NRP Class Action Lawsuit Updates (February – May 2022)

May 2022 – Status Update

In advance of the May 12, 2022 status conference, the EEOC Administrative Judge circulated a new spreadsheet with additional information requested. In particular, the revised spreadsheet now provides an opportunity for Phase 1 Class Counsel, our offices, to review and comment on the Agency’s designation of claims for each claimant.

At the May 12, 2022 status conference, the EEOC Administrative Judge was once again joined by EEOC Administrative Judge McCauley and the data attorney from the EEOC. The Judge set deadlines by which the parties must submit their portions of the spreadsheet. The Agency must complete their portion by June 15, 2022 and Phase 1 Class Counsel shall complete their portion by July 15, 2022. The comprehensive spreadsheet must be filed by July 18, 2022.

We understand that there is some confusion as to the date when the spreadsheet submissions are due. We understand any references by the EEOC Administrative Judge to the year 2020 was made in error and instead refers to 2022.

Phase 1 Class Counsel asked about whether special masters will be utilized going forward, and requested additional information about the process that will be utilized in order to evaluate the claims. The EEOC Administrative Judge responded that she was not able to comment on those issues at this time, but emphasized that she (and others within the EEOC) are working on this matter each week and are committed to moving things forward as quickly as possible.

Please continue to monitor our website for more updates in the coming weeks. If you have any updated contact information and have not yet provided it to our office, please call us at 585-272-0540 or email us at NRPClassAction@theemploymentattorneys.com.

April 20, 2022 – Status Update

Today we heard from EEOC Administrative Judge regarding the ongoing effort to compile claims information in an excel format. In particular, Judge Roberts-Draper indicated that she reviewed all the information submitted and ultimately ordered the parties to each submit certain information about claimants in an excel spreadsheet. In particular, Phase 1 Class Counsel is responsible for providing updated contact information, including address, telephone number and email address, as well as whether an indication of any deceased claimants. The Agency is responsible for providing the remainder of the information, which includes but is not limited to: date of hire; separation date; separation reason; and which claims are alleged by claimant and which claims the Agency disputes. All information is ordered to be produced to Judge Roberts-Draper on or before Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

Additionally, Judge Roberts-Draper also scheduled a status conference with the Agency and Phase 1 Class Counsel for May 12, 2022 at 11:00 am. An update will be provided following the May 12, 2022 status conference.

April 13, 2022 – Status Update

Following the EEOC Administrative Judge’s request, the parties each provided additional information to assist in the process to evaluate claimant relief. Since providing the requested information, we have not yet heard back from the EEOC Administrative Judge, but based on the last conference, we expect to hear from her in the coming weeks.

We have received many inquiries as to whether the EEOC Administrative Judge intends to utilize the assistance of special masters. During the March 4, 2022 conference with the EEOC Administrative Judge, she indicated that the special master issue is still under “advisement.” We understand this to mean that her in-depth questioning regarding the Postal Service’s access to certain information will assist her in determining the best and most efficient path forward, including as to whether special masters should be utilized. As mentioned in our March 4, 2022 update, the EEOC Administrative Judge was joined at the last conference by an EEOC data person, as well as another Administrative Judge. We are hopeful that these additional resources will assist the Administrative Judge in the evaluation of the more than 28,000 claims that were filed.

Please continue to check our website for updates in the coming weeks.

March 4, 2022 – Status Update – Status Conference

Today we had a very productive two hour video call with EEOC Administrative Judge Roberts-Draper regarding a process to move this case forward. The EEOC Administrative Judge explained that the purpose of the call was to explore the types of claim information that the Agency and our offices could provide to the EEOC in order to move the process forward. In particular, the EEOC Administrative Judge wants to have the relevant information in a spreadsheet format that would allow the Judge to easily access the information, with a goal of moving forward with the process of claim determination.

Significantly, the EEOC Administrative Judge made clear that only Thomas & Solomon LLP and Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris PLLC, along with the Agency, will be working directly with the Judge both during the call itself and as we move forward with this process. By doing so, the EEOC Administrative Judge is hopeful that unnecessary delays are avoided. As Phase 1 Class Counsel, responsible for the leading the charge that led to the EEOC’s finding that the Agency created and implemented a program that discriminated against thousands of US Postal employees, our offices are honored to lead the fight during Phase II to ensure that there is a fair and efficient process designed to evaluate claimants and the relief they may be entitled to.

During the video call, the Administrative Judge asked the Agency a series of questions as to their ability to quickly access a variety of information needed in order to evaluate claimants and to produce it in an excel format for the EEOC. While the Agency once again attempted to further delay the matter by claiming that some of the data such as disability status was not something they had access to in the requested format, our offices were quick to point out systems in which such information could be accessed by the Postal Service. As a result of our identification of various processes and systems that could easily be utilized to gather the information needed by the EEOC, the Agency was ordered to provide an update to the EEOC Administrative Judge within a week as to their ability to access and produce such information. Our offices also agreed to provide some additional information that should assist the process which was obtained from the Postal Service during the course of the litigation and should provide the EEOC Judge with much of the requested information.

Please note: the Judge emphasized that the EEOC wants to have the most current contact information for each claimant. If you are represented by our offices and have changed your contact information, including telephone number, mailing address, or email address, please make sure to promptly update such information with our offices. You may email our office at nrpclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or call us at 585-272-0540.

During the call, we voiced the frustration of our clients as to the continuous delay tactics used by the Agency that has made this process nearly fifteen years long and not yet complete. We emphasized that our clients have one simple goal: a just resolution for their claims of discrimination under the NRP. We also noted that even their responses to the EEOC Administrative Judge’s questioning was further demonstration of their pattern of behavior: delay, deny, delay, deny. We promised the Judge we would do everything we can to help the EEOC issue claim determinations as soon as possible.

It is worth noting that on the video call was EEOC Administrative Judge McCauley and a data person from the EEOC. While neither spoke during the video call, EEOC Administrative Judge Roberts-Draper did take several breaks in order to confer with her team and review her notes.

At the end of today’s status conference, the Judge noted that there will be subsequent conferences to continue to ensure that the EEOC has all of the information needed to evaluate claimant relief. The Judge said she will schedule the next conference after she evaluates the information provided in connection with today’s call.

As the attorneys who initially filed the charge that began this action back in 2007, we understand this has been a long and frustrating road, but please know that we will continue to fight for each of our claimants. Because of each of you and your willingness to speak out about the injustices you and others like you faced, the Agency has been found to have discriminated against injured employees and now they must face the consequences for their actions and provide relief to those people who are found to have been injured! We eagerly await the next conference with the Court and will provide an update when one has been scheduled.

Update – February 2022 – STATUS CONFERENCE SET BY EEOC

The EEOC Administrative Judge has scheduled a video Status Conference for the attorneys and representatives on March 4, 2022. The Judge has indicated that during the Status Conference we may be provided information about the EEOC’s plan to move the claims process forward. It is also expected that the Judge and the parties will discuss the large volume of information related to the claims process, and the possibility of organizing relevant information in an electronic spreadsheet format. We will post an update on this website shortly after the Status Conference.

As a reminder, the EEOC has not issued any decisions on any of the claims. The Postal Service continues to vigorously oppose all forward movement on the Judge’s Order regarding Special Masters. And the Postal Service has not paid any attorney’s fees to our firms for the claims process – not one dollar.

At the upcoming Status Conference we hope to learn more about the EEOC’s plan to move this process forward. We will continue to oppose the Postal Service’s ceaseless efforts to delay payments to Class Member claimants.

Please check this website for an update after the Status Conference on March 4, 2022. Thank you for your continued patience through this process, and for your strong perseverance in the face of the Postal Service’s stalling tactics.

Source: NRP Class Action Lawsuit Current Updates

NRP Class Action Lawsuit Updates (February - May 2022)

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