Baton Rouge readers may be surprised to learn about a workplace discrimination claim that has some onlookers scratching their heads in disbelief. The ongoing employment law dispute started back in 2006 when a woman with multiple sclerosis filed a disability discrimination complaint against her employer, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Until 2007, the woman worked as an administrative law judge for the EEOC where she helped issue determinations of other peoples’ workplace discrimination claims. In 2011, nearly 26,000 of the complaints reviewed by the EEOC involved allegations of discrimination based on disability. The EEOC is the agency charged with enforcing federal workplace discrimination laws.
The former administrative law judge claims that the EEOC discriminated against her because of her multiple sclerosis. She says that the agency refused to accommodate her special health care needs by allowing her to work from home. She also claims that the agency imposed stricter deadlines upon her compared to non-disabled employees and that she was denied promotions because of her health condition.
The woman originally filed an internal complaint with the agency and an administrative law judge found that the EEOC had retaliated against the woman after she filed her complaint. The judge also found, however, that the woman couldn’t perform the duties of her job even with the accommodations she had asked for and, therefore, could not be protected by the federal Rehabilitation Act.
The woman began the process of appealing the judge’s decision internally, but withdrew her internal appeal after deciding to pursue a civil lawsuit. Although the woman’s lawsuit was at first dismissed, she recently won a federal court of appeals ruling allowing her to move forward.
It is not clear how this specific situation will turn out. However, because of the EEOC’s involvement in the case, employers in Baton Rouge and beyond may be anxious to see its conclusion.
Source: Huffington Post, “Mary Bullock’s Discrimination Lawsuit Against Anti-Discrimination Agency Most Ironic Lawsuit Ever?” July 31, 2012