What would you do if an employee came to you as her union rep to complain that it took three weeks for the agency to act on her complainant about a manager bullying and physically threatening her?  Yes, you could go shout and scream at the HR and EEO shops or even ask to see the local chief executive or write Congress.  But what if you also know that the agency had taken “same day” action against managers when two male employees recently filed similar bullying and physical threat complainants? Yup!  You would…  

file an EEO complaint claiming disparate treatment based on sex because you realized the employee had a prima facie case for sex discrimination, i.e.,

  • She was a member of a protected class,
  • she was subjected to adverse treatment, and
  • she was treated differently by otherwise similarly situated employees outside of her protected class.

That is all it takes to shift the burden onto management to come up with a believable legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions.

In this case, the agency had no good reason for the delay and EEOC found it guilty of illegal discriminatory disparate treatment.  It ordered the agency to restore the leave she took because of the bullying and give her back pay as well as attorney fees.

Marine V. v. Merrick B. Garland, Att’y. Gen., DOJ (Federal Bureau of Prisons), EEOC No. 2022003965 (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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