Fighting Federal Employee Discrimination
The Federal Aviation Administration. The U.S. Post Office. The U.S. Navy.
All are large government agencies that The Law Offices of Michael T. Smith has taken to trial on behalf of employees who have been discriminated against, unjustly fired or otherwise unfairly treated on the job. We have fought for our clients throughout northern Illinois and surrounding counties in more than 200 cases in federal court during our three decades of trial experience.
Federal employees who have been wronged at work benefit from many of the same protections that private sector workers do, but there are some differences including:
- A specific process for filing complaints against federal agencies
- The Civil Service Reform Act, designed to shield federal employees and applicants
Filing A Discrimination Complaint With A Federal Agency
If you’re an employee of – or applicant to – a federal agency, and you believe that you’ve been discriminated against, you have the right to file a complaint with that agency.
- Step One
Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity counselor at the agency within 45 days of the discriminatory action.
- Step Two
Take part in counseling or alternative dispute resolution, if the agency offers ADR. If one or the other isn’t successful, you may file a complaint with the agency.
- Step Three
If the complaint isn’t dismissed, the agency must conduct an investigation. For single-issue cases, you may request a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity administrative judge or an immediate final decision from the agency.
- Step Four
If you request a hearing, the administrative judge must issue a decision within 180 days and order appropriate relief should discrimination be proven. If the agency doesn’t issue a final order within 40 days of receiving the decision, that decision becomes the agency’s final action.
- Step Five
If you disagree with the agency’s final action, appeal.
With decades of experience in public sector employment discrimination in Illinois, The Law Offices of Michael T. Smith can help you to navigate and get the most from what can be a lengthy and time-consuming process.
The Civil Service Reform Act
Aimed at federal employees and applicants, this anti-discrimination law is enforced by the Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The act dictates that employees with authority can’t a take personnel action that favors or discriminates against co-workers or applicants on the basis of:
- National origin
Federal employees with authority can’t make personnel decisions based on attributes or conduct – for example, political affiliation, marital status or sexual orientation – that don’t negatively impact job performance.
Also, it’s illegal to bring reprisal against federal employees or applicants for whistleblowing or for exercising an appeal, complaint or grievance right under the law.