Wednesday, September 19, 2012
USPS attorney strong arms federal employee to a quicky settlement offer
United States postal Service (USPS) U.S. attorney strong arms complainant Robert Weldon to an unlawfully quick settlement offer. I was disgusted by this 2012 EEOC appeal, not because it was USPS but because it was a tactic by a federal agency against a federal employee.
In applying the OWBPA, the Commission ruled that less than an hour is an unreasonable period of time in which to consider a settlement agreement.
See Love v. Department of Defense (DOD-Office of Dependents Education), EEOC Appeal No. 01952642 (Oct. 18, 1996).
In another case, the Commission ruled that where a complainant was not represented by an attorney and was emotionally distraught shortly before signing the settlement agreement,
a 24 hour period to sign the settlement agreement was not a reasonable period of time.
Woychik-Brown v. Department of Agriculture, EEOC Request No. 05960768 (July 16, 1999).
The Agency unexpectedly called Complainant into a meeting where it presented him with a written settlement offer, he did not have an attorney present, he asked for a week, then four days, then a day to consider the offer and the Agency told him he must sign the offer now/today to have an agreement, and immediately after
signing the settlement agreement Complainant asked to have it rescinded. The Agency does not contest this. We find that given these circumstances, the evidence shows that the Agency did not give Complainant a reasonable amount of time to consider the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement is invalid because it does not meet a requirement of the OWBPA.3
Robert F. Weldon,
Patrick R. Donahoe,
United States Postal Service
Appeal No. 0120113841
Agency No. 4C-080-0060-11
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