Federal Court Issues Rare Order Prohibiting Termination of Title 38 Employee by Dep't of Veteran Affairs
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 29, 2011, a federal court issued a rare order prohibiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from terminating a physician while the physician's civil rights complaint was pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case is Shen v. Shinseki.
Ning Shen, 60, is a Title 38 pathologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. She began the complaint process back in August 2009 alleging discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, and retaliation, according to court filings. Since Shen began the process, the medical center has repeatedly tried to remove her, including summarily suspending her and at least six other formal actions that would end Shen's employment with the hospital.
"The ruling sends a clear message that federal agencies are not free to abuse the EEOC process. The administrative process is meant to allow agencies to correct unlawful conduct, not perpetuate it," said Dave Scher, Shen's attorney at The Employment Law Group® law firm. "But the standard for gaining preliminary relief in these cases is unbelievably high. This ruling tells agencies that despite this standard, if they blatantly retaliate against an employee for pursuing a civil rights complaint, the courts will take notice."
John Preston Bailey, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, said the agency's constant personnel actions created a sort of "sword of Damocles" hanging over Shen's head. He issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents the hospital from terminating Shen until her EEOC claims are resolved.
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The Employment Law Group® is one of the country's premier employment law firms with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The attorneys at The Employment Law Group® collectively have over 70 years of experience representing employees and litigating claims arising under Sarbanes-Oxley, the False Claims Act, and whistleblower retaliation, wrongful discharge, discrimination, and unpaid wages laws. http://www.employmentlawgroup.com
SOURCE The Employment Law Group