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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Irony: Judge Sues EEOC|for Harassment

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An administrative judge for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the agency, claiming it retaliated against her for her scoliosis and arthritis, and that her supervisors harassed her.

Kathleen Mulligan sued Jenny Yang, chairwoman of the EEOC, on Jan. 30 in Federal Court. She alleges retaliation, harassment, and failure to accommodate her disabilities.

Mulligan says she has worked for the EEOC for more than 20 years, nearly 13 years as an administrative judge. She suffers from "scoliosis, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis affecting her joints and general autoimmune system, causing severe pain and fatigue," limiting her ability to perform major life activities such as walking, typing, and lifting, according to her complaint.

She claims she was not provided with office equipment she requested to accommodate her conditions, despite a program with the Department of Defense that provides the equipment for no cost to federal employees or employers.

When she was reassigned to the Los Angeles District Office Hearing Unit, her supervisor Christine Siegel "began to express animus toward the plaintiff for her prior Title VII protected activity, including both participation in the formal EEO processes and opposition to Title VII discrimination," Mulligan says.

Mulligan claims that when she requested clerical support for filing and typing, Siegel told her "other judges don't get that."

She says Siegel regularly yelled at her, and threatened her job by saying, "Why don't you see if you can get another unit to take you?"

Siegel also commented in writing that Mulligan was "a pig defense lawyer" while in private practice, Mulligan says.

She claims that when she requested a travel accommodation, district resource manager Thomas Profit told her, "We don't do that."

Both Siegel and Perry have "been found by a contract administrative judge to have engaged in unlawful retaliation within the Los Angeles District Office against an administrative judge who suffered from multiple sclerosis and had requested reasonable accommodations due to her disability," Mulligan says in the lawsuit.

She claims that Siegel repeatedly referred to her as an "ungrateful fucking bitch," and that during a review, Siegel told her, "I am so sick of you."

While a contractor administrative judge issued an order accepting Mulligan's request for a hearing on her claims, she says she decided to sue, "due to the denial of due process inherent in the biased hearing procedure designed by the EEOC for its own benefit."

Mulligan wants the EEOC ordered to accommodate her requests, and damages.

She is represented by Andria Catalano Redcrow of San Diego.

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