Okay, somewhere interested in the response given from the Administration Staffer, on the ORM/ EEOC issues.

Witness interrogatory

Complainant’s Name: Marie Sylvia Ann Bonaparte

Case No. 200P-0600-2017 100709

 

Ely Quesenberry

Employees of “Veteran Affairs”

Division Veteran Affairs

Branch: VA Long Beach Healthcare System

Location: Long Beach, CA

In the capacity: Human Resources-Employee /Labor Relations Specialist

Grade 12           April 2016   Present

Number during working hours     562-8000    x2 2910

I HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE FOLLOWING:

I am required by Federal regulations and The Department of Veterans Affairs policy to cooperate fully and promptly with the investigator who has been assigned to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into a complaint of discrimination against the Veterans Affairs.

I must provide a statement for the investigative report which is true and complete to the best of my knowledge and which discloses all of my firsthand knowledge having a bearing on the merits of the complaint. My statement is provided under oath (or affirmation), without a pledge of confidentiality, in accordance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules and regulations and Veteran Affairs policy. In addition, the complainant and the appropriate Departmental officials involved in the EEO complaint process will receive the entire investigative file. I have the right to review my statement prior to signing it and may make initialized corrections if it is incomplete or inaccurate; I have the right to receive a copy of the signed statement.

I understand the following issues (s) have been accepted for investigation:

  • Whether Complainant was discriminated against based on reprisal (prior EEO activity) and disability, when since November 22, 2016), Ely Quesenberry, Employee/Labor Relations, has not granted Complainant’s accommodation request to be re-assigned to the Greater Los Angeles VA facility.

 

Please state your full name.

  1. Ely Quesenberry

Please state whether or not you have engaged in prior EEO activity.

  1. Yes, I have participated in other EEO interview related to reasonable accommodations.

Please state “yes or “no” regarding whether or not you have a disability.

  1. No.

Please stat your position, job title, series and grad level with the VA for the period November 22, 2016 to December 8, 2016.

  1. Employee / Labor Relations Specialist, 201, GS-12

Please state your current position, title and grade.

  1. Employee/Labor Relations Specialist, 201, GS 12

Please state your current place of employment, including work street address, work email, and telephone number.

  1. VA Long Beach Healthcare System Long Beach, VA   90822(562) 826 8000   x 2 2910
  2. Ely.quesenberr@va.gov
  3. 5901 E. 7th Street

Please provide the names and titles of your first and second line supervisor(s) effective November 22, 2016 to December 8, 2016. For each person identified, indicate the beginning and ending date (s) you were under his/her supervisor.

 

  1. 1st line – Adrienne Johnson, Chief-Employee / Labor Relations, April 2016 – present
  2. 2nd line – Lori Karin, Human Resources Officer( Chief), August 2016- present.

Do you know Marie Bonaparte, hereinafter Complainant? If yes, please state your work relationship to Complainant?

  1. Yes. She is a co-worker at the VA Long Beach Medical Center.

Are you aware of whether or not Complainant is a qualified individual with a disability? What are you aware of in terms of Complainant’s disability? When and how did you become aware? Did Complainant provide documentation? If yes, what documentation was provided and when?

 

  1. Yes. She has asthma that is triggered by airborne irritants. She has a permanent restriction of not working in carpeted areas. Ms. Bonaparte told me about her disability and work restrictions but I don’t recall the approximate date. On March 2,2017, she provide me with medical documentation dated February 28, 2017 from Judson Schoendor, MD (Attachment #1). On March 16,2017, she provided me with medical noted dated March 15, 2017 from Ghan Lohiya, MD (Attachment #2).

Were you aware of the Complainants’ disability as of November 22, 2016? If yes, when and how did you become aware? If you become aware subsequent to November 22, 2016, when and how did you become aware?

  1. Yes. Ms. Bonaparte told me about her disability but I don’t recall an approximate date.

 

Were you aware of the Complainant’s prior EEO activity as of November 22, 2016? If yes, when and how did you become aware? If you became aware subsequent to November 22, 2016, when hand how did you become aware?

  1. Yes. Ms. Bonaparte mentioned to me she made a previous complaint to EEO but I do not recall when she told me.

 

Please describe your involvement in this issue. If you were not involved, please provide the name of the management official (s) who had a role in Complainant’s reasonable accommodation request.

  1. I am the Local Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator for the VA Long Beach Medical Center (March 2015 to present). My role is to facilitate the reasonable accommodation process.

 

The management officials involved are:

Jeffrey Arcaro, Assistant Chief, Health Administration Service

(Ava) Pamela Womack, Chief, Health Administration Service

 

Was Complainant able to perform the essential functions of the position with

    or without an accommodation?

  1. Yes.

 

Did Complainant request an accommodation? What accommodation, if any, did Complainant suggest and when?

  1. Ms. Bonaparte requested to be transferred to another VA facility, West Los Angeles on or about November 7, 2016 (Attachment #3).Ms. Bonaparte requested for management to relocate her to another office on or about February 8, 2016 (Attachment #4)Ms. Bonaparte requested to telework and /or have tour of duty change on or about July 21, 2014 (Attachment #5)

What action did the agency take to identify possible accommodation or attempt accommodation? Did the agency make an individualized assessment of Complainant, comparing his qualifications and limitations with the job requirements? What actions did the agency take to consider Complainant’s suggested accommodations?

 

  1. In identifying a possible accommodation for the request dated November 7, 2017, and to make an individualized assessment of comparing her qualifications and limitations, the Agency sent an e-mail to Ms. Bonaparte on December 2, 2016 (Attachment #6). The e-mail requested for Ms. Bonaparte to submit medical documentation to support how the current location is not effective when performing the essential functions of her position.
  2. On April 10,2017, Assistant Chief, HAS, Jeffrey Arcaro created Work Order # HV170410-003 and to check overheard ceiling vent for location bldg. 126A-OP247. As result of the checking the vent, there was no sign of chemical. The work order was closed on April 26,2017 (Attachment #8).

 

Did the agency provide an accommodation? If yes, when? If an accommodation was identified, would the accommodation enable Complainant to perform the essential functions of the job, i.e., is it effective?

 

  1. Regarding Ms. Bonaparte’s reasonable accommodation request dated November 7, 2016, a determination has not been made. The medical documentation submitted by Ms. Bonaparte did not support how the current location is not effective when performing the essential functions of her position and why GLA is an effective reasonable accommodation.
  2. Regarding the accommodation request dated July 21, 2014, the designated management, Mary Ann Child (Retired), provided Ms. Bonaparte with an alternate accommodation to minimize environmental allergens. She was granted approval to wear a sealed respiratory mask. An HEPA air filter was issued to Ms. Bonaparte for her private office. An air quality study was conducted and air ducts in areas she was assigned to work were cleaned. VA staff was reminded to avoid using/wearing strong scents in the workplace. In addition, her work schedule was modified to allow her to seek medical treatment. She was allowed to take “fresh air” breaks in addition to existing 15 minute breaks. Communication was modified by reducing face to face contact through the use of telephone and electronic communication (Attachment #5).

     

    If the agency did not provide an accommodation, what reason has the agency given for its refusal?

    1. The agency has not refused to provide an accommodation. The agency has requested for Ms Bonaparte to submit medical documentation to support how the current location (bldg.. 126, OP-247) of accommodation is not effective when performing the essential functions of her position and why GLA is an effective reasonable accommodation. Ms. Bonaparte’s current work location, Bldg. 126A-OP247 allows her to perform the essential duties as a Medical Support Assistant.On May 26,2017, Ms. Bonaparte submitted additional medical documentation dated April 26, 2017 from Ghan Lohiya MD, and it is currently being reviewed (Attachment #9).

    If you took the action that is claimed to have been discriminatory (failed to great Complainant’s accommodation request to be re-assigned to the Greater Los Angeles VA facility), did you take that action in order to treat the complainant any differently or less favorably than other employees because of her, disability status or prior EEO activity? If no, please explain WHY you took this action.

    1. The Agency has not taken action that is claimed to have been discriminatory.

    What is the agency’s policy regarding reasonable accommodation requests?

    Was the policy followed in Complainant’s case?

    1. The Agency policy is listed in VA HANDBOOK 5975.1 (Attachment #10). Yes. The policy was followed in this case.

    In regards to this incident/action, who, by name and position title, was treated in regards to this incident/action, who, by name and position title, was treated more favorable than Complainant? Have they engaged in prior EEO activity? Do they possess a disability?

     

    1. To my knowledge, no one who has been treated more favorably than the Complainant.

    Can you provide the name(s) of any witnesses, who can substantiate your claim that Complainant was not subjected to disparate treatment? If so, state their names, position titles, grades, office telephone numbers, emails and a brief description of the information they may provide.

     

    1. Jeffrey Arcaro, Assistant Chief, Health Administration Services, GS-13, Ava Pamela Womack, Chief, Health Administration Services, GS-14
    2. (562) 826-8000 2 3504 pamela.womack@va.gov
    3. (562) 826-8000 x 2 3540 jeffrey.arcaro@va.gov

    Is there anything pertinent to these issues that you would like to add that we have not already discussed?

    1. No.

     

    I have reviewed this statement, which consists of 6 pages, and hereby solemnly swear ck or affirm ___ that it is true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand that the information I have given will not be held confidential and my be shown to the interested parties as well as made a permanent part of the record of investigation.

    Ely Quesenberry         signature (document)     6/7/17

    All Page (initials)

     

     

     

     

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