Friday, November 18, 2011

Sheppard Pratt -- Appeal of DHR No Probable Cause Finding

October 23, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
#136
Washington, DC  20008

Suzanne Reynolds
Assistant Director
Director - Washington Operations
Employee Assistance Programs
Sheppard Pratt Preferred Resources, Inc.
2033 M Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036

Dear Ms. Reynolds:

This will respectfully advise that the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights (DOHR) found that my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, determined that I was unsuitable for employment based in part on a consultation that an Akin Gump attorney manager had with a Sheppard Pratt counselor in late October 1991.

DOHR determined that this consultation occurred despite your written denial addressed to me, dated July 14, 1993, a copy of which I had forwarded to the DOHR (See DOHR Determination on Reconsideration dated September 24, 1993 incorporating DOHR Determination of No Probable Cause dated June 30, 1993).  The DOHR finding that a Sheppard Pratt counselor consulted with my former employer raises the possibility of a violation by Sheppard Pratt of the D.C. Mental Health Information Act and the D.C. Health Services Revision Act, which could result in certain penalties for Sheppard Pratt.  Further, public knowledge of DOHR’s findings--in effect, that Sheppard Pratt’s promise of confidentiality to its clients’ employees has no real meaning--could cause great embarrassment and harm to Sheppard Pratt.

This will formally advise that I have filed an appeal of DOHR’s determination with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, on October 22, 1993 (See Petition for Review, Appeal No. 93-AA-1342, enclosed).

Please be advised that Sheppard Pratt has a right to file a motion to intervene in the above proceedings before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals per Rule 14(f) of the Court; the motion to intervene must be filed within 30 days of October 22, 1993.  RULE 14(f) states in pertinent part: “Any other party who desires to intervene shall file a motion containing a concise statement of the interest of the moving party in the appeal and the grounds upon which intervention is sought.  The notice of intervention or motion for leave to intervene shall indicate on which side the party is intervening.  It shall be filed within thirty days of the date on which the petition for review is filed, unless the time is extended by order of the court for good cause.”

Be advised that intervention in the above proceedings before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is the only means by which Sheppard Pratt may formally disavow the findings of the DOHR and preserve its legal rights and reputation.  You may wish to consult Sheppard Pratt’s legal counsel regarding this matter.

You may reach me at (202) 362-7064 or leave a message at (202) 363-3800.

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman

cc: S. Hahn

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Sheppard Pratt Preferred Resources, Inc.

July 14, 1993

Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
#136
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Mr. Freedman

This letter is in response to your recent inquiry about your case file.

With regard to your question concerning EAP consultation with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld:

We have no record of contact concerning you with either Dennis Race or Malcolm Lassman.

With regard to your question about Sheppard Pratt EAP's role in providing consultation to employers regarding employees whose job performance is affected by personal problems (attendance, quality/quantity of work or workplace conduct):

When an employer calls to discuss a troubled employee, we inquire about the history of documentation to determine if the employee's problem is chronic or in early stages. If the employer hasn't documented any earlier problem we suggest a statement of concern and an informal referral to the EAP. This can often prevent the problems from intensifying if the client follows up with recommendations. If the problem is chronic and there is documentation of a pattern of behavior impacting on job performance over a long period of time, we recommend a formal referral to the EAP. The purpose is to provide confidential intervention/support or accommodation to the problem which if addressed could ultimately lead to termination.

We do not tell employers to terminate employees. If an employer has months of documentation and has followed internal disciplinary procedures, i.e., providing verbal, written and suspension as counseling techniques it is the company's decision to fire for cause. Generally, employers do not call to ask EAP advice about terminating employees. They may call us to inform us about their decision if they know the employee was referred to the EAP, yet the performance problems continued over a long period of time. If we do not oppose the decision, this does not imply that we concur in the decision to terminate the employee.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Reynolds, M.A., CEAP
Assistant Director
Director -- Washington Operations
Employee Assistance Programs

SR/ab

record on appeal at 63-64