II. Hypothetical Smith vs. Lawrence Case

(adapted from similar case provided to Smartsettle by US Federal EEOC office)

Ms. Thelma Lawrence has contacted an EEO Counselor (in some fictitious country) to pursue her complaint of race (Black), age (48) and disability (hearing impairment) discrimination in her failure to secure promotional opportunities as a Grant Administrator for the National Humanities Funding Institute (NHFI). Ms. Lawrence has worked for 18 years as a Grant Support Enumerator in the Fiscal Enumeration Division of the NHFI and is presently at the GS-11 journeyman level. Her job description requires her to provide clerical support for the processing of applications for federal funding from private art, music, history, and other humanities projects from local organizations across the country. While working at the NHFI, she attained her Bachelors Degree in Humanities at Gallaudet University and successfully completed an internal agency Grant Administration Certification program.

For the last 10 years Ms. Lawrence has been applying for entry-level Grant Administrator positions without success and has most recently been turned down for a newly created Grant Administrator position (GS-13 level) that would service the Washerton local artist community. A white 36-year-old non-disabled candidate with no prior agency service was selected for the position. When Ms. Lawrence inquired about the reason for this most recent rejection, the agency’s selecting official told her that the position required a lot of face-to-face interviewing with local artists and that the selectee was more familiar with the local artist community and could hit the ground running in this area.

Ms. Lawrence has requested that the agency attempt ADR in lieu of traditional EEO counseling. The agency has determined that the matter is appropriate for ADR, and requests on-line dispute resolution services through the Smartsettle program. A facilitator has been assigned to the matter and the following individuals are expected to attend the on-line facilitation: the complainant, the selecting official, and the online facilitator.