Office worker dating patients
The Agency found that Complainant proved she was subjected to unlawful retaliation when she was harassed and terminated from her position, and subsequently awarded her $10,000 in non-pecuniary damages. Complainant provided a statement from her therapist and medical documentation establishing that she suffered from an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depression which was caused by the retaliatory discharge.
Therefore, Complainant was entitled to reasonable attorney's fees associated with the filing of the petition for enforcement.
The Commission noted that Complainant was not entitled to attorney's fees for work performed in pursuit of her claim of age discrimination because attorney's fees are not available under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The evidence showed that the Agency's denial of accommodation interfered with Complainant's healing following her two surgeries. The Agency issued a final decision finding that Complainant was subjected to sexual harassment by a Supervisor, and subsequently awarded Complainant $500 in compensatory damages.
The Commission noted, however, that the record indicated that Complainant's life was drastically affected by her medical condition prior to the discriminatory denial of accommodation. On appeal, the Commission found that the award was not adequate.
With regard to the amount of fees, the Commission found that, in connection with the first appeal, Complainant was not entitled to fees for work related to a request for reconsideration which dealt with her age discrimination claim.
With regard to the work associated with the Agency's non-compliance with the Commission's previous Order and the filing of the petition for enforcement, as well as the second appeal, the Commission noted that the Agency did not challenge the number of hours claimed. Complainant filed a formal EEO complaint alleging that the Agency discriminated against him on the basis of his disability when it failed to provide him with a sign language interpreter during staff meetings on six occasions.Finally, the Commission found that Complainant's attorney provided sufficient evidence to support the claim for reasonable costs. In its final decision, the Agency acknowledged that it "did not always accommodate Complainant's requests for reasonable accommodation." Nevertheless, the Agency stated that it had reasons for not providing an interpreter on the dates in question, specifically, confusion over the date of a meeting, cancellation of a meeting, "management oversight," no "associated request," and traffic delays.
Complainant provided documentation showing that she received psychological counseling related to her medical condition.The Commission found that the Agency's inaction did not qualify as an attempt to provide a reasonable accommodation.While the Agency did provide Complainant with an interpreter on 11 occasions, the Commission emphasized that the Agency's duty to provide reasonable accommodation was ongoing.Thus, the Agency was ordered to pay Complainant a total of $28,950 in attorney's fees and $53.12 in costs. The Agency found that it was not liable for compensatory damages because it made a good faith effort to accommodate Complainant's disability as evidenced by its implementation of an Interpreter Procedure to provide Complainant with accommodation.On appeal, the Commission noted that, given the Agency's acknowledgment that it did not provide Complainant with accommodation on some occasions, the only issue on appeal was whether the Agency was liable for damages.Therefore, the Agency was liable for compensatory damages in connection with its failure to provide accommodation on four occasions, and the matter was remanded for a supplemental investigation on the issue of damages. 0120114330 (February 14, 2013), request for reconsideration denied, EEOC Request No. $50,000 Awarded for Retaliatory Harassment and Termination.