USPS employee awarded attorneys fees and costs on discrimination claim. A former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was awarded attorney’s fees and costs in a discrimination claim against the USPS.
Although she made two claims, the complainant only prevailed in one. An EEOC administrative judge (AJ) awarded the fees and costs on that claim even though the complainant was not awarded damages. The postal service appealed to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO). The USPS claimed that the administrative judge’s (AJ) ruling was an abuse of discretion. Specifically, the USPS argued the complainant was not a “prevailing party” regarding on one claim. As such, the awarded of attorneys’ fees and costs were not reasonable. The OFO disagreed because the circumstances surrounding the two claims were closely intertwined. This made it impossible to separate out the hourly rate to exclude the work done for the non-prevailing claim. Further, evidence showed that the attorneys charged the same rate in similar cases and the fees were not exceedingly higher than the average rate for attorneys in the area. Therefore, the OFO upheld the award.
Iliana S. v. Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/decisions/2021_04_05/2021000595%20DEC.pdf
Federal employee attorney Kirk J Angel handles claims before the EEOC and MSPB. His practice include representing federal employees in claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation or reprisal as well as others. If you are a federal employee and need an experienced attorney, you can set up your own consultation today right on our website. https://theangellawfirm.com/federal-employees