Update – December 2015
Initial Decision Finds NRP Discriminated Against Class
The Administrative Judge recently issued a favorable decision in favor of the class on most of the claims in the case. This means that the Administrative Judge ruled in favor of the class and against the USPS. Specifically, the Administrative Judge decided that the NRP violated the Rehabilitation Act on four claims: (1) Wrongful Disclosure of Medical Information—USPS failed to require redaction of an employee’s medical information as part of the NRP; (2) Failure to Provide a Reasonable Accommodation—USPS sent employees home with no-work available or partial no-work available determinations, or sent employees to new assignments as part of the NRP; (3) Disparate Treatment of Injured on Duty Employees—USPS targeted employees and sought to compel retirements under the NRP; (4) Harassment—USPS created a hostile work environment under the NRP.
USPS has indicated that it will appeal the Administrative Judge’s decision. We do not know how long it will take for the appeal to be decided. The claim process for individual class members will not begin until after the appeal process is completed. It is anticipated that the appeal process may take at least one year.
It is very important to emphasize that the Judge's decision does not provide any guarantee that any particular class member will obtain personal relief. Instead, the order finds in favor of several class-wide claims, and individual class members will be able to file personal claims in the future (if the Judge's decision is upheld on appeal). Also, even if the Judge's decision is upheld on appeal, the Agency may still attempt to prove that individual class members were not personally treated improperly or personally harmed under the NRP.
We will continue to update this website with information on the status of the case, and as always, we appreciate your patience with this legal process.
Update – May 2015
The EEOC recently issued a favorable decision denying a motion brought by the USPS seeking to decertify the class. The USPS argued that information obtained during discovery showed that the case should not go forward as a class action, and the Administrative Judge rejected this latest attempt by the USPS to break apart the class. This decision means that the case will move forward as a class action.
We are still waiting for the Administrative Judge to issue decisions on other pending motions which will determine how the case will move forward. We will continue to update this website with information on the status of the case, and as always, we appreciate your patience with this legal process.
Update – November 2014
Over the past few months, the parties have completed the ongoing discovery process in this matter, in which both sides exchange relevant information to move the case forward. While that phase was wrapping up, both sides have been submitting motions to the judge so that she can make decisions about how the case will proceed.
The motions will be fully briefed this month, and after that, we will be waiting for the judge to issue her decisions. At this point, we do not know how long the judge will take to review the submissions and render any decisions. As always, we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue on in this legal process.
Update – May 2014
The parties are now completing the discovery process that has been ongoing in this matter. During the discovery process, both sides have been exchanging relevant information to move the case forward. This phase of litigation is often extensive, especially for a class action of this size. It requires the parties to gather and digest large amounts of information and documents relevant to the claims in this case.
As the next step in this legal process, in the coming months the parties anticipate filing various motions with the Administrative Judge before a hearing is scheduled. We do not know how long this process will take or what timeline the judge has in mind for this phase of the case. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue on in this legal process.
Update – March 2013
EEOC REJECTS USPS ATTEMPT TO BREAK APART THE MCCONNELL CLASS
The EEOC has rejected an attempt by USPS attorneys to break apart the McConnell class. In July 2012, USPS attorneys filed a motion to redefine the class, and force certain McConnell class members to bring their claims before the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”). The Administrative Judge recently denied the USPS’s motion in its entirety. The Administrative Judge held that because the McConnell complaint focused on the NRP, which resulted in some reductions and eliminations of rehabilitation and limited duty positions, the claims belonged in the certified EEOC class action. The Administrative Judge noted that the USPS request would have resulted in undue delay in justice and unnecessary procedural complications. After the Administrative Judge’s ruling, USPS attorneys sought to appeal the ruling to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations. The EEOC recently denied the USPS appeal.
Our legal team continues to pursue the class members claims against the Postal Service and is currently engaging in the discovery process. As part of this process, our legal team is reviewing and exchanging documents as well as conducting depositions. This process is time consuming but necessary to vindicate class members rights. Given the importance of the issue at stake, the discovery process is quite extensive and time consuming. Though it may appear that there are periods of time where nothing is happening, our legal team continues to work diligently and is always available to answer any questions you may have about the case. We will continue to update this website with the current status of the case and encourage you to check back.
Update – February 2010
Recently, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held that all permanent rehabilitation employees
and limited duty employees at the agency who have been subjected to the NRP from May 5, 2006, to the present are included
in the class.
You can read the decision here.
You can review the class certification notice here.
If you believe you fall within the class, please fill in the questionnaire.
As the case moves forward, additional developments will be posted on this page.