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EEOC punished Navy for delayed investigation

Complainant v. U.S. Dep’t of the Navy, EEOC No. 570-2018-00719X

A federal employee retained our firm to represent him in connection with his EEO complaint against the U.S. Department of the Navy.  The employee alleged that the Navy subjected him to a hostile work environment in retaliation for engaging in protected EEO activity.  He filed his formal complaint on January 18, 2017.  Federal regulations require agencies to investigate the claims and provide a copy of the Report of Investigation (ROI) within 180 days of receiving the formal complaint.  However, the Navy did not produce the ROI until 695 days later.  The complainant requested a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge.  We immediately filed a motion for sanctions.  We asked for a default judgment, which is the harshest possible sanction.  In other words, we asked the judge to rule in our client’s favor without requiring him to prove his claims, to punish the Navy for failing to investigate in a timely manner.  The judge agreed with our legal arguments and entered a default judgment in favor of our client and against the Navy.

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