View Full Version : Help with crouching EEO complaint

09-24-16, 11:33 AM

I've been a federal employee for over 10 years. I recently transferred to a nightmare job. Lots of workplace bullying, incompetent bosses, a, being single out. I made some waves when I first transferred - it was mischaracterized, mir represented and out of my career series, although I was hired in my series. Since then, life has been hell.

Through research, I learned I'm a soft target because I'm new and stay quiet. I've filed complaints. My bosses are building a paper file to claim incompetence, which I doubt a court will agree with. As a federal employee, there's not much I can sue for beyond actual financial harm. I'm afraid of my bosses and HR. I did speak to EEO once - I mistakenly thought harrassment on its own was a covered category.

ADD is a disability under ADA. My bosses are now aware of it, I suspect I'm also an Aspie. But I've generally been a great performer. Workplace bullying is not illegal. I've read ADD hasn't been considered enough of a disability to support an EEO lawsuit, unless the person can prove interpersonal issues with everyone.

So, does anyone have ideas how I can crouch my workplace bullying by incompetent bosses within the rules of an EEO complaint or lawsuit? Does anyone know of actual case law (particularly federal court) where ADD has been used successfully? I do have some "quirks" (Aspie) where I am very direct and literal, which usually hasn't been a problem until this job. I get distracted. I get depressed. I don't react will (emotional/defensive) when these jokers call surprise meetings to tell me yet another opinion of how I am incompetent, putting me on the defensive and having to dig out more documentation to disprove the latest.

I need some serious help. I have applied to over 150 jobs over the past 7 months and requests to transfer have been resolved by "kiss and make up" meetings.

09-24-16, 01:55 PM
Yikes. If you can hire a lawyer that specializes in this sort of thing, you should do so ASAP. Don't wait until you're about to file a lawsuit.

Your situation is different than most since the Americans with Disabilities Act apparently doesn't apply to federal agencies. (It's apparently still illegal for federal employees to discriminate against disabilities, but I couldn't find out what set of rules they have for stuff like the definition of disability.)

In ADA cases, after amendments/rulings that happened within the last few years, I think ADHD is easily determined to be a disability but the issue is that reasonable accommodations often don't help us with the essential functions of a job. (Disabled or not, you still need to be able to actually do the job.) Also, most people hide their ADHD, and employers generally aren't required to provide accommodations unless you ask, and they aren't required to reverse any punishments/warning/termination that occurred before you asked for accommodation.

09-24-16, 10:13 PM
So sorry to hear of your struggles ... when people try to label us incompetent at work, it is devastating ... it's nearly impossible to not let their criticisms take over your mind ...

But please be resilient ... You owe it to yourself ...

1. Start a journal and take down every weird thing said to you ... and if someone is saying something really inappropriate use an iphone or a recorder to secretly record it ...

2. When it comes to workplace and harassment complaints, contemporaneous notes are the key--notes taken the day of ... friends told of a harassment incident right when it happened. Memory is considered unreliable ... so start taking down notes with dates and times of meetings, etc ... and document as well all that you get done in a day ...

3. You should consult an employment lawyer ... Call your state or city bar association and ask for a reference for someone who handles federal employee discrimination or workplace issues ... A close friend of mine was a federal employee. He's now retired, and he retained a lawyer when some funky stuff started happening ot him. He ultimately kept his job and won $40,000 in damages ...

4. Also since you're under severe stress, definitely attend to your mental health. Consider getting a weekly counselor ... someone who can help you keep your sanity and cope during this time and consider going more frequently to the psychiatrist (assuming you go) to make sure your meds are in peak form. You need all the strength you can get right now.

Don't be afraid to ask for sleeping help or anxiety help ... you may need this because otherwise, you may not be able to do your job given the enormous stress you're under ...

Some federal employees have union representatives ... or employee groups that may not be unions but who have people you can consult. The important thing is to BREAK ISOLATION .... Just as you came here, start talking to people ... because under stress, your thinking constricts and we tend to freeze. Talking to others and consulting others is a way of avoiding that brain freeze that can occur ...

Good luck.


09-25-16, 06:39 PM
Are you unionized. If so, do they have someone that can help you? Otherwise - lawyer.

Great advice here already so not much to add.

09-26-16, 08:41 AM
I would get a reasonable accommodation in place. They cannot remove you from your job and if there are some tasks in your PD that you cannot do due to your disability they have to rewrite your PD to accommodate you.