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Federal employee wins EEOC appeal. An employee with the Department of Health and Human Services filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint against the agency.

He alleged that management failed to take adequate action when he was subjected to repeated harassment (including the use of homophobic epithets, cursing, and threats) from a subordinate. Although witnesses corroborated the incidents, the administrative judge (AJ) determined that the conduct was not sufficiently severe or pervasive to be considered a hostile working environment. Further, the AJ acknowledged that management failed to rectify the problem. The agency claimed that it was the complainant’s responsibility to discipline the subordinate himself. On appeal, the claimant asserted that he submitted disciplinary action multiple times only for it to be ignored. The Office of Federal Operations reversed and remanded the AJ’s decision to not hold management liable.

Foster B. v. Xavier Becerra, Dep’t of Health and Human Services https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/decisions/2021_06_08/2019005682.pdf

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