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Alucard41  
#1 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2012 4:49:30 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Hello,
 
I apologize if this particular topic has already been beaten to death.  This being said, I have an upcoming EEOC hearing and the Administrative Judge has been appointed.  I wanted to know what to expect, if there indeed is such a thing as a typical case, and would greatly appreciate any insight.
 

I am a person with a disability, highly qualified and despite being selected by the SBA for a job interview, the SBA representative essentially just dismissed my opportunity for the interview for no real reason except for logistics. The SBA representative says as much in his testimony. I am on one side of Pennsylvania and was told that I would have a phone interview with the SBA near Philadelphia, as well as with the rest of the panel that was scattered around the country. At the last minute, I was told that I had to be there in person-I was told something about being in the same State required me to be there in person.  I could not make it on two days notice and told them that. Mind you, several other candidates from other states had interviews.  When I called the SBA person who was doing the interviews in PA, I told him I was definitely interesated. In his testimony, he said that he figured that I couldn't make it in two days so he just dropped me.

Unfortunately, I have had too many bad experiences with the SBA, both as a business person and as a job applicant.  In my humble opinion, they are woefully inept in a number of ways. One of their HR people confided in me once and said "Oh, most of our hiring officials really don't use the 'tool' Schedule A. I know this is not a requirement but nonetheless, I have over twenty years of small business experience as my resume articulates. I could go on but it would be a bore. They are awful, however, and I have applied many times with more than a dozen other Agencies and none exhibit the blatant disregard that the SBA exudes.
 
I have a case number, everyone’s testimony and an assigned Administrative Judge already. I currently work for the GSA in Pittsburgh and attempting to put together credible damages along with the necessary proof and information to ask for punitive damages as well(I am sure it's a reach). I believe this case will take place in Philadelphia PA and have not yet had a pre-hearing conference.  I am considering representation but I will deal with this in time and after I read the posts on this particular subject.  
 
I suppose my question is, what can I expect, if anything and, even though I already told them what I wanted if judgment goes my way(a job at a GS 12 level)can I change that at this time and before the hearing? 
 
Thank you very much in advance, I really do appreciate the time and input.
 
GWPDA  
#2 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2012 4:52:32 AM(UTC)
GWPDA

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The National Employment Lawyers Organization (www.nela.org) can help you find a good lawyer who can work this for you.  You would be very wise at this stage, now, to consult.

wizard  
#3 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2012 6:28:30 AM(UTC)
wizard

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Have you served discovery on them?
Alucard41  
#4 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2012 8:24:44 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Thank you very much
Alucard41  
#5 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2012 8:44:22 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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No I have not.  It's worth noting that the SBA person who was supposed to conduct my interview, was surprisingly passive and casual, as he didn't give a damn. His testimony says as much. As with any case, proving damages is probably key.  What I would like to know is what form of damages are awarded. Is it usually a financial settlement, a job, a worthless plaque saying "I won and received this stupid plaque," or ???  

I can figure out a way to arrive at certain damages and support them. Whether they are accepted is another matter.  I would love to go after punitive damages, however, just because the SBA is so awful and if I don't, nothing will ever change.  It's embarrassing to say that I have applied to roughly 500 Federal Government jobs.  However, none of the Agencies approach the SBA's complete disregard for rules and procedures.  Essentially, they do what they want and get away with it. Their website hints at this because if you try to contact their EEO, good luck.  It took me three days and about 20 phone calls. Their website was void of any EEO links and when I did get a name, her line was disconnected...what a surprise.

I have really just scratched the surface regarding the SBA and frankly, I don't have the energy nor the patience and don't want to come off as a complainer. I was always under the assumption that nobody owes me anything with the exception of a fair chance at employment based on the merits of my knowledge, education and experience.  

So no, after the rambling response to your question, I have not done anything about discovery.  I am trying to drum up some energy to move forward. Regardless, thank you very much for your input, it really does help me.  I don't feel like I'm on an island as much.
Alucard41  
#6 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:08:44 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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I am looking for some advice and would really appreciate it.  I suppose if I let this hearing go and don't show up, it will just die, which is unfortunate.  I am certainly not in any position to plunk down thousands of dollars to retain an attorney. Also, as much as I would like to think otherwise, convincing the AJ to award me anything, a job or monetary, particularly if I am Pro Se, will be very difficult.

This was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. What lead up to this was hundreds of job applications, frustration with hiring managers(many of who have trouble writing a complete sentence), the failure of Schedule A where it appears that applicants get no jobs or very low paying ones, lies, cover ups and so on. I have worked for some really awful people and understand that nobody owes me anything.  But, all that I ask for is a decent opportunity to leverage my experience, skills and abilities. I believ I am overqualified much of the time and no one wants to have to 'deal' with me....is my guess.  I certainly hope this doesn't come accross as whining.
 
To attempt to better articulate my situation, I broke it down into a series of events:
 

·         I am someone with a disability, that being both clinical depression and major anxiety disorder, and I am officially noted as such for the purposes of applying for Federal Government jobs through non-competitive applications and Schedule A.

 

·         Ms X, an SBA employee from D.C. called me and asked me if I wanted to do a telephonic interview for an SBA job near Philadelphia. I said yes and we agreed on day and time, it being about two days away.  One of the reasons I was chosen, other than being highly qualified and having what one SBA manager said was a “beautiful” resume, is because I am someone with a disability and applied as such. This is clearly written in bold on top of my resume and additionally, the application I completed asked me my age and if I was someone with a disability. It was clearly established that I am someone with a disability and that I was turning 50 years old.

 

·         Ms X called me that night or late afternoon the following day(I forget but it’s in the transcripts) and left messages saying that there had been what she termed as a ‘snafu’ on the SBA’s part and that I had to be there in person, within a day, for the interview. The SBA apparently has a practice that, if you are in the same State, you need to be there in person. Other candidates were permitted to interview telephonically. I was in Chambersburg PA at the time, working for the Department of the Army as a civilian, and traveling to Pittsburgh and could not just pick up and go to Philadelphia. I called Ms X back and I emailed her several times to let her know this.

 

·         I then talked with Ms X and she said to call Mr D, the SBA person holding the interviews in Philadelphia, and let him know my situation and to request another day. On Thursday, I both called(leaving a message)and emailed him, as is supported in the transcripts, and let him know that I really wanted this job and I would even travel down to Philadelphia the next day(Friday) despite the hardship. So, he knew and said as much in the transcripts, that I would be willing to do either a telephonic or on-site interview.

 

·         However, Mr D made the decision not to include me in the interview saying something (in the transcripts) like, “We already had one applicant interviewed…..and I just didn’t think the applicant could make it to the interview in time.”  He also admits(in the transcripts) that he never returned my call or email.

 

·         All of this information is included in the affidavits/transcripts they sent me.  Chief Administrative Judge Ms. Francis A. Polito in Philadelphia was appointed to this case.  My complaint is based upon discrimination and I included both disability and age. I have not heard or received anything else as of yet.

 

·         When initially asked what remedy I would want, I told them that I just wanted a job at the pay level of a GS 12. The position in question is a GS 9 but I am very much overqualified. Later I realized that it might be impossible for the AJ to just give me a job, even though I could effectively manage that entire SBA office, so I emailed one of the EEOC people and let her know I would accept financial compensation-I did not receive any response.

 

·         At the moment, I don’t wish to elaborate on just how much harm and distress this has caused me, both mentally and financially.  I will just say that this greatly exacerbated my already tenuous situation. Trying to find the EEO person from the SBA, to make the initial complaint, was just about impossible. I dare you to go on their site and try to contact them, if you can even find it.  I won’t go into this either but will just say the SBA is the worst Agency I have ever dealt with.  So much for Reasonable Accommodations.  Please note that the transcripts, which I have, paint an even more egregious SBA.

datbehard  
#7 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:29:32 AM(UTC)
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I'll just make a quick comment here. You will not get a job higher than the one that you were applying for. EEO investigators have ZERO negotiating authority, so what you asked of them really doesn't matter. When you get an Acknowledgement and Order letter, that will name the opposing attorney or lead attorney who will then hand it off to an underling. This attorney will notify you who has the authority to settle your case for monetary or job rights.
 
Personally, I beleve they screwed you, but you have to make the prima facie case that it was discriminitory, instead of just plain laziness or being stupid. You can have INEPT managers making terrible decisions all the time, that doesn't mean they did it because they were discriminitory. This is somrthing people have to get their heads around, which is sometimes hard to do when you're the one involved.
 
Be prepared to present evidense to convince the AJ you have a prima facie case. Do your Discovery in a dilligent manner. Depose Ms. X and Mr. D. for maximum benefit.
 
FYI, as far as compensatory damages, you have to prove that you were harmed financially....did you quit your other job, etc....to take this one.  Where you admitted to a psych. hospital because of the stress of all this?......get my drift?  You have to have something tangible here.
Alucard41  
#8 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:29:12 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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First, thank you for your
opinion as that's what I was looking for, to get some perspective and a
different look at this. I'm obviously not qualified nor experienced in this
legal arena hence, my testing the waters where I won't lose thousands I don't have.


As for getting your
drift.....yeah, I can come up with something of relevance and show a good
correlation. While I haven't had to go to any psych ward, I am serious and
unashamed to say that this kind of treatment can be dibilitating. Oddly enough, I think I might still have a soul...perhaps much smaller and more shallow.


 


In a perfect world, I
would have my say and make this Government hiring circle jerk transparent.
Then, the tax payers could see what they are and arne't getting. I sent a
relatively lengthy email to Director of the OPM, John Berry, articulating how
Schedule A is failing and to his credit, he responded, albeit through some underling in the GSA, where I now work.  I recently read somewhere that the Federal Government wants to make contractors and subcontractors utilize 7% people with disabilities.  I had to laugh with tremendous sarcasm at the
hypocrisy of this given that Schedule A is considered just a ‘tool’ to use and therfore, optional.  So, let me get this
straight, Uncle Sam wants to require contractors and their subs to hire people
with disabilities but for them, the ones who have all of the control, they can use it or not.  I could go on forever….


 


Originally, what brought
on my disdain for the SBA was a history of pitiful reasons why I didn’t get an
interview, let alone hired, for the many applications completed-the time
consuming ones with KSA’s. It’s obvious that few people care enough to make
sure highly qualified people get jobs where they can positively affect small
businesses and their owners thus, making them more competitive internationally and helping our country.  That makes too much sense.  I would love for this to be a referendum on the entire hiring process.  Take the IRS, for example, I applied to one job as a Tax Fraud
Assistant, or something close to that. It was a GS7 level or perhaps maybe a GS5.  I was told that I didn’t have the
qualifications/experience needed despite the fact that I have over twenty five
years of business experience, a degree in Business Administration and Finance
from an exceptionally good business school at a University and the fact that I held a designation as a Certified Fraud Examiner.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.


 


Okay, thank you for
allowing me to vent and sorry fo getting off track but back to my original situation.  No one owes me anyting except a fair chance at proving my worth.  I
believe I can bridge that gap and prove that Mr D denied me the interview, not because he is stupid but….well, maybe it is because he is an idiot.  What about negligence or taking them to task
punitively so that this sort of thing won’t keep on happening…otherwise, how
will it ever change…or what about the fact that no one can find the EOC of the
SBA…even the Federal EEOC? Mr D is not the only duncebucket to hold a Federal Job…


 


Anyway, thanks again datbehard, I really mean it.  I wish I had your command of the legal system as it pertains to EEOC and I do apologize for the rambling.  I could perhaps try this as Pro Se but I have a job and a family to support and I’m not sure I have anything left.  I will certainly think things over and try to
respond in a more fittting manner when I have a bit more time to breathe. Thanks again!


Alucard41  
#9 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:41:25 PM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Excuse me datbehard, I have a question as to this EEOC hearing process.  I already have an AJ assigned to my case and receieved a hard copy of everyone's affidavit/testimony.  What is usually the next in this process and what should I expect?  Or, is it too unpredictable or dependent on the Agency, AJ or type of case?  Thanks in advance.
datbehard  
#10 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:37:48 PM(UTC)
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Alu,
 
If you have a AJ assigned (Usually via an Acknowledgement and Order letter) your time for "Discovery" starts NOW!!!!........look at the Order, it gives you timelines, (usually 20 days) to start Discovery. You must read the Letter closely, then look at all the post regarding discovery and get moving on this! Don't end anything off till 2 days before the cutoff date. Send all your Discovery Requests Delivery confirmation (Priority Mail).
datbehard  
#11 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:39:35 PM(UTC)
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Correction to last post:
 
Don't (S)end anything off (un)till 2 days before the cutoff date. Send all your Discovery Requests Delivery confirmation (Priority Mail).
Alucard41  
#12 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:50:20 PM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Got it and thank you!
Alucard41  
#13 Posted : Sunday, July 01, 2012 7:10:53 PM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Thank you datbehard, I believe I saw that in another of your posts as well.  Seems to make alot of sense and anything providing any kind of advantage is certainly welcomed given the odds are not in my favor.
datbehard  
#14 Posted : Sunday, July 01, 2012 10:56:37 PM(UTC)
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Your welcome,
 
Any more questions that I may help you with, please don't hesiate to ask:)
Alucard41  
#15 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 4:33:18 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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I appreciate that thank you.  In that light, I just received the "Acknowledgment And Order" and was indeed given 20 calendar days for Discovery.

There are certainly many things to consider but as far as Discovery, can I actually serve Discovery questions in writing or do I have to actually interview these people in person? And, I would think I would have to ask very specific, factual questions. I was pondering whether Discovery questions influence the chance for settlement. In other words, if I ask difficult questions, which might be hard to do, could the SBA think "this person means business" and therefore be an incentive for them to settle or talk about settling? Also, would a relevant question be “Did the person eventually hired for this job have a disability?” and/or “What percentage of people with disabilities work in the SBA or within your (Mr D’s) particular location?” and/or “Did you(Mr.D)  know or know of or had any communication, written or oral, with or about the successful job applicant before he or she was interviewed?”-trying to check for cronyism/favoritism. I will come up with more

I assume that, in a case like this, Prima Facie will be the telling factor for the AJ? Somehow, I need to show that Mr D wasn’t just lazy or stupid but also, just didn’t want to interview/hire someone with a disability? Some of the ideas I am coming up with are: Other candidates were permitted to interview via phone-failure to provide Reasonable Accommodations, Negligence, Mr D’s office has a much lower than average percentage of people with disabilities, I also found the following information regarding Prima Facie case of failure to provide a reasonable accommodation:

·         The employee has a disability as defined by the ADA.

·         The employee informed the employer of his or her condition and requested an accommodation. 

·         There was an accommodation available that would have been effective and would not have posed an undue hardship to the employer. 

·         The employer failed to provide an accommodation. 

Employers aren't required to provide the precise accommodation an employee requests, but they must engage in an interactive process with the employee to come up with an accommodation that will work. Also, an employer isn't required to accommodate an employee by lowering performance or productivity standards.  I did call and ask Mr D and so did MS X(also of the SBA) if I could do a phone interview.

Do you think making it difficult(however I do that) for the SBA and Mr D in the beginning might push them to try to settle?  Would asking for Summary Judgment (I’m not sure what the damages are just yet) be prudent?  And, will going forward without representation make the SBA see me as an easy case to dismiss?

Jesus I could go on forever but this will have to do.  Please excuse my grammar and lack organization as these questions were just off the top of my big fat head and I see so many variables/factors that it can be a bit overwhelming all at one time.

datbehard  
#16 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 5:29:59 AM(UTC)
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Alucard41,
Please see all my other previous post: Notice for Production of Documents; Notice of Interrogatories; Notice of Admissions of Fact and Notice to Depose.  These will answer most of your questions, if not, then ask me specific questions where your unsure of.
 
Ne very, very specific in any questions and don't have compound questions or make them vague.
*****AGAIN, wait until 2 days before discovery (18th day) runs out and send in all the above except the "Notice to Depose".  Remember that you have 20 days to initiate discovery and your time starts when the AJ listed it in your Ack. and Order ........could be 5 days after her date for mailing purposes.  I tell you this to save you IMMENSE grief if you mistime the Agency getting your Discovery request and they have enough time to turn around and serve you with the same Discovery burden; as in Interrogatories, Admissions and Prod. of Docs (RFP's).
 
READ YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ORDER CAREFULLY!  Get a calendar, keep track of the dates, when you sent Del. Confirms (go to USPS.com and print out copies of delivery dates), when they were received, the date(s) they have to respond, etc.....
 
Notice to Depose can be initiated at any time during Discovery, as long as you initiated Discovery in some other way within the 20 day period.
datbehard  
#17 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 5:50:16 AM(UTC)
datbehard

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BEFORE THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

(YOUR) District Office

 

 

 

______________________________________

Mr. Alucard                                            )   EEOC No.  xxxxxxxxxxx

  YOUR STREET                                               )    Case No.   xxxxxxxxxxx
   YOUR CITY STATE ZIP                               )

 Complainant,                                                      )

                                                                             )  

 vs.                                                                        )   

                                                                             )

(SBA AGENCY HEAD's Name)                       )    Administrative Judge

                                                                             )     Bozo The Clown

Small Bus. Agency                                              )

                                                                            )    Date:  July 12, 2012

______________________________________ )

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINANT'S REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

 

“Document” or “documents” for the purposes of this document request includes but is not limited to all written, typed, printed, recorded or graphic matter, statement, report, facsimile, e-mail, letter,

memorandum, policy, binder, cover note, minutes,  correspondence, record, table, ,graph, schedule, report, test,  list, diary, log, calendar, assignment, acknowledgement, photograph, transcript, log, draft, revisions of drafts, or preliminary notes in the Agency’s actual or constructive possession, custody or control.

 

 

(USE SPECIFIC DATES FOR INFO YOU WANT) 

 
Request For Production of Document (RFP) #1. Email records between Interviewer and Mr. X between this date and tis date.
RFP #2.  How many other applicants for job posting # xxxxx were interviewed.
RFP #3.How many other applicants for job posting # xxxxx are classified as having a disability

RFP #4.How many other applicants for job posting # xxxxx were interviewed by phone.

RFP #5. Who made the decision not to contact Mr. Alucard to inform him a phone interview was not acceptable.

RFP #6. etc, etc, etc,

up to 30 records*****

 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that a true copy of the attached instrument (Complainant’s Request For Production of Documents) was mailed Priority mail, Delivery Cofirmation (# xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx) this 12th day of July 2012, to the below-named agency's representative.

 
 
 

 Agency Attorney's name (atty who can't hack it in real law)  (atty name will be in Ack. and Order)

 Litigation Counsel

 SBA Law Department

(Street)

(City, state) 

Sent Via delivery confirmation # xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

 

 

Dated: July 12, 2012

                                                                                   ______SIGN HERE____________________

                                                                                    (Your name, address, etc...) 

wizard  
#18 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 7:08:54 AM(UTC)
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if the agency does serve you with discovery, make sure you request LOTS of official time to respond.Tongue
Alucard41  
#19 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 8:22:51 AM(UTC)
Alucard41

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Thank you so much datbehard.  I must say, the dig on Federal Attornies was more than amusing.  I can't tell you just how true that is with other Federal jobs as well.  Unlike most long time Federal employees, I'm from the corporate world and when someone asks me what the difference is, I just answer "it's very different." I will say, however, that, the absence of competition creates a vastly different atmosphere...I'll just let it go at that.
 
 
datbehard  
#20 Posted : Monday, July 02, 2012 9:17:24 AM(UTC)
datbehard

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Alucard,
After re-looking at my made up RFP's for your situation, I would have to say all of them except RFP #1 would actually be used for your Request For Interrogatories.
RFP #1 ask for a document(s) that are tangible and obtainable.  Please research other posts that explain the who, what, where, when and why and where they fit in with Discovery.  Emails, letters, correspondence, job listings, postings, schedules, etc would all fall under RFP's.  You could change RFP #3 to: Request x (don't use the word "all") document that show how many of the dapplicants were disabled.
p.s. don't use words such as "all" or "and"
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