Lawyer’s Mistake No Reason to Revive Postal Worker’s Bias Suit

A Pittsburgh mail carrier was too late to sue the U.S. Postal Service for withdrawing his job accommodation for his stroke-related climbing restrictions, the Eleventh Circuit said.

John Komosa had to follow the process federal law lays out for U.S. government workers who believe they’ve been discriminated against based on a disability or another protected characteristic, the court said April 3.

That process is different from the separate, more direct path private-sector workers need to follow to sue in federal court and generally must be strictly adhered to, the appeals court said.

Komosa followed the process up to a certain point before going off course, Judge Anthony J. Scirica said.

But instead of filing an administrative appeal with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Federal Operations after the postal service denied his claim, his lawyer filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC’s Pittsburgh office, the judge said.

He also could have challenged the postal service’s final agency decision in federal court at that point, but he didn’t do that either, the court said. Because of his mistake, Komosa ended up filing his federal lawsuit more than one year after receiving the postal service’s decision. That was too late, the Third Circuit said.


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