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DVAgirl  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 07, 2010 11:57:29 PM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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Hi, I have been scheduled for mediation next week and have lots of questions, i'll try to be brief.
 
-Filed EEO complaint September 08, AJ Hearing pending, agency has requested mediation.  The attorney I had worked with since the inception of my case was negotiating with the agency behind my back and was made an offer that provided for double digits for him for attorneys fees and an equal amount to myself.  He is no longer my attorney and I firmly believe his dealings with the agency amount to misconduct.
 
I have another attorney and the agency has requested mediation at the suggestion of the AJ.  Mediation will include the agency and my attorney, myself and the resp mgmt official.
 
My case.  I overheard an SES tell a manager, while in front of a number of other managers to not hire me because I had filed an EEO complaint, this individual had to approve my being hired.  He also made some pretty nasty remarks about me as a worker and person.  I was not selected.  No one was hired at that time and the position (multiple openings) was readvertised.  2 other Managers have confirmed this during the investigation, although the individual who said it of course denies it was said.  Everyone in the room, including the 2 who confirmed are direct reports to this SES.  This individual also said I "Assaulted" someone in the workplace!  A complete fabrication.  No one else has said or will say it's true because it did not happen. 
 
The job I was denied was a lateral, but it would have removed me from my current chain of command and at the time would have been an excellent chance for me to remove myself from a very hostile work environment. 
 
I have also been retaliated against for the last year.
 
I have been in the federal government for over a decade, not one incident of trouble, always excellent appraisals, bonuses etc.  I worked for this agency for 2 years with no problems, excellent appraisals, performance bonuses, until a new manager arrived who had a real problem with women and minorities.  I have never felt discriminated against until the arrival of this manager, it is blatant. 
 
Since filing my complaint I have received a reprimand, given a mid year at less than fully successful, but no PIP, and just received a rating of fully successful although I have had no additional training, haven't really received any work, and the work I have completed I have been told was garbage and someone else had to complete it for me.
 
I have also had FMLA leave denied, not had a reasonable accommodation request with documentation from my dr approved (pending since July 08) and have pretty much had my work reputation ruined in the course of 15 months.
 
I have been under a doctors care since 2 months after I overheard the comments and was on sick leave for 10-weeks, during one of those pay periods while out of the office I was not paid, although I had donated and annual leave on the books.  I was told it was unintentional.  It was corrected later, but this is the type of situation I have dealt with throughout the process.
 
Immediate problems.  Who would hire me?  I'm still employed, but there is not a chance that I'll get a good recommendation in order to move on.  How many people who say do not contact my supervisor actually get hired? 
 
I have never had a problem finding a job on my own previously and throughout my career have averaged 3 to 3.5 years before being promoted.  I don't see this happening again.
 
I am denied time and again a detail or move to another area, under different management.  The reputation I have built over the course of my career is gone.  The DC area is very small for my career field and word travels fast. 
 
How could I possibly be made whole during mediation?  How do you possibly repair a reputation, or account for the loss of your reputation?
 
OSC is already involved.
mudpie  
#2 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 1:57:59 AM(UTC)
mudpie

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You need an attorney. EEOC had a pilot program at one point where they provided ABA attorney at no cost during mediation. You should ask. Each EEOC District has an ADR manager. Ask them. Their name and address is probably on the EEOC website.

Ask for the most you can support.

Lost pay and promotion
Lost TSP contributions
Lost annual leave
Lost sick leave
Reassignment
etc.

Some things are capped, some aren't.

Max $300k for punitive damages.

You have to support each and every request. Once the Agency agress, do not leave the room without a sign agreement; formal or informal. Once an agreement is met, you will have to draft a formal agreement sign by both partiesand submit it to the AJ for approval.

There are pretty of examples on the web.   www.eeo21.com for example. Just use google for finding of EEOC settlement agreements.

Even if you do not agree at mediation, your case will continue with the AJ where you can present your supporting evidence for the AJ decision.

Did you have Discovery, Admissions, and Interrogatories yet?

DVAgirl  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 4:39:35 AM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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I'm sorry I probably failed to mention that I retained a new attorney immediately.  Discovery, Admissions, and Interrogatories  were requested by the agency, I provided the information to my previous attorney for responses as well as admissions for the officials involved and he did not review it or forward it to the agency, which concerned me. 
 
When I hired the new attorney she found out by agency council that my previous attorney had filed a joint request with agency council for an extension on discovery etc.  I did not receive a copy of that filing, the agency said they thought my previous attorney had provided it to me.  Discovery is now due on February 10, 2010.
 
I have been unable to find any information on settlements, but my attorney and I are scheduled to meet on Monday.  She has had to come up to speed on this with not a lot of time, but I am a lot more comfortable with her than the other guy.  Lots of red flags, but the last straw was his telling me that the agency attorney was a great person, he had worked with her before, she has always been fair when he's dealt with her.  I'm still wondering who she was fair with.  The amount of attorneys the agency had proposed with the attorneys name listed in the settlement seemed odd.
 
Initially my attorney acted as if the settlement offer had come out of the blue, only after some very pointed questions did he tell me that some discussions had taken place and actually provided a copy of the draft agreement.
 
My new attorney was surprised at the terms of the agreement, specifically the agency acting as if I had done something wrong and then offering me money. 
 
I also found it very strange that I had worked directly with my supervisor and second level supervisor from May on a reasonable accommodation request when I returned to the office, never any discussion about my attorney, although they were aware that I had one on my complaint.  In September when I made a request for status (since my agency did not provide status after informing me that a decisions would be made within 2-weeks back in July) I was told that any further discussion related to my accommod. request would need to go through my attorney...
 
The actions toward the end appeared to be an effort to drive my attorneys costs up.  He was also very nonchalant about discovery, depositions etc. telling me the AJ's were very flexible, etc., etc. and it finally dawned on me that he had no intention of going before an AJ and in fact knew very little about my case, asking the same questions over and over again over the last year. 
 
mudpie  
#4 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 4:55:35 AM(UTC)
mudpie

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Any document sent to the Agency should have a Certificate of Service attached to it.

I found the following via Google in less than 5 minutes.


http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/adr/fsms-settlement.cfm

http://archive.eeoc.gov/federal/adr/interior-settlement.html

http://home.earthlink.net/~claudiaviera/id16.html

http://www.passmanandkaplan.com/CM/FederalLegalCorner/Enforcing-EEOC.asp

http://www.adr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070212-060.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/crt/foia/title1_puerto_rico.pdf

DVAgirl  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 5:06:08 AM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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Thank You.  I have been clearly looking in the wrong place and looking for the wrong information. 
luvdata  
#6 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 7:57:54 AM(UTC)
luvdata

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Mudpie,
 
There are no punitive damages against government.  The 300K cap is for compensatory.
freeageless  
#7 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 8:27:55 AM(UTC)
freeageless

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You can't get punitive damanges only compensatory damages and that is capped at three hundred thousand dollars.

Quote from Mudpie

"Some things are capped, some aren't.

Max $300k for punitive damages."

overpaid  
#8 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 12:33:30 PM(UTC)
overpaid

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Looks like you should hope to be reinstated and continued to be employed. You never get to pick your bosses so unless you adapt then you'll have issues
Break Heart  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 1:08:13 PM(UTC)
Break Heart

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Before you signed your SA, please  carefully read agency SA terms. I can not tell you about my experience. If agency induces you to settle with insulting, threaten language, that SA is null or void.

Please read the following case as your reference.

Vigil v. Department of the Army, EEOC Request No. 05960521 (June 22, 1998).

Break Heart2010-01-08 21:14:01
Mystery
DVAgirl  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 08, 2010 10:02:39 PM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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I didn't lose my job I still work in the same place and continue to be retaliated against.  I have never had a problem adapting to new bosses and made every attempt to work with this guy, but there are times when nothing can be done and this is definitely one of those times.
DVAgirl  
#11 Posted : Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:15:58 AM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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Break Heart, thank you for the case reference.  I appreciate any information that can help me prepare, the process makes me nervous.  Hopefully everything for you turned out ok.
Mr. Sardonic  
#12 Posted : Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:33:20 AM(UTC)
Mr. Sardonic

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ADR, or mediation is the governments opportunity to abuse the aggrieved one more time.  DO NOT go to it without your own attorney!!!
 
I will say that one more time...  DO NOT GO TO ADR WITHOUT YOUR OWN ATTORNEY!!!
 
Be aware of who everyone in the room works for, and where their bread is buttered - - this includes the mediator.  In other words, no one is your friend and no one has your interest at heart, except you and your own attorney.
 
What to ask for?  The world... they wont give it to you, so start high.
DVAgirl  
#13 Posted : Friday, January 15, 2010 7:23:17 AM(UTC)
DVAgirl

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Hi, mediation went well.  I was lucky, the management official assigned and the attorney realized that the case against the agency was strong (this is what my attorney said afterward).  While we were able to get a better settlement than I had hoped for I still feel the process is flawed. 
 
Why are Managers who clearly retaliate not removed from positions of authority?  The same people who the investigators interview and they lie while under oath are allowed to remain in the same positions. 
 
An individual with 30-years of service put his neck on the line by telling the truth about his boss.  He will still work for this same man.  My decision to settle was based in large part on the fact that nothing I did would make a difference in the agencies decision to discipline this man. 
 
Case in point, see attached article.  If you run the numbers bad managers are literally stealing money from Vets by these payouts to employees. 
 
I really thought I would have a sense of satisfaction when this whole process is over, but the term made whole is just not possible.  In criminal cases people go to jail or get probation or something that will at least show that they have done something wrong. 
 
Agencies using money to keep EEO stats down is just sad, I feel nothing after this, but sadness.  It is hush money and nothing else. 
 
This process is a no win situation.  If you haven't seen the case on Bay Pines Florida VA, in a nutshell it tells really shows a flawed process. 
 
 
formerfeder  
#14 Posted : Friday, January 15, 2010 8:56:03 AM(UTC)
formerfeder

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DVAgirl:

Congratulations and wise choice to move on under the circumstances!

Break Heart  
#15 Posted : Friday, January 15, 2010 11:49:59 AM(UTC)
Break Heart

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Posts: 279

 

Agencies using money to keep EEO stats down is just sad, I feel nothing after this, but sadness.  It is hush money and nothing else
 
Please read f/o EEOC decision. See what do you learn?
 

Morita v. Department of the Air Force,

EEOC Request No. 05960450
  
Charles McCloud, Jr. v. United States Postal Service

05980624

October 6, 1999

Break Heart2010-01-15 19:55:46
Mystery
Copper  
#16 Posted : Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:16:12 AM(UTC)
Copper

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I observed over many years in several agencies that a supervisor or manager that ended up being proven in the wrong with these types of complaints usually was made an offer they couldn't refuse; such as a transfer to some deadend meaningless job or undesirable geographic location, demoted or some given some other "opportunity".  It usually happened within about a year of the judgement.  So, just because it would appear nothing happened to them right away it doesn't necessarily mean they got away with their behaviour.  The same regulations/policies and rights regarding discipline apply to everyone regardless of rank.

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