Just like employees of private companies, employees in federal workplaces have the right to be free from illegal harassment and discrimination. Federal discrimination laws have been established by Congress and prohibits employers to discriminate on the basis of color, sex, race, religion, pregnancy, disability, national origin, age, or genetic information. However, federal employees must follow a different set of rules and procedures for filing a complaint against their employer with the EEOC.
Aside from harassment and discrimination, federal laws protect employees against retaliation if they are engaged in a protected EEO activity. This may include taking part in any EEO process or opposing activity that may be considered as discriminatory, regardless of whether they are the victim or someone else in the workplace.
Federal employees are protected under several laws and regulations, including, but not limited to:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (Title I and Title V)
The Civil Rights Act (Title VII)
The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
The Complaint Filing Process with the EEOC
Whether you are a job applicant or a federal employee, you should file a complaint against the employer within 45 days of the discriminatory act, or you will lose your chance to bring a legal action. Once you get in touch with an EEOC counselor, the complaint process will be initiated. Your case will be assigned an EEOC investigator who will conduct thorough investigations in the light of your complaint and gather evidence to help the agency reach a decision. Investigations generally include affidavits, sworn statements, and interviews. The entire process can take up to 180 days or more, depending on your specific circumstances.
Once the investigating officers have collected enough data, they will compile a report, known as the Report of Investigation, that will be presented to the agency and a decision will be given. You will also receive a copy of this report along with a notice of election of remedies. If you are not satisfied with the EEOC’s decision, you can take the matter to higher authorities, and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Another option available to you is to request a jury trial in federal court.
Should you Opt for Legal Representation in your Case?
If you are thinking of filing a complaint against your federal employer, it is best to get legal counsel as early as possible. When you work with an experienced employment law attorney who has in-depth knowledge of handling federal employee claims, you will have a better picture of your case. They will assess the facts of your case under state and federal employment laws and what is the best way forward in your particular situation.
If you are seeking skilled legal representation from a Schaumburg employment discrimination attorney, you should contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your case.