If you’re a federal employee who’s been mistreated at work, it’s important to know your rights and seek justice for the discrimination you’ve experienced. Reach out to an employment lawyer to begin filing a claim.
Federal employees are often devoted workers of the companies that employ them. Being employed by a federal institution and experiencing discrimination can make the incident more traumatic because these companies are supposed to be safe places where employees can feel at home. Many federal employees are considered civil servants and have spent decades holding one job.
If you believe you’ve been harmed or treated unfairly, whether in the hiring process, through harassment, when being fired, or in some other way, it’s helpful to file a claim against your employer. That way, your employer can be held accountable for their actions and they theoretically can’t mistreat you or anyone else’s employment again in the same way.
At Snider & Associates, LLC, your federal employment lawyer has a deep understanding of national employment law. We can help you with your employment discrimination case and ensure that your claim is heard and investigated by the right people. We want you to feel comfortable at work, and we hope that by seeking justice, you’ll feel more at peace as well.
Federal Employment Laws Against Discrimination
There are numerous federal acts that protect employees against discrimination by their employers. Each act works to protect a different group of individuals, and some acts work to protect multiple groups within the workplace. For example, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against women on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Employment discrimination related to pregnancy can include withholding a promotion, paying the woman less than other employees, withholding benefits, or refusing to hire her or firing her because of her pregnancy.
Other federal labor laws that protect employees from discrimination include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
These federal statutes protect minority groups such as women, the disabled, the young, the elderly, and those with genetic diseases. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Common Discriminatory Employment Actions
When people think of discrimination in the federal workplace, the hiring and firing process are typically the first things to come to mind, and unfortunately, these are two areas where biased judgments are often made but not noticed. Hired employees, however, can also experience mistreatment at work in many other ways.
Some other common discriminatory employment acts at work include:
- Promoting employees unfairly, or not promoting when deserved
- Sexual and verbal harassment
- Retaliation for filing discrimination claims
- Harsh work environment
- Unfair circulation of benefits
- Failure to provide pay raises, or doing so unfairly
- Not providing appropriate workplace accommodations
- Inaccurate performance reviews
A federal employment attorney can help evaluate your incident and determine whether it warrants an employment discrimination claim or not. If you’ve experienced one of the acts above, there’s a good chance you have grounds for a claim, and it’s important you keep all relevant documentation in order to file.
The Federal EEO Complaint Process
Your first step in filing an EEO complaint is to contact your equal employment opportunity (EEO) counselor at the federal agency where you work. You’ll get the choice to either go to EEO counseling or participate in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, such as mediation, with your employer. If the issue can’t be settled through counseling or ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint against your employer.
To file a formal discrimination complaint, you’ll have to go through your agency’s EEO office. The agency will conduct an investigation, and once the investigation is complete, you can either request a hearing in front of an EEOC administrative judge or ask the agency to decide whether discrimination occurred or not.
If the agency determines that no discrimination occurred in your employment issue, then you can appeal the decision. If you decide to request a hearing, you must make the request in writing or online. The judge will make a final decision in your hearing on whether discrimination occurred, and they’ll either dismiss your case or suggest relief.
How to File a Federal Employment Lawsuit
While you must file a formal discrimination complaint through your agency’s EEO office before you can file a lawsuit for your employment discrimination, there are multiple points throughout the process in which you can drop the complaint and move forward with a lawsuit instead. Having a federal employment attorney by your side through this process will make it much simpler.
According to the EEOC website, the times in which you can file a lawsuit include:
- After 180 days have passed from the day you filed your complaint (if the agency has not issued a decision and no appeal has been filed)
- Within ninety days from the day you receive the agency’s decision on your complaint (so long as no appeal has been filed)
- After 180 days from the day you filed your appeal (if the EEOC has not issued a decision)
- Within ninety days from the day you receive the EEOC’s decision on your appeal
Federal Employment Discrimination FAQ
We know that the process for filing a federal discrimination claim is complex, and it can be overwhelming for those who aren’t familiar with employment law. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below to help ease your concerns, but if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.
What is workplace retaliation?
In this context, workplace retaliation is when an employer mistreats an employee after knowing the employee has submitted a discrimination claim against them. Retaliation can also happen against employees who have agreed to testify as witnesses for their coworkers in discrimination cases.
Do I have to take a drug test for employment?
You aren’t required to take a drug test in any hiring process; however, refusing to take a drug test can prevent you from getting the job. Drug testing is completely up to the employer, and it’s not considered discrimination if they choose to drug test you before or upon hiring.
Is there a deadline for when I need to file my federal discrimination claim?
You’ll need to file your discrimination claim with an EEO counselor within 45 days from when the discrimination occurred. If you decide after EEO counseling that you want to file a formal discrimination complaint with your agency’s EEO office, you’ll have fifteen days to do so once your EEO counselor tells you how to file.
Contact a Federal Employment Attorney
No one deserves to be mistreated or discriminated against at work or in any other circumstance. While the claims process can seem lengthy, taking the time to file can make a statement for all of the others who have been treated unfairly and never had the courage to say anything about it. At Snider & Associates, LLC, we want to help you and your fellow federal employees make a difference and take a stand.
Hopefully, by filing a claim, you can hold your federal employer accountable and stop any further mistreatment from happening. If you’re ready to speak with a federal employment lawyer about your case in greater detail, you can reach out by filling out the contact form below or by calling 410-653-9060.
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