September 20, 2017

Pitre & Associates, LLC successfully reverses the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s Removal of client[1], after representing and arguing client’s case at a MSPB hearing. The Agency decided against allowing the Administrative Judge to issue a decision in the case and, per the AJ’s recommendation, entered into a settlement agreement instead of taking the case to completion. The Agency agreed to rescind their previously issued Proposed Removal, Decision on Removal, provide the client a clean record, a neutral reference letter, pay client 6 months backpay, approximately 6 months front pay, and pay client’s attorney’s fees at the 2017-2018 Laffey Rates. Total compensation for client exceeded $110,000.

[1] Client wishes his/her identity remain anonymous”

September 8, 2017

Pitre & Associations, LLC successfully defends client [1] against the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Proposed 10-Day Suspension. After entering a notice of appearance, providing a written and oral reply, the Agency’s Deciding Official agreed with our position and did not sustain the charges or specifications as alleged; and as a result, the client’s record remained unblemished.

[1] Client wishes his/her identity remain anonymous”

August 31, 2017

During my recent dispute with my agency, both Mr. Pitre and Ms. De Vera were diligent advocates for me[1].  They took pains to listen to me and understood that I had been treated unfairly.  My agency had no real reason to terminate my employment other than a personal vendetta. The result of Mr. Pitre's & Ms. De Vera's representation was that my agency had to rescind and expunge their proposal to remove me from Federal service and take other corrective actions to my record.  I can't say enough about Pitre & Associates; they saved my job when my bosses tried to terminate me only a short time away from retirement eligibility.

[1] Client wishes his/her identity remain anonymous

June 1, 2017

I just wanted to take this time to thank both Mr. Pitre and Ms. De Vera for your hard work and your level of experience in settling my case for a substantial amount, reinstatement to my agency twice, not to mention getting me a clean record and letter of recommendation. Mr. Pitre I am truly amazed at your performance that day at my MSPB mediation as I have heard from others that have used large firms with huge teams of attorneys, at triple the cost, in cases against this same agency, only to receive negative outcomes and experiences where they were left unsatisfied with their resolutions.  I am just so grateful that you responded that day when it became clear I was going to have serious issues with my Agency, and that you were available and ready to represent me for a minimal down payment. Thank you and Michelle for your patience and assistance with me throughout this difficult time.  Your timely responses and your constant availability when I called helped to calm my anxiety. 

M.E.

February 1, 2017:

Attorney A. Marques Pitre successfully negotiates $120,000 Settlement with an award of 2016 Laffey Rate Attorneys’ Fees in client's [1] EEOC case against the Department of the Army. Prior to Mr. Pitre entering client’s case, he/she had only received a nominal offer from the Agency, however, after developing the case in preparation for an EEOC hearing, Mr. Pitre acquired an offer acceptable to the client’s demands.

[1] Client wishes his/her identity remain anonymous

July 5, 2016:

After working with other firms for 2+ years and not getting any results-- only bills and a rotating door or interns on my case; i went with mr. pitre. in a matter of a few month, my case was settled with the agency through eEOC Meditation and i can now go back to living without having to respond to deadlines and spend days on paperwork. mr. pitre handled my case well and i though that i was his only client because he was always available for my questions and was prompt with responses. he understand the stress and frustrations of the EEO process and kept me updated on my case. 

Client C.P. DOD Employee

April 8, 2016: 

a. marques pitre successfully negotiates settlement award of 2016 laffey rate attorneys' fees in favor of a DEA agent in his discrimination and hotile work - place environment harassment against the united states department of justice (DEA) —

1 Client wished that name and case number remain private due to the nature of his/her position.

March 8, 2016:

A. Marques Pitre Wins EEOC OFO Appeal Reversing Army's Inappropriate Dismissal of Their Federal Employee Client's Formal EEO Complaint --See Craig Spencer, a.k.a., Herman P.1 v. Eric Fanning, Acting Secretary, Department of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 0120160606, Agency No. ARLEAD15SEP03570 (Feb. 23, 2016). 

In Spencer, the EEOC OFO stated the following:

BACKGROUND

At the time of events giving rise to this complaint, Complainant was employed at the Agency's Letter Kenny Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

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.

This appeal followed.

ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

EEOC Regulation 29 C.F.R. 1614.107(a)(2) states that an agency shall dismiss a complaint that raises a matter that has not been brought to the attentionof an EEO counselor and is not like or related to a matter that has been brought to the attention of an EEO counselor.  Upon review of the record, we find that the Agency's dismissal was not appropriate.

The record showed that Complainant contacted the EEO Chief on September 17, 2015, regarding his claim of harassment. The EEO Chief sent Complainant back to the workplace and suggested that he resolve the matter with management. Complainant returned to the EEO Chief on September 24, 2015, in order to proceed with a claim of harassment based on his race, sex, disability and prior EEO activity. It was the EEO Chief who closed the informal EEO process and issued Complainant a Notice of Right to File a formal complaint when the EEO Chief learned that Complainant had resigned. Based on the Notice, Complainant filed his formal complaint alleging that he was subjected to harassment and that the harassment led to his constructive discharge from the Agency. We find that such a claim was brought to the attention of the EEO Chief. Furthermore, Complainant 's claim of constructive discharge is like and related to his claim of harassment. As such, we determine that the Agency's dismissal of Complainant's claim of harassment including his claim of constructive discharge based on his race, sex, disability and prior EEO activity was not appropriate.

CONCLUSION

Based on a thorough review of the record, we REVERSE the Agency's final decision and REMAND the matter for further processing in accordance with the ORDER below.

ORDER (E0610)

The Agency is ordered to process the remanded claims in accordance with 29 C.F.R.  1614.103.  The Agency shall acknowledge to the Complainant that ithas received the remanded claims within thirty (30) calendar days of the date this decision becomes final. The Agency shall issue to Complainant a copy of the investigative file and also shall notify Complainant of the appropriate rights within one hundred fifty (150) calendar days of the date this decision becomes final, unless the matter is otherwise resolved prior to that time. If the Complainant requests a final decision without a hearing, the Agency shall issue a final decision within sixty (60) days of receipt of Complainant's request.

A copy of the Agency's letter of acknowledgment to Complainant and a copy of the notice that transmits the investigative file and notice of rights must be sent to the Compliance Officer as referenced below.

Craig Spencer a.k.a, Herman P.1 v. Eric Fanning, Acting Secretary, Department of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 0120160606, Agency No. ARLEAD15SEP03570(Feb. 23, 2016).

1 This case has been randomly assigned a pseudonym which will replace Complainant's name when the decision is published to non-parties and the Commission's website.