EEOC Administrative Judge Awards $250,000 to Disabled USPS Employee

Employee Unable to Bear Children as a Result of Postal Service’s Unlawful Conduct, Judge Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hosea Legal PLLC announced today that it received a decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finding that the United States Postal Service failed to accommodate a disabled employee, retaliated against her, and subjected her to a hostile work environment in violation of federal law.

The USPS employee returned from her honeymoon in November 2011 to work as a letter carrier in the D.C. Metro Area. The young woman, who had a serious back condition, asked the Postal Service to follow her medical restrictions so that she could perform her job safely. The Postal Service ignored her requests for accommodation and repeatedly threatened to send her home without pay. As a result, the employee worked in pain for months and suffered substantial injury to her back.

Administrative Judge Julie Procopiow Todd presided over the employee’s four-day EEOC hearing last January. In her decision, Judge Todd emphasized the severity of harm, stating that the Postal Service’s unlawful conduct “ultimately rendered Complainant incapable of carrying a pregnancy – this is a devastating prognosis for someone, like Complainant, who had hoped to have a child of her own with her husband.”

The administrative judge ordered the Postal Service to pay $250,000.00 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages, pay $958.00 in pecuniary compensatory damages, provide in-person EEO training to managers, and take other corrective action. Stephanie Hosea, founding attorney of Hosea Legal, represented the employee. The administrative judge ordered the Postal Service to pay the employee’s full attorney’s fees, noting in her decision that Ms. Hosea “provided exceptional representation to Complainant.”

“This decision sends a very strong message to the Postal Service that it must respond appropriately to disabled workers’ pleas for help,” said Ms. Hosea. “Otherwise, vulnerable employees get hurt, sometimes severely and irreparably like in this case.”

Hosea Legal PLLC is a Washington, D.C. law firm that represents federal employees nationwide before the EEOC, MSPB, and other federal administrative bodies. More information about Hosea Legal can be found at www.law4work.com. Information about the EEOC, including its federal sector EEO complaint process, can be found at www.eeoc.gov.

  • Richard Pisz

    The same thing happened to me as a distribution clerk. My orthopedic doctor wrote a letter requesting that I be given the opportunity to process letters when such work is available in order to help alleviate back pain. Management totally ignored the letters for two years and directed me to work parcels knowing that it would hurt me…… The environment was extremely hostile. I had to retire and have a 6-hr surgery for severe extreme stenosis and triple laminectomy. I would like to have worked just one more year, but thank God I had 40 years already in. However, the unwillingness of postal management left a great deal of bitterness and hate for their despicable and unprofessional actions in their wake. I was going to sue for a few million, but being I was close to retirement, let it go…………