one of my favorites "My boss is harassing me by expecting me to be at the office at the beginning of my shift in the correct uniform and counseled me on leaving early without permission!"- this one didn't actually file a complaint when my specialist simply repeated back to him what he was claiming to verify this was what he wanted to file a complaint on...but he came in initially planning on doing so)



You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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emrlddragon on 12/30/2018(UTC)
DroneBee  
#13 Posted : Saturday, January 5, 2019 11:42:10 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
But you continue to preach your gospel of whoa upon those who use the system.


Frank G - I was shown the door after more than TWO DECADES of great appraisals, etc., because I am a whistleblower. I do not want anyone to ever go through the devastation I faced. My entire family suffered. Anyone reading this, please look at the statistics yourself *BEFORE* you file anything.
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emrlddragon on 1/8/2019(UTC), 33years_here on 2/8/2019(UTC)
emrlddragon  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:43:02 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
But you continue to preach your gospel of whoa upon those who use the system.


Frank G - I was shown the door after more than TWO DECADES of great appraisals, etc., because I am a whistleblower. I do not want anyone to ever go through the devastation I faced. My entire family suffered. Anyone reading this, please look at the statistics yourself *BEFORE* you file anything.


I have been so disgusted by this process and the tactics my "agency" will use to cover this all up. I refuse to accept the treatment and after all that has happened to me I have absolutely no faith in the impending mediation. I regret that everything has happened and that I didn't trust my gut when I first started at this agency, my first mistake was not leaving when I knew something was wrong.
The fact that there is no avenue to handle issues at the lowest level is mind boggling to me. The EEOC site actually says that employers should thank those that come forward- yeah, that will never happen.
nightchop  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:54:13 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: emrlddragon Go to Quoted Post
my first mistake was not leaving when I knew something was wrong.



I had an opportunity to leave. The people at the new place really liked me, and I felt good about them. I would have had the ability to walk to work, which would have saved time and money. It was a pay cut, and I was worried about money. I had a paid relocation and the agency would have absolutely stuck me with the bill. I didn't want to be put in the position to rely on anyone else financially. I told myself I would stick it out for a year, not only so it would "look good" on my resume, but also to avoid paying back the money. Big mistake, and it was just fear talking. I knew it then but wouldn't admit it to myself. Whatever financial struggle I would have had pales in comparison to what eventually happened, and I still ended up in a position where I needed to rely on others. I have nobody to blame but myself. I didn't have faith that things would work out. I hope to never find myself in such a situation again, but if there is a next time, I am cutting and running immediately. Things have a way of working out. Always always always go with your gut.
CATXBruiser  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, January 9, 2019 7:06:15 AM(UTC)
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ALCON - (I obviously do not post often)

It would seem (in this thread), and perhaps others here at FS that the moral of the story generally is it is better to be a live dog than a dead lion.
Is that not exactly what those in power in a totalitarian system want? Bill Clinton got elected / re-elected (and Trump is elected) because most people for the
last 25 years care more about results than morality.

Allegedly (and in writing ad naseum) this is what all government wants. However, if is no longer a government of the people, by the people, etc. It is a government
controlled through fear and intimidation - which ultimately only breeds resentment.

I concur that (and I am just now at the stage where the Agency sent me their defective ROI (IR)) there is no chance that the Agency's EEOC would properly, honestly and
accurately investigate or take a "Caesar's Wife's" position.

Now regarding the practical of looking for a new job. I am well over 60. Despite a significant work history and a PhD in real engineering, I am not a "star". Just a
commodity. With the latest databases and screening software; and 'asterisked' [do not pass GO until you complete this mandatory field] blocks; just providing your name and last four of your Social
results in the Recruiter (electronic or human - including USAJobs) results in them knowing EXACTLY the State of your birth and your birth year. If you doubt me, just ask Kroll or
Lexis Nexis databases salespeople.

I have been categorized as "most highly qualified" for the next grade in my Agency, or for my Series, more than 50% of the time through over 100 applications in the last four years. One
interview. No offer. Without going into the details...I have emails from humans at US Army Ft. Riley CPAC stating very explicit information from the very secret OPM Operational Handbook
that is purposefully not part of the public accessible files at OPM.gov. Among the more egregious emails is the statement that POCs are not provided for fear of reprisals by non-Selectees!

Besides that PhD of mine, I have a significant legal background. I have not only followed the EEOC internal and external rules to a "T"; but am also well aware that successful outcome
for the Complainant - even with hundreds of pages of indisputable facts; may not result in success for me. Our Agency only set-up and IG office less than two years ago, and he has been polite but so far refused to
get involved...no doubt due to a full press by the SES leadership and our Agency Head who is a 3-star active duty (and bean counter as opposed to a front-line officer).

However, we all have our immutable DNA. Mine is to take up the good fight, for real and significant causes; in a way t hat will minimize personal damage. I cannot sit idlily by, while my reputation is impugned by, for example, false claims from Contractors. If one is going to get sanctions, whether as "mild" as an LOI (Letter of Instruction" or a default 3 on Performance Appraisals just because a TL doesn't have interest or time to do his job;
then the ultimate risk is termination anyway - regardless of status such as career permanent.

I have a lot of battle scars. Some wars won, but most lost. There is no purpose to sit in a bar and cry into the beer. At the end of the day, it is me who has to live with the decisions that I make for myself and my family.
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DroneBee on 1/19/2019(UTC)
DroneBee  
#17 Posted : Saturday, January 19, 2019 4:32:35 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
I concur that (and I am just now at the stage where the Agency sent me their defective ROI (IR)) there is no chance that the Agency's EEOC would properly, honestly and accurately investigate or take a "Caesar's Wife's" position.

No government employee who has not filed an EEOC or does not know someone who filed would ever believe the "process." The Report of Investigation (ROI) or Investigative File (IF) is a complete deception - remember everyone, the EEOC reports to the agency lead. Once it exists, the only thing is to go through it with a fine-toothed comb to identity issues and send these back to the EEOC (which won't do anything, but you will have it on the record - again, not that it matters).

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
Now regarding the practical of looking for a new job. I am well over 60.

People over 60 get hired - my pal over 70 just got a new job.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
Our Agency only set-up and IG office less than two years ago, and he has been polite but so far refused to
get involved...no doubt due to a full press by the SES leadership and our Agency Head who is a 3-star active duty (and bean counter as opposed to a front-line officer).

Yes, the IG office is useless and in the agency's back pocket. The IG will send whatever you give it to the agency.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
LOI (Letter of Instruction" or a default 3 on Performance Appraisals just because a TL doesn't have interest or time to do his job;
then the ultimate risk is termination anyway - regardless of status such as career permanent.

This is a tactic that an agency is using with my friend - s/he is over 60 too and always received the highest appraisals. S/he submitted an EEOC complaint and lo and behold, received all "3"s on her appraisal. There's really nothing that s/he can do about all "3"s and now it'll be harder to apply for positions that request the most recent appraisal.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
I have a lot of battle scars. Some wars won, but most lost. There is no purpose to sit in a bar and cry into the beer. At the end of the day, it is me who has to live with the decisions that I make for myself and my family.

Going to war is different than being ambushed. If I had known that the EEOC, IG, etc., were complete shams and that no one in leadership cares about the U.S. or the taxpayer, then I would have never been a whistleblower. With the No Fear Act training, there should be statements from those of us who actually went through the process.

Leaving on a sad note - another colleague who was let go after a zillion years because he filed an EEOC complaint, just passed away (within a year of being axed); the stress of these false "systems" just got to him. The false "systems" are not just inconveniences, the false "system"s - like IG, EEOC, MSPB, etc. - kill.

So sad.

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CATXBruiser on 1/19/2019(UTC), emrlddragon on 1/20/2019(UTC)
CATXBruiser  
#18 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 4:56:29 AM(UTC)
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UPDATE -

In order that future readers may understand the process better and perhaps shorten their cycle time & lessen frustration;
I'll use this topic as sort of a running diary...

I know that many posts across social media are full of speculation, misinformation and down-right lies. I am in one of those
highly specialized areas where (allegedly), the facts are all that counts. In line with the "clean hands" legal doctrine;
at the end of any day, facts are all I have.

I just received an email last night from the Investigator in my Agency's IG unit who stated that after allegedly speaking to his Supervisor
(who allegedly spoke to the DoD IG's Office; declined to investigate my concerns regarding the conduct and actions of our EEO.
Instead, referring me to the US EEOC (meaning, of course, the US EEOCs IG division). The only good news from this is that it took
just a month for them to get to that point.

I expected, based on personal experience and Forum Posters that there was absolutely no probability that the Agency would admit
culpability and provide any type of offer to compromise (or, for that matter, suggest a way out). Ditto the IG unit. As an institution,
all government has more time and money than any individual. We all know there is a minimum two-tier justice system. As a famous baseball
manager often quipped: "The facts don't count."

And that is where it sits today. The US EEOC ALJ office backlog is reported to be almost 600 days before a Hearing is held. I suspect that
US EEOCs IG case backlog is similar. I am already into this process (the formal part beginning with my Complaint to the Agency) of about 320
days...just to get to the Report of Investigation and denial of service by my local IG.

It is possible that as a relatively unimportant mid-grade non-supervisory in a critical role, the Agency will not OVERTLY discipline or terminate
me without cause. They'll simply ignore me and expect I will retire, quit or get a position in another Agency...or die by meteor strike.
It is also possible they will try to terminate me using a reorganization or RIF or some other indirect administrative excuse.

If the latter, there is no effective way to fight. I've contacted several attorneys who allege they specialize in Federal employee issues.
Of the two that responded, they basically stated that my case is not worth enough money (or prestige) for them to take, With an hourly rate
of $400+ (lawyer plus paralegal) up to $1K or more per hour at an appellate level; unless one is an SES and high-profile...Federal Court is
out. Even if one attempted to file in pro se (as their own attorney - which the Constitution specifically allows); the legal BARs, the Judges
and other so-called legal professionals will beat you every time with a "you are not worthy" conspiracy. This I know - having spent three
years representing my minor child (and myself) in local Court over his custody with the usual evil ex and her highly compatible lawyer.
[As an aside, the Judge was so dirty, that when I confronted him (in the legal sense) with his ruling in the exact opposite and violation of
the simple statute governing Domestic Violence and Custodial Rights; ON THE RECORD in open court, we stated he didn't care about the law - only his opinion
had value. I fought that too - with the BAR association refusing to get involved at the State Commission on Judicial Conduct dismissing court
transcripts, etc. as without merit.

So, you may wonder why with that history, I continue?

It is simple because I believe that those is power simply want all non-powerful to give up, so those in power can seize even more power (wealth).
If no one stands up...is that the type of world you want to live in? I am generally a rule-follower. This is supposed to be a nation of laws.
Really, what other options are there except to lie down and get run over anyway? Those in power will not only claim victory, but that because
you didn't resist, either your claims were without merit in the first place, or you were just a scum-bag hustler trying to get your cut of
largess.
DroneBee  
#19 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2019 5:55:09 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
I just received an email last night from the Investigator in my Agency's IG unit who stated that after allegedly speaking to his Supervisor
(who allegedly spoke to the DoD IG's Office; declined to investigate my concerns regarding the conduct and actions of our EEO.
Instead, referring me to the US EEOC (meaning, of course, the US EEOCs IG division). The only good news from this is that it took
just a month for them to get to that point.

Yes, one "process" hands you off to the other, but all will point back to the EEOC. You are stuck there.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
And that is where it sits today. The US EEOC ALJ office backlog is reported to be almost 600 days before a Hearing is held.

... at least - I had to wait 6 years for my hearing.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
It is possible that as a relatively unimportant mid-grade non-supervisory in a critical role, the Agency will not OVERTLY discipline or terminate me without cause. They'll simply ignore me and expect I will retire, quit or get a position in another Agency...or die by meteor strike.
It is also possible they will try to terminate me using a reorganization or RIF or some other indirect administrative excuse.

It doesn't matter what level you are, you are on the blacklist and the agency will do whatever it can to eliminate the problem - to include being nasty personally, giving you low ratings, etc. Don't worry about "terminate without cause" because the agency will just make up stuff and throw it at you. The agency may even do this so you have to spend your time putting in new complaints, grievances, etc. This will drain you of everything you have.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
If the latter, there is no effective way to fight.

Yes - the agency has total power.

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
...Federal Court is out.

Federal court is not an option until you've exhausted the EEOC "system."

Originally Posted by: CATXBruiser Go to Quoted Post
So, you may wonder why with that history, I continue? It is simple because I believe that those is power simply want all non-powerful to give up, so those in power can seize even more power (wealth). If no one stands up...is that the type of world you want to live in? I am generally a rule-follower. This is supposed to be a nation of laws. Really, what other options are there except to lie down and get run over anyway? Those in power will not only claim victory, but that because you didn't resist, either your claims were without merit in the first place, or you were just a scum-bag hustler trying to get your cut of
largess.

You have to continue while you are there, or else the agency will REALLY go after you (thinking you've been beat). So, for your sanity, continue the fight with the knowledge that you will lose, and go full-court-press to get out of the agency. I am so sorry that government employees are not told the truth about these false "systems."

Good luck and God Bless.
CATXBruiser  
#20 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2019 6:09:30 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for your comments and prayers, DB. I know its almost hopeless. Yes, no option to give up since I started it.
With the shutdown in process and Agencies such as the MSPB completely shutdown, I expect every month of the shutdown will lead to
an additional several months delay.
Can't imagine how you survived 6 years waiting for a hearing. I can always beg McDonald's for a job.
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DroneBee on 1/29/2019(UTC)
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