A Dep’t. of Agriculture employee informed the agency that the mold spores in the agency building were causing her significant health problems. When she asked for approval for full-time telework it took the agency nearly three months to approve that.  Shortly after approval she suffered a near-fatal pulmonary attack which resulted in “organ deficits” including dysfunctional kidneys, cardiac fibrillation, and diabetes, and left her hospitalized for over three months. She filed an EEO charge alleging the agency’s delay in approving full-time telework led to her hospitalization. The agency argued that it should not be held liable for a building’s problem given that it is a mere tenant.  EEOC rejected the defense, upheld the idea that the agency was accountable for the delay in approving full-time telework and ordered the agency to cut the employee a check for over $890,000.  In short, unions and employees should not be reluctant to demand reasonable accommodations and monetary damages when the federal agency is merely a tenant to in a private building with health issues.  Check out Tien E., v. Thomas J. Vilsack, Sec’y., Dep’t of Agriculture, EEOC No. 2020001343 (2023)


About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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