Federal Government Employee Discrimination & EEO Issues
Dedicated Representation from a Team of Louisville Employment Law Attorneys
Charles W. Miller & Associates advocates for victims of discrimination in the federal workplace, primarily in Kentucky and Indiana. Federal employees and job applicants are legally protected from discrimination based on their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation. Discrimination based on sex also includes gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy.
Federal employees are also protected from a denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation based on religious beliefs or a disability and from retaliation if the employee opposes employment discrimination, files a complaint of discrimination, or participates in the EEO complaint process in any manner.
If you believe that you have experienced one or more of the types of discrimination described above, contact Charles W. Miller & Associates at (502) 890-9954 to schedule a meeting with an employment discrimination attorney in Louisville.
Why Hire an Attorney for the EEO Process?
At Charles W. Miller & Associates, we fight for our clients’ rights in the workplace and seek to remedy the effects of workplace discrimination. Our experienced EEO attorneys will be advocating for you every step of the way in an effort to get you the best result possible.
The EEO complaint process offers federal employees options regarding where their complaint will go. It also requires strict adherence to multiple deadlines. This makes it even more important to have a skilled EEO attorney on your side to ensure that you make the right decisions and that your claim is not lost or filed too late.
Our owner, Charles W. Miller, has extensive experience in assisting victims of workplace discrimination with the EEO process in Kentucky and Indiana. We can help you begin the EEO claim process against your agency or, if you already have a pending claim, we can join you in fighting for your rights.
What Recovery Options Are Available to Government Employees?
- Corrective actions, such as reversal of disciplinary records and removal of any evidence from your official personnel file;
- Equitable relief, such as reassignment or change in duties;
- Back pay and benefits, such as in the case of illegal non-promotions;
- Compensatory damages for pain and suffering, harm to your reputation, and out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination; and
- Reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs.
How Does the EEO Process Work for Federal Employees & Applicants?
A federal employee who believes he or she has been the victim of workplace discrimination must first contact an EEO Counselor at the agency he or she was employed at or applied to within 45 days from the day the discrimination occurred. However, agency filing deadlines may vary by governmental agency. Thus, it is important to search the specific agency’s website’s EEO section that you are/were employed by or that you applied for a position with to determine the exact filing deadlines. Usually, the EEO Counselor will give the employee the choice of participating in either EEO counseling or an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, such as mediation. If neither of these options produces satisfactory results, the employee can file a formal discrimination complaint with the agency’s EEO office. The employee must file the complaint within 15 days from when the EEO Counselor notifies the complainant/employee how to file.
Once the employee has filed the complaint, the agency will review the complaint and decide if the case should be dismissed for procedural reasons. These reasons include missing the deadlines for when to contact the EEO Counselor and for filing the formal discrimination complaint. If the complaint is not dismissed, the agency will conduct an investigation that can last as long as 180 days from the date the employee filed their complaint. After the investigation is complete, the agency will allow the employee to choose between asking the agency to issue a decision on whether discrimination occurred or requesting a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge. If the agency issues a decision that the employee disagrees with, the employee can appeal the decision to the EEOC or challenge it in federal district court. If the employee requests the hearing, he or she must do so in writing or via the EEOC Public Portal within 30 days from the day notice was received from the agency about the employee’s hearing rights.
Once the EEOC Administrative Judge issues a decision, the agency has 40 days to decide whether it agrees with the judge’s decision and if it will grant the relief the judge ordered. This is called a final order. The agency is able to appeal the EEOC Administrative Judge’s decision if it disagrees with any part of it. Likewise, the employee has the right to appeal an agency’s final order to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations within 30 days of receiving the final order. If the employee receives an unfavorable decision on the appeal, the employee has 30 days from the date they receive their decision on appeal to request reconsideration of the appeal decision. A request for reconsideration is only granted if it can be shown that the decision is based on a mistake about the facts of the case or the law applied to the facts. The agency also possesses the right to request reconsideration. The decision on the request for reconsideration will be final.
An employee must complete the administrative complaint process before filing a lawsuit. However, there are exceptions when the employee is allowed to stop the process immediately and file a lawsuit in court.
These exceptions include:
- After 180 days have passed from the day the employee filed their complaint, if the agency has not issued a decision and no appeal has been filed;
- Within 90 days from the day the employee receives the agency’s decision on their complaint, so long as no appeal has been filed;
- After the 180 days from the day the employee filed their appeal if the EEOC hasn’t issued a decision; or
- Within 90 days from the day the employee receives the EEOC’s decision on appeal.
To learn more about what options may be available to you through an EEO complaint or the EEOC’s hearing process for federal employees, contact Charles W. Miller & Associates to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Louisville federal employment law attorney to discuss your particular circumstances.
Call (502) 890-9954 or submit an online contact form to request your complimentary consultation and case evaluation today.
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