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Plaintiff v. Social Security Administration

Appeal No. 0120170703

Agency No. PHI-15-0125-SSA

Decided March 27, 2019

Plaintiff was employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a Management Analyst. She suffered from narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness), Raynaud’s Disease (causes blood vessels to contract when stressed, affecting circulation), and spondylolisthesis (forward slipping of lower vertebrae). Because of her disabilities, the SSA recommended that she have a commute time of less than 30 minutes and limited sitting time, which would decrease her pain and increase her ability to concentrate on her work. However, her local office failed to provide her with these accommodations, which resulted in her transfer to another office that she could live closer to. During this time, she lost her ability to run, suffered great physical pain, and moved over 100 miles from her family and friends.

Plaintiff requested about $40,000 in future compensatory damages, about $12,000 in past compensatory damages, and $200,000 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages (non-quantifiable damages i.e. pain and suffering). The SSA awarded her a total of $45,332.14 in its original decision, holding that her lost child support payments from her move were non-compensatory and that her future damages were too speculative. The EEOC held that the original damages were insufficient to compensate her for the severity of her physical harm, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and negative impact on her familial relationships, and increased her damages by $25,000, to a total of $70,332.14.

Read the EEOC’s full decision here.

Attorney Kirk J. Angel did not represent the above Petitioner. However, he does represent federal employees in cases heard by the EEOC.