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EEOC, Appeal and Corruption

Discussion in 'Discrimination & Sexual Harassment' started by HBPZ, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I recently had a summary judgement in my case against the agency (federal) at the EEOC. I cant believe how this could happen. I had a good attorney. There were genuine dispute in material facts. At any rate, I wanted to know how often are these decisions overturned when I appeal it to the OFO and should i get another attorney or is it better to stick with one who has been working the case. And the last question is I have heard that there is corruption in these EEOC judges because they are pro-agency working for the agencies and they want to get rid of cases very quickly because they are swamped with cases.. Is that the case? Thanks.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Where did you hear this?

     
  3. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Summary judgement is appropriate when there are no genuine disputes of material facts. A material fact is one that would make a difference in the outcome. So the way it works when the court is considering summary judgment in favor of the agency is that where facts in the case are disputed it will take your version of the disputed facts and ask the question: would the employee win the case if these were the facts of the case? If the answer is no, then the court grants summary judgment in favor of the agency. Read the ALJ decision carefully. It should state the facts on which the ALJ relied in making the summary judgment ruling.

    Most appeals to the OFO result in the decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) being affirmed. That's not surprising; if the ALJ does his/her job correctly then most of their decisions are going to be correct and upheld on appeal. Whether the ALJ decision in your case would be affirmed is impossible to for me to say since I know nothing of your case and haven't read the decision. Nor can I tell you whether to get a new attorney. That's up to you. My advice though is that unless you have some reason to think that the attorney was truly incompetent in presenting your case that you probably are best off sticking with your current attorney. He or she knows your case already and going with a new attorney would take time (which is very limited here given the short time for appeal) and cost you extra money while the new attorney gets up to speed on the case.

    There is not corruption going on here. Nor is there an incentive for the ALJ to seek to favor your agency. The EEOC ALJ doesn't work for your agency and the EEOC doesn't have a stake in the outcome of cases against your agency. They do have a lot of cases, and that may mean that a ALJ ends up spending less time on cases than he or she would with a lesser case load. That might affect the quality of the decisions of a particular ALJ.

    Employment illegal discrimination cases are often difficult to prove. While an employee may be convinced that he or she was illegally discriminated against, proving that with evidence that will convince a judge or jury is challenging.
     
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  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  6. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hear you.. but seriously.. is it completely false? Some anecdotal evidence has some truth to it..
     
  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    A short opinion is warranted if the complaint and evidence available for summary judgment clearly fails to show illegal discrimination occurred. Again, without reading the complaint and whatever else you submitted to the ALJ it's impossible to know if the ALJ got it right.

    No. Understand that management screw ups, bad decisions, etc don't automatically equate to illegal discrimination. You have to present evidence that your suspension was due to illegal discrimination, e.g. because of your race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, etc. Presenting evidence that management's actions lacked "merit" doesn't get you all the way there. You still need something to show that the agency's decision was motivated by illegal discrimination rather than, say, stupidity or whatever. Management can make all kinds of bad decisions that have nothing to do with illegal discrimination. In an EEOC proceeding, the issue is illegal discrimination, not whether the management made a sound decision. And you have the burden to prove the illegal discrimination. So what evidence did you have that your suspension was due to something like race, religion, etc., rather than something else?

    Like I said, it's not corruption. EEOC ALJs aren't in cahoots with other federal agencies to block employees with good claims. A lot of employees jump to that kind of conclusion because most employees do not succeed in their cases and they are absolutely convinced they had good cases. The fact is, though, that for many of them their cases were simply not the slam dunk cases that they thought they had. That's not unique to EEOC hearings; in most any litigation there are a number of cases in which one or both parties thinks their case is a lot stronger than it really is and when they lose or don't get what they thought they would they tend to want to blame the judge or jury rather than look objectively to see what defects their case might really have.

    Again, I cannot say whether the ALJ in your case got it right. Like any other judge, they don't always get it right. But I suggest you ask your lawyer what evidence you had that shows agency illegal discrimination — not just that the agency management was screwed up — but that shows that the reason for your adverse treatment was illegal discrimination. And ask your lawyer for a realistic appraisal of your success on appeal. Bear in mind that the appeal will be decided based on the record developed in the ALJ proceeding.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you ask your attorney of record.

    Most people tend to stick with the horse they rode to the fair.

    You might decide to do otherwise.

    Corruption exists, but it isn't as rampant as most people choose to believe.

    It wouldn't hurt you to discuss any of your concerns with your attorney of record.

    Discussions can be very useful and informative.
     
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  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    A certain percentage of folks who lose are always sure that their loss is due to a corrupt judge rather than the fact that their case was weak or that they did a poor job of presenting it. It CAN'T be either of those reasons, it can ONLY be that the judge maliciously ruled against them for (whatever).

    After all, isn't that what you're suggesting here?
     
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  10. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    So, there was no illegal discrimination in the first place. You just filed a complaint claiming that to get the boss of your back. That, as you acknowledge here, doesn't cut it for illegal discrimination. As for retaliation for filing the complaint, management taking adverse action against you shortly after the complaint is filed certainly can give the appearance of retaliation for making a complaint of illegal discrimination, but certainly isn't conclusive of that. If management can show other reasons for taking the action it did, you don't have a good retaliation case. And if it was apparent to the ALJ that you did not make the complaint in good faith, i.e. that you knew there wasn't really any illegal discrimination, that would be enough to kill your illegal retaliation claim, too. You are not protected from retaliation for complaints that are made in bad faith.

    Note that expert testimony only goes so far. The expert cannot opine on the ultimate issue in the case; that's for the ALJ to decide. The expert is also limited to matters within his/her field of expertise. Did the ALJ have the expert's report?
     
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  11. shadowbunny

    shadowbunny Member

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  12. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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    How about this: This is for Tax Counsel too:

    EEOC "Leadership" Says No Need for Code of Judicial Ethics - When The Abuser Goes To Work...
    Scrolll down to the 2nd comment at the end from Mary Bullock an actual former judge at the EEOC
     
  13. shadowbunny

    shadowbunny Member

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    Heavy sigh. Once again, you're missing the point. It appears that what you want us to say is that you were the victim of a corrupt judge and you should have won. If that's your goal, then I suggest you go back to those sites you referenced and find your echo chamber there.
     
  14. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Two of the OP's posts in this thread deleted at his request.
     
  15. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What do you guys think of the stuff I posted about Corruption tho? Total BS?
     
  16. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    About 97% BS, yes. You'll never find an industry where there are 100% clean hands, but IMO and experience the majority are not corrupt.
     
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  17. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Again, it's not an issue of corruption. In the context of people being corrupt, Webster's defines corruption as:

    a : dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers) : depravity
    b : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (such as bribery)

    While there might be a corrupt EEOC judge out there — one intentionally throwing cases in favor of the government, perhaps in exchange for a bribe, or whatever — there is no evidence suggesting widespread corruption of EEOC judges. Disappointed employees who are absolutely convinced they had a good case but lose anyway sometimes jump to the conclusion that the judge was corrupt or biased against them because they can't see how they could have lost.

    With all administrative law judge arrangements there is some risk of institutional bias, i.e. a tendency for the ALJs to be a bit more favorable to the agency that employs them. For example, an ALJ employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) will tend to have some institutional bias towards SSA when hearing appeals of SSA determinations. That's not surprising since the SSA is the agency who pays them and is the agency that reviews them and decides whether they get promotions, pay raises, get fired, etc. But the EEOC situation is more unusual here in that the EEOC ALJs are not hearing cases of EEOC decisions but the decisions of OTHER agencies. Because the ALJs are not employed by those other agencies and their reviews, pay, promotions, etc, are not determined by those other agencies, there is a lot less risk of institutional bias here than with other ALJs.

    You can go to federal district court after just about each step of your appeal process if you want and have the federal court decide the matter rather than continue with administrative appeals. But you've already admitted that your claim of illegal discrimination was weak and basically wasn't a serious complaint; you just did it to get your boss off your back. That's not what illegal discrimination complaints are for. And when the initial complaint is made in bad faith, you are not protected from retaliation for having made the complaint. Thus, by your own admission here I don't see a strong case for you. And I think that is probably more at the heart of why you are losing these decisions than anything else.
     
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  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    And let's not forget that in filing a claim that you knew was meritless, you've taken time and resources away from people with legitimate claims.
     
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  19. HBPZ

    HBPZ Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So if I am understanding you correct TaxCounsel the way the reprisal laws are interpreted are
    even if one's boss retaliates against you (takes material adverse action against you specifically for initiating a discrimination complaint) it is not actionable if the discrimination complaint is weak? So retaliation is legal unles, the discrimination case is proven as well. Thats not how I read the law and I am almost illiterate.. The 3 elements are: Employees participation in protected activity,an adverse action taken against the employee and a causal connection. Once all three are met hearing should be granted.. The judge should not look at my discrimination case and wonder whether or not its weak or strong.. My complaints were valid(to me) it was not bullshit I should have my day in court
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Kvetching, whining, complaining, carping, grumbling, bellyaching, venting, faultfinding, blaming, excusing, or most other "ings" on this forum will never be helpful.

    Why?

    No one here is in any position to actually assist or inhibit you from seeking "your" justice or in telling "your" truth.
     
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