Experienced And Diverse Legal Team Protecting The Rights Of Federal Employees

Protect Your Rights By Filing A Claim With The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Employees of both private enterprises and federal agencies are protected by federal laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliatory action in the workplace. Private enterprises, however, enjoy a bit more latitude when deciding to fire an employee. In short, it is difficult to fire a federal employee. But some differences in EEO case handling are not favorable for federal employees. Although there are various exceptions our federal employee rights attorneys might be able to help with, most federal employees need to contact the EEOC to intiate counseling within 45 days, but many private sector employees have 180 days or more to reach out to the EEOC. Unfortunately, federal employees also often experience the symptoms of a hostile work environment in a worse way given their federal careers, federal benefits, and that, for them, leaving for a new “employer” is not as simple as it is in the private sector.
You shouldn’t be bullied out of your job. Let our federal employment law attorneys at Southworth PC see if they can go to work for you by filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). From our offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., we help federal employees nationwide, and even, especially with DOD entities, worldwide.

What Does The EEOC Do?

The EEOC is a federal investigatory agency that reviews and analyzes job discrimination complaints based on race, religion, national origin, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, age or disability. Theortically, the EEOC works to protect federal employees from a hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation, but navigating the system can be complex.

Workplace Retaliation And EEOC Complaints

We handle litigation for employment law violation cases nationwide for federal employees, including those that involve:
  • Employer retaliation
  • Wrongful termination
  • Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, color, genetic information, national origin, disability or pregnancy
  • Workplace harassment
  • Discriminatory hiring, training or disciplinary practices

The Process Of Filing Claims As A Federal Employee

If you are facing these issues as a federal employee, taking action is not as simple as filing a lawsuit against your employer. There are a number of administrative processes that must be followed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is wise to have a lawyer to guide you through this process.

The first step is to file an informal complaint with the EEO counselor at your workplace (or where you applied to work). This stage is theortically designed to help settle disputes you have with your employer before they escalate into legal action, but in practice, this does not usually happen. Often you might only have 45 days to do this, but there are exceptions which our attorneys know well.

If the dispute is not settled through the informal complaint, the second step generally will be to file a formal complaint with the EEOC. At this stage, the agency will review information and determine if the case should be dismissed due to a procedural error, or if there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation. Investigations usually occur, but often they are not the best. Our federal employee attorneys can help guide you through this process strategically.

Once the investigation is complete, the third step will generally involve either accepting the agency’s decision on whether or not discrimination occurred (hint: they will likely find it did not so this is not the best option usually) or requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the EEOC. In many cases, the ALJ can conduct a hearing, issue a decision and order relief if discrimination occurred.

What Are The Possible Outcomes If The EEOC Rules In Your Favor?

If the EEOC finds that discrimination took place, the EEOC will issue a Decision setting forth the foundation for the finding. The Agency will then decided whether to implement the decision or challenge it. If they disagree, they have one appeal option, but the judge’s decisions finding discrimination and almost always affirmed by the Office of Federal Operations. Along the way, settlement is possible. Possible settlement options can include compensation for:

  • Costs
  • Compensatory damages (such as the pain and suffering you experience)
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Back pay

What If The EEOC Does Not Rule In Your Favor At The ALJ Hearing?

If the decision is not in your favor, you may end up appealing the decision to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations or filing a lawsuit in court. No matter what, you must go through these administrative processes to get a result. Our firm has the skills needed to guide you through this process.

Schedule A Free Consultation With An Attorney Who Handles EEOC Complaints

Our firm offers a free, initial consultation and case assessment. Contact us online or call 888-899-7284 to set up a consultation.