Victories & Settlements

  • Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, successfully settled our client’s EEOC case against the Department of Agriculture

    Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, successfully settled our client’s EEOC case against the Department of Agriculture for $29,000, and a clean record. Our client had not been permitted to resign with a clean record due to the now-rescinded Executive Order prohibiting clean records. At the time of settlement, the Agency pushed back against a clean record settlement, but Ms. Lolotai diligently worked to convince the Agency to include such term in our client’s settlement agreement.

  • Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, successfully settled our client’s EEOC case against the Department of Agriculture

    Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, successfully settled our client’s EEOC case against the Department of Agriculture for $29,000, and a clean record. Our client had not been permitted to resign with a clean record due to the now-rescinded Executive Order prohibiting clean records. At the time of settlement, the Agency pushed back against a clean record settlement, but Ms. Lolotai diligently worked to convince the Agency to include such term in our client’s settlement agreement.

  • Firm Partners, Attorneys Mierau and Ferrini Settle MSPB Removal Case

    Firm Partners Michael Mierau and Corinna Ferrini recently settled a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) case where the government agency had removed the client from the job for alleged misconduct. The agency agreed to change the reason the client left work to one based on medical inability, place the client on leave without pay for a year to provide the client with employment benefits, and pay the client $45,000.

  • John P. Mahoney Successfully Argued an Appeal of First Impression Before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    John P. Mahoney successfully argued an appeal of first impression before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, resulting in the creation of new due process rights for a class of disabled excepted service federal employees and the reversal of several MSPB decisions and an OPM regulation. VanWersch v. Department of Health and Human Servs., 197 F.3d 1144 (Fed. Cir. 1999) 
  • MSPB issued Three Final Decisions Awarding Over $45,000 in Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees
    The MSPB issued three final decisions awarding over $45,000 in reasonable attorneys’ fees based upon the successfully enforced settlement of the appellant’s removal appeal. In one of those decisions, the Board held that “the appellant met his burden of showing that he is the prevailing party, he incurred attorneys fees and that an award of attorneys’ fees is warranted in the interest of justice.” E.g., Hussey v. United States Department of Agriculture, MSPB Docket No. DA-0752-10-0130-A-1 (Jan. 6, 2011).
  • Attorney DeRamus Reversed Department of State's Improper Dismissal of Complaint

    Firm Of Counsel Sterling L. DeRamus, Esq., successfully convinced the EEOC to reverse the Department of State’s dismissal of our Firm’s Client, Emmanuel L. (EEOC Assigned Pseudonym), holding that our Client had brought the claims he raised in his formal EEO Complaint to the attention of the Agency’s EEO Counselor in Complainant’s informal EEO Complaint. In so finding, the EEOC held as follows:

    Here, we find that Complainant did bring his claims to the attention of a Counselor. This factual finding is supported by the record which includes the counseling report that references the claims that Complainant raised with the counselor. Further, we find that the claims, as amended, were like and related to the claims that were initially brought to the attention of the counselor. Upon review, we find that Complainant's complaint was improperly dismissed pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1614.107(a)(2), for failure to discuss the matters with an EEO Counselor.

    Accordingly, we REVERSE the Agency's final decision dismissing Complainant's complaint. We REMAND the complaint to the Agency for further processing in accordance with this decision and the Order below.

    The EEOC Ordered the case remanded to the Agency for an expedited investigation. CLICK HERE to read the redacted EEOC Appeal’s Decision. Emmanuel L. v. Pompeo, Sec’y, Dep’t of State, EEOC Appeal No. 2019002505, Agency No. DOS-0418-18 (Sep. 19, 2019)

  • Attorney Ferrini Saved the Employment of a TSA Transportation Security Officer

    Firm Partner, Attorney Corinna A. Ferrini, saved the employment of the Firm’s Client, a TSA Transportation Security Officer, proposed for removal based on a charge of alleged improper conduct that was videotaped by a passenger and shared publicly on Twitter. After Attorney Ferrini argued on behalf of our Client before the TSA’s deciding official, the removal action was rescinded and the client has retained her Federal employment.

  • Attorney Lolotai Obtained a Favorable Decision by the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations ordering the Department of the Army to Reinstate Our Client’s Formal EEO Complaint

    Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, recently obtained a favorable decision by the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations ordering the Department of the Army to reinstate our client’s formal EEO complaint. The Agency issued a Final Agency Decision that the formal complaint should be dismissed because it was not raised before the EEO Counselor during the informal complaint stage. The EEOC agreed with Attorney Lolotai that the additional claims were like or related to the complaint raised before the EEO Counselor. The EEOC found “that the Agency improperly dismissed the formal complaint on the grounds that this matter has not been raised with an EEO Counselor and that it is not like or related to the matters for which Complainant underwent EEO counseling.” The EEOC ordered the Agency to process the remanded claim and conduct an investigation of the Complainant’s complaint. Great job, Attorney Lolotai!

    Click Here to Read the EEOC’s Decision.

  • Attorney Lolotai Reduced a Removal to a Reprimand

    Firm Partner, Melissa Lolotai, recently convinced the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce our client MM’s proposed removal to a reprimand. Ms. Lolotai convinced the Agency our client’s potential for rehabilitation was great, and that even with the lowered burden of proof afforded to the Agency due to the VA Accountability Act, the Agency’s removal would be overturned by the MSPB. Our client will soon be taken off a lengthy and indefinite detail and returned to his position of record.

  • Attorney Lolotai Successfully Convinced an Agency to Rescind Proposed Removal and Return Client to Duty

    Firm Partner Melissa Lolotai, Esq., successfully convinced an Agency to rescind a proposed removal and return our Client to duty. Ms. Lolotai presented aggressive legal argument that demonstrated that the Agency’s removal action was a prohibited personnel practice; the removal action was riddled with due process violations, any one of which would result in reversal by the MSPB; and the charges selected by the agency were not supported by the evidence. Agency counsel commented that Ms. Lolotai’s written response to the proposed removal was one of the best responses to a removal he has ever seen, and through her legal argument saved her client’s job. Our client will be returning to his position, while the management official who proposed the removal will likely be facing discipline as a result of Ms. Lolotai revealing the proposing official’s malfeasance in proposing our client’s removal.

  • Attorney Mahoney Client Awarded Nearly $330,000 by the EEOC

    Attorney John Mahoney successfully litigated the recent federal employee EEOC case of Complainant [Client's name disguised to protect confidentiality] v. Secretary, Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Case No. 531-2011-00095X (EEOC Baltimore Field Office, Shubow, Admin. J. Mar. 31, 2015)(which became the EEOC’s Final Decision on May 15, 2015). In that case, the parties, Complainant and the U.S.Dept. of the Army (hereinafter Agency), finalized and executed a settlement agreement on August 2, 2011 regarding liability. The EEOC’s March 31, 2015 Order Entering Judgment held the following:

    A hearing on damages was held in the Baltimore Office of the EEOC on September 19, 2012. A Bench Decision was issued on April 24, 2014. Complainant was awarded $200,000 in non-pecuniary damages and $6,600 in pecuniary damages for a total award of $206,600. Complainant filed her Petition for Attorney's Fees and Costs on May 27, 2014. The Agency responded on July 3, 2014. The Decision on Attorney's Fees was issued on March 17, 2015. The Agency was ORDERED to pay Attorney's Fees of $120,760.32 and costs of $2,022.42. Judgment is entered in favor of Complainant with respect to the items and amounts set forth in the preceding paragraphs.

    The EEOC’s Decision went on to refer to Attorney Mahoney as follows:

    From January 2010 through March 2014, former Tully Rinckey P.L.L.C. Partner John Mahoney, acted as the supervisory Partner in this matter. C. Ex. 9, Declaration of John Mahoney. Under the 2013 Laffey Matrix, the prevailing market rate for Mahoney's time is $510 per hour. See C. Ex; 2 Spreadsheets of Attorneys' Fees and Expenses. Mahoney detailed his education, years of litigation and extensive federal employment law experience. See C. Ex. 9, Declaration of John Mahoney.

    Complainant v. Secretary, Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Case No. 531-2011-00095X (EEOC Baltimore Field Office Admin. J. Shubow Mar. 31, 2015)(which became the EEOC’s Final Decision on May 15, 2015)(emphasis added). The Agency paid the ordered awards in September 2015.

  • Attorney Mahoney Co-authored a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States
    John P. Mahoney co-authored a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States as an attorneys of record in a case, which, with the assistance of AFGE, helped lead to legislation treating the Smithsonian Institution as an agency under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Dong v. Smithsonian Institution, 125 F.3d 877 (D.C. Cir. 1997), reh'g denied, No. 96-503 (1997), cert. denied, 524 U.S. 922 (1998)
  • Attorney Mahoney Directed the Litigation That Led to Full Relief for a Terminated Federal Employee
    John P. Mahoney directed the litigation that led to full relief for a terminated Federal Employee in a novel Race & National Origin Discrimination by Association and "Regarded as" Disability Discrimination case. Steven A. Johnson v. Mike Johanns, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, EEOC CASE No. 520-2006-00120X, Agency No. FSA 2005-00711 (EEOC New York District Office, Boston Area Office, Default Judgment Sanctions Order Issued Jan. 22, 2007)
  • Attorney Mahoney Entered Into a Settlement Agreement on Behalf of his Federal Employee Client
    On May 14, 2012, following Attorney John Mahoney’s preparation and submission of Complainant’s Motion for A Decision Without a Hearing (Summary Judgment), which the assigned EEOC Administrative Judge said he would grant on May 15, 2012, unless the case settled before then, Attorney John Mahoney entered into a settlement agreement on behalf of his federal employee client, which settlement agreement was subsequently specifically enforced on settlement breach appeal and a published Reconsideration Request by the EEOC:
  • Attorney Mahoney Represented the U.S. Department of the Treasury to Successfully Defend This MSPB Reduction in Force (RIF) MSPB Appeal
    John Mahoney represented the U.S. Department of the Treasury to successfully defend this MSPB Reduction in Force (RIF) MSPB appeal and Petition for Review.
  • Attorney Mahoney Secures a Monetary Offer of Full Relief From the Postal Service

    After successfully negotiating a monetary Offer of Resolution from the United States Postal Service, prior to written discovery, in his client's EEOC Case, Attorney Mahoney was awarded 2015 Laffey rate attorneys' fees by the EEOC's Administrative Judge. In the Judge's decision, he held the following in pertinent part:

    The reasonable hourly rate is the prevailing market rate in the relevant legal community for similar services by lawyers of reasonably comparable skills, experience, and reputation. The complainant requests rates pursuant to the Laffey Matrix used by courts in the District of Columbia. I find that it was not unreasonable for the complainant to seek counsel in Washington, D.C. area. I do so based on the fact that travel time was not a factor in this matter with respect to the attorneys' fee issue. Moreover, the agency is national in scope, and has offices and employs attorneys throughout the United States. Based upon my experience in ruling on attorneys' fees applications involving cases where complainants are the prevailing parties, I find that the prevailing market rates of $500.00 or more for the services of skilled and seasoned attorneys in the San Francisco Bay Area with experience comparable to that of complainant's counsel is similar to the District of Columbia rate sought herein.

    According to the application before me, attorneys services were performed from January 6, 2015, following the filing of the written complaint, up to and including September 1, 2015 at the rate of $515.00 per hour. This was a rate arrived at contractually and is somewhat below the applicable "Laffey" Matrix of $520.00 per hour applicable to complainant's counsel for services rendered during the relevant time period. Speculation aside, counsel agrees that at the time the application was submitted, the Laffey Matrix for 2015 remained unchanged and that the hourly rate of $520.00 was the prevailing rate for experienced attorneys of his caliber.

    I find that attorneys compensation should be allowed at the hourly rate of $520.00, the prevailing Laffey-set rate for attorneys of Mr. Mahoney's experience and skill. Consequently, I conclude that complainant is entitled to recover allowable attorneys' fees in the amount of $13,520.00 (26 hours at $520.00 per hour).

    Cozad v. Brennan, Postmaster Gen., USPS, EEOC NO. 550-2015-00268X, AGENCY NO. 4F-956-0137-14 (Oct. 13, 2015)(emphasis added), which became the EEOC's final decision on Nov. 27, 2015, when the Agency failed to file an appeal. The USPS paid the monetary relief and attorneys' fees on December 4, 2015.

  • Attorney Mahoney Successfully Litigated This U.S. MSPB Petition for Review
    Attorney Mahoney successfully litigated this U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or "the Board") Petition for Review, resulting in the MSPB modifying its administrative judge's Initial Decision, which upheld Ms. Cohen's removal from federal service, and ordering the agency to: a) cancel the removal action and substitute a 90-day suspension effective March 30, 2012; b) pay the appellant the correct amount of back pay, interest on back pay, and other benefits; and c) notifying the appellant that she may be entitled to be paid by the agency for her reasonable attorneys fees and costs). Cohen v. Department of Homeland Security (ICE), MSPB Docket No. SF-0752-12-0427-I-1 (Jun. 19, 2014)(nonprecedential)
  • Attorney Mahoney Successfully Prosecuted and Argued a Motion for Summary Judgment Against the U.S. and D.C. Governments
    John P. Mahoney successfully prosecuted and argued a motion for summary judgment in a multi-million dollar class action against the U.S. and D.C. Governments in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a class of all (over 400) retired U.S. Park Police officers, which case was covered in the press. Click Here to read the Article published quoting Attorney Mahoney about this case in the Washington Times Newspaper. Wheeler v. District of Columbia (D.D.C. Feb. 10, 1995)
  • Attorney Mahoney Successfully Successfully Tried a Federal Employee's Case of First Impression Before the U.S. District Court
    John P. Mahoney successfully tried, as an attorneys of record, a federal employee's case of first impression before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which was the first case awarding compensatory damages under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. Dong v. Smithsonian Institution, 943 F. Supp. 69 (D.D.C. 1996)
  • Attorney Mahoney Supervised the Successful Representation of Complainant Before the EEOC

    Attorney John Mahoney supervised the successful representation of this complainant before the EEOC. The Commission held that the complainant, a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, alleged that the agency subjected her to ongoing discriminatory harassment based on race (Caucasian), religion (Catholic and Reiki practitioner), color (white), and age (58). The EEOC found that the agency subjected her to harassment based on race and color. The Complainant established a prima facie case of a racially motivated hostile work environment. She provided evidence that she was a frequent victim of badgering, berating, nitpicking, and criticism in front of her coworkers, as well as excessive monitoring by her African-American supervisor. She submitted testimony that unlike other employees not of her race, the supervisor made her perform overtime work, goaded her to file an EEO complaint, issued her three disciplinary suspensions, and 10 predisciplinary interviews. The Complainant presented evidence that the supervisor engaged in similar negative behavior toward two other Caucasian employees and treated African-American employees more favorably. The Complainant asserted that she turned to the postmaster for assistance, but nothing was done. The Commission held that the supervisor's affidavit was "largely nonresponsive" to the questions asked by the EEO investigator. The supervisor could not recall whether she forced the carrier to work overtime or whether she treated African-American employees in the same way she treated the carrier. The postmaster also said that he did not recall anything about the situation. The EEOC found that the agency failed to rebut the initial inference of discrimination created by the Complainant's prima facie case. The EEOC held that an agency's failure to provide legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its actions will result in a finding of discrimination. O'Keefe v. Donahoe, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service (Southwest Area)


  • Attorney Mahoney Won a Finding of Discrimination and an Award of Full Relief in EEOC Case
    John P. Mahoney won a finding of discrimination and an award of full relief, with backpay and compensatory damages in excess of $100,000, in a Wage Grade-level federal employee "direct evidence" race and perceived disability discrimination case before the EEOC. Flythe v. Caldera, Secretary, Department of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 01972258 (2000)
  • Attorney Mahoney Represented a Manager at the Federal Election Commission in Settling her Claims of Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination, and Retaliation
    John P. Mahoney represented a manager at the Federal Election Commission in successfully settling her claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation against that agency. See The Washington Post, Mar. 8, 2006, The Federal Page.
  • Attorney Mahoney Settled a Claim of Disability Discrimination and Retaliation in Federal Employment Against the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.
    John P. Mahoney settled a disabled cancer survivor's claim of disability discrimination and retaliation in federal employment against the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. See the Gazette Newspaper June 3, 2005.
  • Attorney Mahoney Won a Finding of Discrimination and an Award of Full Relief in a Federal Employee Sex Discrimination Case Before the EEOC
    John Mahoney won a finding of discrimination and an award of full relief, with retroactive promotion to the SES level, backpay, compensatory damages, and attorneys fees in excess of $100,000, in a federal employee sex discrimination case before the EEOC. Farrell v. Snow, Secretary, Department of the Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. 07A20043 (May 5, 2003)
  • Attorney Mierau Persuades the DOD’s Clearance Appeals Board to Overturn the Decision of the Department of Defense

    Firm Partner Michael Mierau convinced the DOD Clearance Appeals Board (CAB) to return our client’s security clearance after it had been revoked by the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DOD CAF). Attorney Mierau successfully argued that the DOD CAF improperly applied the security clearance guidelines and failed to properly consider mitigation factors. The CAB overturned the decision of DOD CAF and reinstated the client’s security clearance.

  • Attorney Mierau Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Case

    Firm Partner Michael Mierau recently settled an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case where the government agency failed to provide a proper reasonable accommodation, harassed the client, and reassigned the client to a different office. The agency agreed to pay the client $40,000 in settlement.

  • Attorney Miller Convinces Army to Reduce 10-Day Suspension to Reprimand

    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, recently convinced the Department of the Army to reduce our client TB’s proposed 10-day suspension for an alleged Prohibited Personnel Practice to a Reprimand. Attorney Miller convinced the Agency our client’s charges were overblown, baseless, unfair, and inconsistent.

  • Attorney Miller Convinces National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Suspension is Bogus

    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, recently convinced the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to reduce our client’s proposed 8-day suspension to a reprimand. Ms. Miller convinced the Agency our client’s charges did not occur as alleged and the client’s conduct was justified. (June 2019)

  • Attorney Miller Prevails with Reinstatement of EEOC Claims Against the FBI
    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, was successful in persuading the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) to reinstate her client’s claims against the FBI in a formal EEO complaint that the Agency attempted to dismiss for failure to state a claim. In Stanton S. v. FBI, OFO held that the Agency too narrowly constricted the definition of Complainant’s claim, which Attorney Miller successfully argued was actually one of an ongoing pattern of disability discrimination, age discrimination and reprisal for EEO activity. The formal complaint was reinstated and remanded to the Agency for appropriate processing. OFO Appeal No. 2020001838. To read the redacted EEOC OFO Appeal Decision, click HERE.
  • Attorney Miller Prevails with Sanctions in EEOC Case Against the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, recently won 2 rounds of sanctions against the Department of Veterans Affairs in an ongoing EEOC case for failures to comply with discovery requirements. (May 2019 and September 2019)

  • Attorney Miller Settles EEOC Case with Department of Energy

    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, recently convinced the Department of Energy to settle our client NG’s EEOC case for $63,000 in compensatory damages. (January 2020)

  • Attorney Miller Settles MSPB Removal Case by Returning Client to Job

    Firm Partner, Letha Miller, recently settled a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) case against the Department of Veterans Affairs by returning the client, GT, to a job after appealing a removal with compensation for attorney’s fees. (September 2019)

  • Attorney Young Secures a Default Judgment against the Department of Justice

    Firm Partner and Director of Litigation, Rachelle S. Young, secured a default judgment against the Department of Justice for exceeding the regulatory timelines for completing the formal investigation and botching its belated investigation. Attorney Young convinced the EEOC Administrative Judge that our client was irreparably harmed and prejudiced by DOJ’s unjustified delay, resulting in an imposition of the harshest sanction possible against the Agency, as well as significant time and cost savings to our client.

  • Attorney Young Settles EEOC Case in the Early Phases of Litigation

    Firm Partner and Director of Litigation, Rachelle S. Young, recently negotiated a settlement with Department of Health and Human Services to resolve our client’s pending EEOC action pre-discovery. Attorney Young persuaded the Agency to appoint our client to a well-deserved, higher-graded position and pay $42,000 in compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.

  • Attorney Young Wins an EEOC OFO Appeal of a Dismissed EEO Complaint and Secures the Reinstatement of That Complaint

    We won an appeal against the Department of the Army for its improper dismissal of an employee’s formal EEO discrimination complaint in an ongoing matter. The EEOC Office of Federal Operations directed that the Army reinstate the employee’s claims for processing and the investigation proceeds later this month!

  • Attorneys Mahoney Wins EEOC OFO Appeal Reversing Army's Inappropriate Dismissal of His Federal Employee Client's Formal EEO Complaint

    On September 17, 2015, Complainant went to the EEO office to express his concerns to the EEO Chief about his work environment and that he wanted to resign. The EEO Chief suggested that Complainant return to his management to request a transfer to another location. On September24, 2015, Complainant requested that an informal EEO complaint be processed regarding his claim of harassment due to his race, sex, disability and prior EEO activity. He noted that employees and management in his work area were trying to intimidate him by coughing when they walked by his work area. He also alleged that they were monitoring his emails and phone calls. He even asserted that he was being followed both at work and at home. The following day, management indicated to the EEO Office that they had a reassignment for Complainant. Subsequently, on September 23, 2015, Complainant resigned.

    On September 29, 2015, the Agency sent Complainant a Notice of Right to File a formal complaint. On October 21, 2015, Complainant filed a formal complaint alleging that the Agency subjected him to discrimination on the bases of race (Black), sex (male), disability, and reprisal for prior protected EEO activity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when he was subjected to harassment. In his formal complaint, Complainant indicated that the harassment led him to seek employment outside of the Agency.

    The Agency dismissed the complaint pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.107(a)(2) for failing to raise the matter with an EEO Counselor. As such, the Agency dismissed the matter.