EEOC ORDERS 19 YEARS OF BACK PAY
An employee filed an EEO charge in 1998 claiming she was being harassed because of her race, national origin, color, disability, age, and prior EEO activity. Just last month after years of deliberate efforts by the agency to drag the case out, EEOC threw up its hands and imposed a default judgment on the agency for failing to cooperate in the appeal. The employee also filed another complaint around the same time over a denied promotion from a GS-9 to GS-11. Four years later the agency removed the employee in 2002. EEOC ordered the agency to not only reinstate her with backpay beginning in 2002, but also to promote her retroactive to 1998. Toss in interest and the continuing investigation into paying her damage on top of the back pay and this agency is looking at a check for about $1 million. (EEOC left the agency a chance to prove that the 2002 removal was not for discriminatory reasons which would substantially reduce the money owed.) Nonetheless, this is yet another case demonstrating the power of the right of an employee to back pay going back decades if need be. Agencies need to keep that liability in mind when delaying resolution of a dispute. Employees and unions need to keep this and similar decisions imposing back pay long into the past when agencies try to bluff that decade-old violations cannot be legally remedied. Check out this brand new decision titled Amina W., V. Rick Perry, Secretary, Department of Energy, Appeal No. 0120113823.