No matter what your job is, you may encounter discrimination in the workplace during your career. There are several laws the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces that protect federal employees from discrimination. But what is the federal EEOC complaint process? If you find yourself the victim of discrimination in the federal workplace, it’s important to understand your rights and how to enforce them with an EEOC complaint. For immediate assistance, please don’t hesitate to send a message or call us at (833) 833-3529 today. Complaints alleging prohibited personnel practices should be directed to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). OSC receives, investigates, and prosecutes allegations of prohibited personnel practices. Information can be found at https://osc.gov/. Here is a breakdown of the 6-Step Federal EEOC Complaint Process. The 6 Steps in the EEOC Complaints Process 1. Contact Your EEO Counselor Each agency has an equal employment opportunity counselor. Before filing a formal complaint with the EEOC, the first step of the federal EEO complaint process is to contact your agency’s EEO counselor within 45 days of the discrimination. Note that some agencies will use different terms for this office, such as the Office of Resolution Management (ORM) at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The EEO counselor will provide information about how a federal EEO complaint works. At this step, your counselor will provide details about the EEO process, including approximate timelines and your appeal rights. They will usually ask for information about your claims and bases too. Where applicable, you may also have the option to go through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This step is also when you must choose whether to file your complaint through the EEO, negotiated grievance, or the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) processes, if applicable. Not all cases have this choice, but when you do, federal employees may choose only one of these two paths and the option first chosen is generally considered to be your election. If you’re unsure where you should file your federal EEOC complaint, consider consulting a federal EEOC lawyer. Understanding Which Laws the EEOC Enforces The EEOC enforces four federal anti-discrimination laws: Together, these laws protect against discrimination based on a number of characteristics, including race, color, sex and sexual orientation, religion or national origin, age, and disability. Additionally, the EEOC works to protect employees from retaliation by their superiors or agency. 2. Filing a Formal Complaint If you can’t resolve the issue through counseling or ADR, your counselor will provide you with a written Notice of Right to File Formal Complaint, and provide a final Interview. This notice gives you the right to file a formal complaint with your Agency’s EEO office within 15 days. Read the Notice carefully for instructions on where to send your complaint. Generally you can file your Formal EEO complaint by mail or email. Each complaint must be properly drafted to include at least: After you submit your complaint, will review it to decide whether to conduct an investigation. 3. Your Agency Conducts an Investigation If your Agency accepts your claims, your agency will have to conduct an investigation into the alleged discrimination. Once the investigation is complete, you may request a hearing before an administrative judge, or you can request an immediate final decision for your EEOC complaint from your agency. 4. Hearing Before an Administrative Judge Like other court proceedings, an EEOC hearing involves presenting your case to an administrative judge. Each party also has the opportunity to conduct discovery to obtain additional information. At the end of the hearing, the judge will review the record and issue a decision about whether there was discrimination. In some cases, a federal employee may not need to request a hearing. Accordingly, hearings do not always happen as part of the federal EEOC complaint process. 5. Your Agency Issues a Final Decision Whether you choose a hearing or not, the final main step is your agency’s final decision. The agency will review the judge’s final order or the evidence from the investigation and notify you whether it found any discrimination. If there was discrimination, the agency may implement the judge’s orders or its own remedy. Because final decisions may not be in the employee’s favor, federal employees have the right to appeal a final agency action to the EEOC’s appellate division, the Office of Federal Operations (OFO). 6. Appealing to the EEOC You may appeal your agency’s decision to the OFO within 30 days of that decision. During the appeal process, the OFO will review the entire history of your complaint and the evidence in the record. The OFO will then issue its own determination of whether there was any discrimination. Having a federal EEOC lawyer is the best way to make sure your arguments are properly presented in this case. Contact a Federal EEOC Lawyer The federal EEOC complaint process looks long and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The attorneys at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC have years of experience representing federal employees in a variety of employment matters. If you’ve suffered discrimination and need help with your EEOC complaint, we can help. Contact us today online or at (833) 833-3529.Read More
Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing
The Lawyers for Federal Employees
Federal employees have unique rights unlike other employees, and many of those rights are governed by specific laws that are unique to federal employees. At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of experienced federal employment lawyers is dedicated to helping federal employees understand and protect their rights.
Just like other employees, federal employees can face an array of challenges. When these challenges require you to file a lawsuit, an administrative complaint, or a claim for benefits, it is important that you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.
The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing has experience with all types of legal issues affecting federal employees, including disability claims, discrimination and harassment, whistleblower claims, retaliation, wrongful termination, and other adverse employment actions.
If you are a federal employee, the process for protecting your rights is different than for most employees in the private sector. It is important that you have an attorney with specific experience in federal employee law, not just general employment law.
Our practice is directly focused specifically on federal employee law.
Enforcing your rights as a federal employee frequently involves navigating various layers of bureaucracy.
Additionally, it can often be challenging to determine which agency is responsible for your specific type of claim and what process that agency requires you to comply with.
The Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing has experience working with numerous agencies across the federal government regarding federal employee issues. These issues can include complaints or claims involving:
- The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB),
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- The Office of Special Counsel (OSC)
- The Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS)
- The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP)
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
- The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA)
When dealing with claims before these agencies, even small mistakes, such as missing filing deadlines, failing to gather adequate supporting documents, or filing a claim with the wrong agency can be costly.
Having an experienced federal employee lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of federal employment attorneys is passionate about helping federal employees with any legal issues they may face. If you need help pursuing benefits you are entitled to or protecting your rights against wrongful conduct, contact us today.
How We Can Serve You
Meet Aaron Wersing
Federal Employee Attorney
Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC. His practice focuses solely on assisting federal employees in a broad array of litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Wersing’s practice includes the evaluation and resolution of a diverse variety of federal employment matters.
I can’t say enough good things about Mr. Wersing. He was dedicated to my case and because of his dedication he won my case. I was lost without him. I went to many attorney’s and all of them told me they were unable to help me because the government was to hard to fight against, but not Mr. Wersing. He knew his stuff . If your looking for an attorney who treats you like a person and just not like another number, Mr. Wersing is that attorney. He knows his stuff and will fight for your rights. I can never thank him enough.- Sandy | EEOC
Aaron Wersing is at the very top of every attorney I have met or dealt with. He is a patient, pleasant and professional attorney who is mission oriented and dedicated to get the job done. He helped me through a very arduous disability process allowing me to keep my self dignity and respect. I cannot imagine working with any attorney other than Aaron Wersing when applying for Fers Disability or any other employment & labor, employee benefits or workers compensation issues.- Howard M. | FERS Disability
Aaron is not only confident in getting things done, he is very compassionate and caring. He is a true fighter for what he believes is right. My case was a bit complicated but Aaron never backed down. Applying for OPM can be daunting and personal. Aaron has the ability to keep you focused and on track which means he understands how emotional it can be for somebody that has to retire due to medical conditions. Because of Aaron my OPM was approved the first time and we didn't have to do a reconsideration. If you want a good attorney that will fight for you, Aaron is your man. I will be forever thankful.- Tammy | FERS Disability
Our Federal Employment Law Library
Empowering Federal Employees To Know and Exercise Their Rights
Religious freedom is one of the greatest liberties in American society. Thanks to the First Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans may practice their religious belief (or non-belief) without fear of religious discrimination in the workplace. Consequently, if you think you are experiencing religious discrimination, you should contact a federal employment attorney right away. What Is Religious Discrimination? Most Americans understand that religious discrimination is prohibited by law. Not as many understand religious discrimination’s exact definition as it applies to the federal workplace. Put simply, religious discrimination is any negative treatment of an employee or applicant because of that employee’s religion. In the workplace, religious discrimination is legally prohibited across all facets of employment. This encompasses hiring, firing, compensation, job assignments, and the classification of employees. Additionally, harassment based on an individual’s religion is strictly forbidden. The prohibition against religious discrimination is very broad. In fact, religious discrimination law protects not only adherents of major global religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It also shields those who follow little-known faiths and all those who have any kind of sincerely held religious or moral beliefs. This means that atheists and agnostics are also protected against religious discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids religious discrimination in any and all aspects of employment. This includes things like hiring, firing, compensation, promotions, training, work schedule, and job assignments. The definition of religious discrimination includes harassment as well. Religious harassment refers to several different offensive behaviors aimed at someone because of their religion, including: However, any demeaning behavior that creates an objectively hostile or offensive work environment constitutes harassment. On the other hand, simple teasing and isolated incidents do not usually constitute illegal harassment. Unfortunately, there are situations where it can be difficult to tell if you are experiencing harassment. A knowledgeable federal employment attorney can help you make sense of your situation and move forward. Examples of Religious Discrimination in the Workplace Religious discrimination is distressingly common. According to a 2019 Pew Research study, over 80% of Americans believe that members of at least one religion experience religious discrimination. Specifically, 82% of Americans said that Muslims experienced at least some religious discrimination, and 50% believed that Evangelical Christians were the target of at least some religious discrimination. Yet what does religious discrimination actually look like? Here are a few examples of religious discrimination and harassment in the workplace: These are just a few examples. A qualified federal labor law attorney can help you understand if your situation constitutes religious discrimination or harassment. Looking to Learn More About Religious Discrimination in the Workplace? Religious discrimination is no joke. It can cause isolation, depression, and burnout. It can be easy to feel defeated when you’re subjected to religious discrimination every day. But there’s good news. You have rights. At the Federal Employment Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, our passion is helping federal employees stand up for their rights. We believe that no employee should have to deal with religious discrimination. Unlike many other firms, we focus exclusively on helping federal employees, which means we know what we’re doing. Together, we can help you fight back against the discriminatory actors in your work environment. We can also help you receive just compensation for the losses you’ve experienced because of religious discrimination. People are often reluctant to hire an attorney because they are anxious about money. We understand that, and we don’t want money to keep you from reaching out to us. There’s nothing to lose by giving us a call today at (866)612-5956 or contacting us online. Don’t wait. Let us help you!Read More
Federal law recognizes several kinds of sexual harassment. One category encompasses comments and behavior that target a person because of their sex. Another type involves unsolicited or unwanted sexual advances. In this article, we’ll zero in on quid pro quo sexual harassment, which is when someone at work offers you something in return for doing a sexual act for them. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is often emotionally traumatizing and overwhelming for the victim. If you believe you’re facing quid pro quo sexual harassment, you must understand precisely what it is and how to respond. We’ll cover those topics and more in this piece. If you need more assistance after reading this page, contact a federal employment attorney immediately. What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment? “Quid pro quo” is an old Latin phrase meaning “something given or received for something else.” Hence, quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when someone at your work approaches you and demands sexual favors in exchange for something work-related. The harasser may promise you a promotion or pay raise if you deliver a sexual favor. Another typical example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is one in which the harasser threatens to hurt you or your career unless you do what they want. Whichever form quid pro quo sexual harassment takes, it constitutes illegal federal workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How to Prove Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Quid pro quo sexual harassment cases require establishing specific elements to hold your federal employer legally accountable. These elements may vary slightly depending on the case, but they generally include the following: Keep in mind that the law protects both existing employees and job applicants. Therefore, you can bring a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim if an agency official promises you employment if you give in to their sexual advances. Proving the Elements You can use different evidence to prove the elements of a quid pro quo claim. Examples include documentary evidence, such as emails, memorandums, informal notes, and meeting minutes. Statements from witnesses are also incredibly valuable, as are video and audio recordings. One of the best ways to prevail in your sexual harassment claim is always to make notes of any incidents of sexual harassment. Hiring an attorney also helps you collect valuable evidence because employment attorneys have the tools to obtain useful information from your employer. Our Federal Employment Attorneys Can Help You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve Nobody should have to deal with sexual harassment, especially in the federal workplace. So, when sexual harassment happens, you must act quickly to hold the wrongdoer accountable. To maximize your chances of succeeding in your legal battle, get legal help immediately. However, you shouldn’t go for just any attorney. There are many specialties of law, so one person can’t be an expert in every field. As you can imagine, a tax attorney will be of little assistance to you in a sexual harassment case. Instead, go with a group of dedicated, passionate federal employment lawyers. Reach out to the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC. Unlike most other firms, we take on only federal employment cases. On top of that, we have decades of experience vindicating the rights of employees and holding harassers accountable. Together, we can work to stop the harassment, bring peace of mind, and restore your career. Just phone us or visit our website to set up a free initial consultation.Read More