I went to the Internet looking for some legal information, hoping to save a few dollars. I decided first to do some research to make sure that they gave me an honest answer. I have already been involved for some time in a Federal Workman's Compensation Program suit, so I decided to use this area of the law. I asked prairielaw.com a difficult question; Who has higher authority the EEO or the OWCP? OWCP says I can go back to work; the EEO, Post Office and my doctor say I can't.
Their answer was OWCP is the only agency that decides if an injury is work-related and pays compensation if you are unable to work. EEO has no authority to say you can't work and even if they did, they would not have the means to pay compensation. You doctor may say you cannot work, but I am sure there is medical evidence in your case that would indicate otherwise. If you want to get paid compensation for a work related injury, you had better follow OWCP procedure and prove through that procedure that you are disabled and cannot work.
Knowing they had given me the wrong answer I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, I asked again giving them more information. The EEO can tell a returning injured employee they can not return work because they can't pass the required physical (I have permanent severe nerve damage)
What the OWCP has only said so far is that the issue was resolved over two years prior to the date that they notified me. It was settled in my favor, but I am still not allowed to go work. Neither the Post Office nor the EEO will approve me healthy enough to go back to work, per my doctor's written restrictions. I am no longer ever to lift anything over 20 lbs. occasionally for short distances nor 10 pounds repetitively. He added about a dozen other restrictions, including not pushing my vacuum. I contacted the local district Post Office as well as the director of the EEO in my work area and both agencies said no to my returning to work.
When the statement from OWCP and the check arrived; the check was only for the period of time I signed up for disability retirement (under Protest) and the date they set in October 1999. I have no idea why the October date is so important. I went on forced retirement in June of 1998.
You say the EEO has no power of enforcement! Try telling someone they are fired because of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their age, or their disability. All of these condition and others are under the control of the EEO, which is a part of the Department of Justice!
I didn't ask who had the power to pay my compensation, that I know. I asked who has more power in enforcing the laws? The OWCP are the only ones saying I can go back to work. I just want an idea on how much longer I will be fighting OWCP.
I have already received positive feedback from my Congressman.
Their reply was as follows: You asked a question and I told you what I thought. Sorry you did not like the answer. I would suggest that you follow your congressman's advice. It seems like he is telling you what you want to hear. I can only tell you what I think.
The following was my final reply and should have been their answer. Another words; you don't know which government agency has the higher authority.
The Department of Justice rulings always (as far as I have been told) take presence over the Department of Labor! I realize this was a difficult question. I just wanted to see if these legal web sites are worth my time. From what I have seen they are not. A person can look up a law just well as any lawyer and a whole lot cheaper and more accurate. I doubt if the person who answered my request even bothered to look it up.
Clipper Mills, California