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EEOC reinstated sexual harassment claims

We represented two research assistants who worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  For years, their supervisor sexually harassed them by inappropriately touching them and kissing them on the lips.  Due to fear of retaliation, our clients did not immediately report the sexual harassment.  When they filed EEO complaints, the agency dismissed their cases for untimely EEO contact.  The VA contended that the employees failed to contact EEO within 45 days of the last inappropriate physical contact.  We filed an appeal with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Office of Federal Operations (OFO).  In the appeal, we argued that even if the physical touching had ended, the sexual harassment continued as long as the employees were under their harasser.  The OFO agreed and ordered the VA to reinstate and investigate our clients’ claims.

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