Unfortunately, employees working for the federal government are not immune from unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Federal employees are also retaliated against for complaining of discrimination, opposing discrimination of others, or participating in the complaint process. However, federal employees have different procedures, deadlines, and requirements they must follow to effectively make a complaint of unlawful discrimination or retaliation. The attorneys at Wiley Walsh, P.C. are experienced employment attorneys who can help federal employees navigate the EEO process and effectively assert their claims of discrimination or retaliation.The Federal Government is prohibited form unlawfully discriminating or retaliating against workers.
Federal laws and regulations prohibit a federal employer from discriminating against an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Additionally, these laws prohibit sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy discrimination.
Federal workers are also protected by laws and Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination based on marital status, parental status, and political affiliation. In some cases, these laws and Executive Orders even apply to the employees of contractors and subcontractors with the federal government.
Finally, federal employees may not be retaliated against for complaining of discrimination or opposing discrimination. The prohibition on retaliation does not just apply to the employee’s own complaint of discrimination, but also to the employee’s opposition to discrimination of co-workers or participation in the EEO process.The Federal EEO Process is Different from the Private Sector EEOC Process.
Federal employees or job applicants must follow a special EEO complaint process to properly assert a claim of discrimination or retaliation. This process has different requirements and deadlines than the private sector EEOC process. These deadlines and requirements tend to be strictly enforced. Therefore, a knowledgeable employment attorney can be essential in ensuring you meet these deadlines and requirements.
The first step for a federal employee is to contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the date the discrimination occurred. The 45-day deadline is one of the shortest employment law deadlines out there and can be easy to miss.
The next step involves filing a formal complaint, which must be accepted by the Agency. An Agency may reject a formal complaint if the initial contact occurred too late or if the basis of the complaint is not covered by the laws the EEOC enforces. However, in most cases, filing a formal complaint will trigger the appointment of an investigator who will investigate the claim.
After investigating the claim, the investigator will issue a Report of Investigation and provide the employee with the option of requesting a hearing or a final agency decision. An experienced employment attorney can help ensure the correct decision gets made at this crucial juncture.
Generally, only after a hearing or a final agency decision has been issued, may a federal employee file suit in federal court. Failure to properly exhaust the administrative process can result in your claims being barred and dismissed.Consult an Austin Attorney if you are a federal worker who has experienced discrimination or retaliation
Because the deadline to make contact with an EEO counselor is so short, it is essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the discrimination or retaliation has occurred. Wiley Walsh, P.C. can help evaluate your case and determine the best way to pursue your claims. Wiley Walsh P.C. represents federal and private sector workers who are seeking an employment attorney in cities such as Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. Call us at (512) 271-5527 or via our online form for an appointment.