Complainant consistently expressed a profound fear of the official who terminated her, and stated that she experienced headaches, fear of going out alone and difficulty sleeping. Following a hearing, an Administrative Judge (AJ) found that the Agency discriminated against Complainant on the basis of her disability when it denied her reasonable accommodation, and awarded Complainant ,000 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages. Complainant stated that she had physical pain and was unable to participate in sports or tend to her family and home as she did in the past.Thus, the Commission concluded that Complainant was entitled to an award of ,000 in non-pecuniary damages. Complainant provided a letter from her podiatrist stating that the Agency's failure to provide Complainant with accommodation exacerbated her condition, and Complainant became depressed due to the chronic pain.While the Agency did provide Complainant with an interpreter on 11 occasions, the Commission emphasized that the Agency's duty to provide reasonable accommodation was ongoing.
With regard to the work associated with the Agency's non-compliance with the Commission's previous Order and the filing of the petition for enforcement, as well as the second appeal, the Commission noted that the Agency did not challenge the number of hours claimed. Complainant filed a formal EEO complaint alleging that the Agency discriminated against him on the basis of his disability when it failed to provide him with a sign language interpreter during staff meetings on six occasions.
On appeal, the Commission noted that, given the Agency's acknowledgment that it did not provide Complainant with accommodation on some occasions, the only issue on appeal was whether the Agency was liable for damages.
An Agency is not liable for compensatory damages in cases of disability discrimination where it demonstrates that it made a good faith effort to accommodate the disability.
Complainant appealed those decisions to the Commission.
The Commission initially addressed the issue of whether Complainant was a prevailing party for purposes of awarding attorney's fees.