Federal Sector Employment Discrimination
If you are employed by a federal agency and you believe you were treated adversely in the workplace due to a characteristic protected by law, you may be able to file a complaint. You might assume that the federal government will take your side in the course of your grievance, due to your years of loyal service. However, it can be just as challenging to obtain relief in a federal sector employment discrimination case as it is in a private lawsuit. Matthew T. Famiglietti is an experienced Washington D.C. employment discrimination attorney who may be able to represent you in a proceeding before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or in court.Federal Sector Employment Discrimination
As a federal employee, you are protected by laws that differ from those that allow employees of private companies to recover damages. While a Washington D.C. private employer may be covered by the District of Columbia Human Rights Law, as a federal employee, you need to retain a lawyer who understands the intricacies of the federal laws enforced by the EEOC, along with the administrative procedures you’ll need to exhaust prior to moving forward in court.
It is illegal for a federal agency you work for to discriminate against you based on certain protected characteristics. These characteristics include:
- Age 40 or older
- National origin
Discrimination occurs when an adverse action is taken against you or you are harassed, based on one of these protected characteristics. For example, if the Washington D.C. federal agency for which you work fails to promote you to a management position because your supervisor believes you will not present the right image as a Middle Eastern worker, our lawyer may be able to pursue relief through a federal sector employment discrimination claim. Similarly, if you are a federal employee who is terminated due to a perceived disability, you may have a disability discrimination claim against the agency.
Your federal employer should provide you with a reasonable workplace accommodation for your disability or religious beliefs. Reasonable accommodations include any changes to the workplace that allow you to do your job. Our lawyer may be able to pursue a discrimination claim if your federal sector employer denied you an accommodation.
Employment discrimination in the federal sector is likely to be subtle, but could involve blatant prejudice, as well. Sometimes a claim is generated after an employee notices a significant difference between what she is being paid, and what her male counterparts are being paid; or a claim may arise because the terms and conditions of the employee’s job are less favorable than those of employees with a different group identity. If people of certain groups never get hired for particular jobs even though they are qualified, this could be a sign of employment discrimination.Internal Administrative Complaint Process
There are multiple stages in the complaint process. The process starts by filing an Informal Complaint with the Agency EEOC office. You have 45 days from the alleged discriminatory act(s) or retaliation(s) you believe is discriminatory to file this informal complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved at the informal stage you will receive a letter from the Agency EEOC counselor giving you 15 days to file a Formal Complaint of Discrimination. The Formal Complaint needs to be filed with the Agency EEOC office within this time frame. Once the Formal Complaint has been filed an investigator will be assigned to investigate your complaint. The investigator will issue a Report of Investigation (ROI) at the end of the investigation.
Once the ROI is received and reviewed by you and your attorney, you need to discuss the options available as listed in the ROI. You will have 30 days from the date of the ROI to request an Administrative Hearing before an EEOC Judge or to request a Final Agency Decision (FAD). If you choose to request a hearing, the hearing is not necessarily guaranteed. That decision will be made by the assigned Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) once discovery is completed.
As a federal employee, you may face retaliation for pursuing a Washington D.C. discrimination claim. However, this retaliation is illegal. Retaliation is the most frequently alleged grounds for a federal sector discrimination claim and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases.Merit Systems Protection Board
You may have rights specific to your work as a Postal Service employee or as an employee eligible for veterans’ preference, assuming you’ve worked for at least one continuous year. You may be able to appeal certain personnel actions to the United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).Hire Our Law Firm for Your Claim As a Federal Employee
If you are harmed by federal sector employment discrimination, you should discuss your situation with our experienced Washington D.C. employment discrimination attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents federal sector employees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.