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Federal Employees: You be the Judge

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#41 Posted : Friday, September 7, 2018 3:25:09 PM(UTC)

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If you are currently on FMLA, jump through every single hoop.

It sounds like this is bad, and when you go back, the harrassment won't go away.

The options, quitting is better than getting fired. Look for another job, you will be better off in a better environment, even if you take a hit in pay. Disability? Retirement? Good luck.
#42 Posted : Monday, September 10, 2018 3:44:54 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Nurse4KU Go to Quoted Post
I lost my hearing, and received no compensation, not even just to cover my legal fees, which I knew the minute it started I was going to lose, as I did not have representation and the VA did. At the point of the hearing I was already a heaping pile of stress, my current supervisor who was only a co-worker at the time I filed my initial EEO complaint continues to harass me constantly now even after my hearing March, 2018. I even had to file a new EOC to get back the 8 hours of SL I had to take to attend the pre-hearing conference set by the EOC. My manager denied my leave and stated she has no knowledge of anything. I provided case numbers and informed her to contact the EOC case manager, who also seemed to not know. I had to use my own SL and not AA to prepare for a pre-hearing conference and attend it the next day. I was of course not prepared.

I submitted FMLA paperwork, but for the 2 days prior to getting the paperwork submitted I was on SL with a doctors note, she placed me AWOL despite having a note. So now I have yet another fight. It never ends, yes they are stupid and do whatever they want, why not nothing happens to them, I even submitted a doctors note and she put me on AWOL.

I lost for many reasons but my initial complaint was thrown out and I knew it was weak, but I filed only after that supervisor continued harassment after I filed the initial EOC. The retaliation cases were essentially also thrown out because I was not able to prove my manager had prior knowledge of the prior EOC when she retaliated against me.

If I had a clearer head at the time, I would have insisted the investigator dig more into the date my manager was notified of the original EOC. She was able to state she did not know until 4 months later that she knew about the EOC. The director was notified on Nov. 1st, and based on the dates the interrogatories were served it looks like my manager was not aware until end of February. There is much more to this, and now the harassment continues, due to staffing shortages, I have a new manager who was promoted after that manager was fired. The new manager was the issue all along, she was behind the sceens doing what she could to ensure the original supervisor was removed and she was promoted, despite being poorly qualified. (I am not even a threat to her job, I live 1500 miles away and make more money). Now I am just labeled as trouble, because I am trying to protect my job and not get fired. I just try to do my work, but my managers make it impossible, nearly everyone is miserable and trying to find new jobs, making it worse for everyone else. The inequality for those that are not BFF's with the managers, or in a protected class is ramped. I want out of the job and I am currently on FMLA, but I know if I have to return the harassment will continue.

If I lost my EOC case, what is my next step? I do not want to get fired, but I am fearful they are trying their best, until I can find another job.

1st, If you lose, why would you get any compensation? That is not how court cases go. The losers don't get paid. Be grateful that "loser pays' is not the standard where the other party get to go after the loser for their costs.

2nd. If you are truly being harassed by your new supervisor, and you have provided her your case numbers, etc for your EEO cases for Admin Leave to attend to those cases and she declined them, then you have a potential reprisal case with that alone. If you file a new complaint of reprisal, once it is file, send the supervisor an email stating you have filed a complaint of reprisal, on what date it was filed and the complaint number. Get delivery and read receipts from the email. Then you have evidence of the supervisor being made aware of that complaint so anything further she does that is in retaliation can be added to the new complaint as like and related.

Lastly: No matter how good or thorough you think the ROI is, there is always more to gather in discovery. If nothing else interrogatories and depositions can be useful to seeing how to discredit a witness and see what they are trying to hide. A refusal to provide something give a good clue there may be something there. So you can push for the judge to direct...or if they are refusing still, ask for sanctions, to include summary judgement in your favor. If you are lucky, you may find agency witnesses will lose their temper when asked certain questions...which goes to their credibility. After all, why get angry when asked questions of fact? And so on. And don't rely on a lawyer to catch everything. Even the best can miss things, especially if you have the corporate knowledge they don't have. You are a team (if you are treated that way, get a new lawyer!! May not have to change firms, just talk to a senior partner and explain your concerns) and between you, you should find all the facts in your favor. That said, your attorney should give you a honest assessment of the strength of your case so you don't spend tonnes of money on a clear loser. The other side is...if they say you have a guaranteed winner...walk away. No case is ever guaranteed to win. If they say "You have a very strong case, we are pretty certain we can win based on what we see so far, but there is always a chance we missed a key piece of evidence in the agency's favor, or a judge may rule against us. That said, we think those issues are tiny and not likely to come up."....then you may have a good, honest lawyer.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
#43 Posted : Monday, September 10, 2018 6:10:48 AM(UTC)

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My apologies if you thought I intended to collect money even if I lost. I was not in it to make money, but the case took a financial toll on my family. After 5 years of dealing with this I realize losing means losing. Yes I did file a reprisal after denied AA to attend and prepare for my pre hearing conference. They can still claim they have no idea. I went to mediation and was given back my SL, yet I have received this back yet. The employee has to take full responsibility to follow up email and call, but all of this takes time, and the more time I spend the less work I complete, which then causes management to harass me regarding work completion. Nothing will change and yes I am basically done trying, opening a few months on FMLA trying to find a new job.

The employee is always at a disadvantage, I don't have the money to pay a lawyer anymore, if I had the time to spend putting the case together I would end up with more write ups for not completing my work. I took 32 hours of AA over 4 years and they thought this was a large amount. Putting together a case and discovery is impossible when you are constantly in fear of job loss and continued harassment.

These managers have many other complaints including harassment and bullying, yet nothing happens. It is unbelievable the mental toll it takes on those, the employee usually ends up feeling like they must be doing something wrong because why else would a manager harass and bully you constantly. It causes extreme anxiety after time, yes fining a new job sounds easy but its not, when you have bills, a child that relies on the insurance for their care, and the pay. Taking a huge pay cut and losing my insurance that provides the care my child needs is difficult.
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