Q & A Session – EEO Investigator


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I recently received the investigator’s report pertaining to my EEO complaint. One of my co-workers was interviewed. In the report is a statement from my co-worker that reads “I did not know she had ___ mental illness.” The specific mental illness was disclosed.

Was it a violation of the Privacy Act when the investigator disclosed my medical condition? Or did I waive my rights in the EEO process?


Assuming your illness was an issue in your EEO complaint, it is not a violation of the Privacy Act to tell others about your illness in order to interview witnesses and gather evidence. When you file an EEO complaint, you give up some of your privacy rights so that the agency can investigate your complaint.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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