North Carolina Federal Discrimination Lawyer
Everyone knows that it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees, but unfortunately, discrimination remains a problem for many, including federal employees. If you are a federal employee who has been discriminated against at work, chances are that you can hold your employer liable under federal law. A North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer can review your case and help you understand your options.
Lawyers for Employees of All Federal Agencies in North Carolina
Our firm represents federal employees throughout North Carolina employed by all agencies, departments, divisions and offices. Whether you work at the Veach-Baley Federal Complex in Asheville, the L.R. Preyer Federal Building in Greensboro, the J.J. Hayes Federal Building in Wilkesboro, or any of the other federal buildings in North Carolina—or you work remotely or in the field—our lawyers can help you if the federal government has violated your legal rights.
We handle discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and other types of claims against all federal entities in North Carolina. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- U.S. Courts
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHA)
- U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
- U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
From Wilmington to Charlotte to Asheville and everywhere in between, if you live in North Carolina and you believe the government has violated your rights as a federal employee, our lawyers can represent you. We can help you understand your rights, help you make smart decisions and deal with the federal government on your behalf.
Grounds to Allege Workplace Discrimination as a Federal Employee in North Carolina
As a federal employee in North Carolina, you are entitled to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. Unfortunately, discrimination is still common, and many federal employees experience it at work as well.
Federal laws prohibit agencies from discriminating against employees, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and others, apply to all federal agencies in North Carolina. These laws protect the following people:
- Job applicants
- Current and former employees
- Full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees
What is Considered Discrimination?
Discrimination can take many forms. Denial of job opportunities, denial of promotions and benefits, forced job transfers, wrongful suspensions and removals, and verbal and physical harassment are all far more common than they should be. If you believe that you have experienced discriminatory treatment based on any of the following, you should speak with a lawyer about your rights:
- Genetic Information
- National Origin
While some discriminatory practices will be fairly evident (i.e. denying federal employment based expressly on a candidate’s age or terminating a federal employee who gets pregnant), others can be far more subtle. But, these cases are no less wrongful, and they deserve no less attention. Systematically denying opportunities to female employees or employees of color, ignoring disabled employees’ requests for reasonable accommodations, and maintaining unequal compensation structures for similarly-situated employees are all forms of discrimination for which the federal government can – and should – be held accountable.
How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination
If you have been discriminated against, the first step you need to take is to file an informal complaint with your agency’s EEO counselor. You must file within 45 days of the date when the discrimination occurred. This will begin a 30-day process, during which time the EEO counselor may interview you and attempt to resolve the matter. If the matter cannot be resolved, they will advise you of your right to file a formal complaint with the EEOC.
Federal employees also can take advantage of alternative dispute resolution programs such as EEOC mediation. While this will take additional time, it may resolve your issue more quickly than a formal proceeding. In addition, you can be represented at your hearing by a North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer.
A North Carolina Federal Discrimination Lawyer Helping Federal Employees Navigate the Claim Process
If you are unable to resolve your issue through the informal complaint process, the next step is to file a formal complaint with the agency. Your complaint will be assigned to an investigator who will thoroughly investigate your claim. The agency then has 180 days from the day the employee filed the formal complaint to finish its investigation. This could include interviewing you, your agency and your co-workers and may include obtaining sworn statements and affidavits.
A North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need and document your claim so that your complaint is as strong as possible. This may help focus the investigation and can also help influence the investigator’s findings.
The EEOC Hearing
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will submit a report detailing their findings. At this point, you have the right to request a hearing before an EEOC administrative law judge. Similar to a court proceeding but less formal, both you and your agency will have an opportunity to be heard and submit evidence. Counsel will likely represent the agency.
While it is not required that you hire an attorney, working with a North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer can greatly enhance your chances of success. They will make sure that you are fully prepared to testify, they can cross-examine your employer’s witnesses, and submit the evidence you need to support your claim.
Your Right to Appeal
If the administrative law judge does not rule in your favor, you have the right to appeal your case to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO). You must file your appeal within 30 days of the decision, either online or filed by mail or hand-deliver. The OFO will review the entire file, including transcripts of the hearing. However, it is important to note that the OFO will generally not consider any new evidence in your appeal. This is one of the reasons why it is important to work with a North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer from the very beginning.
Once your appeal is filed, you have the option to file a statement in support of your appeal. It is not required, but it can help your claim. An experienced North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer will know how to draft a persuasive supporting statement. If your appeal is denied, you can then request that the EEOC reconsider its decision.
North Carolina Federal Employment Lawyer for Disciplinary Actions and MSPB Appeals
Many of our clients come to us because either (i) they are facing proposed disciplinary action, or (ii) they have been disciplined and need to file an appeal. Similar to removals from service, when seeking to impose discipline—whether based on alleged misconduct or poor performance—federal agencies must follow a stringent set of rules that are designed to protect federal employees’ rights.
We represent federal employees in North Carolina who are facing proposed disciplinary action. We also represent federal workers who have been disciplined and who need to file appeals with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Strict deadlines apply in both of these scenarios; so, if you are dealing with a disciplinary issue, we strongly encourage you to contact us right away. The ways our attorneys may be able to help you include:
- Proving that the proposed discipline is unwarranted
- Proving that you are facing discipline on a discriminatory basis
- Showing that the government has failed to follow the necessary procedures to impose discipline
- Reducing the severity of the discipline imposed (if it is not possible for you to avoid discipline altogether)
- Representing you before the MSPB and in federal court if necessary
Get Help Obtaining, Protecting or Restoring Your Federal Security Clearance in North Carolina
We also represent federal employees in North Carolina who need help obtaining, protecting or restoring their security clearance. Being denied or losing security clearance can have significant repercussions; and, while there are valid reasons why the government can deny, suspend or revoke an employee’s clearance, wrongful denials, suspensions and revocations are common. To discuss your security clearance issue with one of our attorneys in confidence, please contact us to arrange a confidential consultation today.
Other Grounds to Pursue Claims as a Federal Employee in North Carolina
In addition to representing federal employees in North Carolina who have experienced workplace discrimination and harassment, we handle other types of claims on behalf of federal workers in the Tar Heel State as well. This includes (but is not limited to) claims involving:
- FMLA Violations – As a federal employee, you are entitled to take job-protected unpaid leave when you qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you have been denied FMLA leave, or if you have faced adverse employment action after requesting or taking FMLA leave, you may be entitled to legal remedies.
- FLSA Violations – The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes important protections for non-exempt employees. These include protections related to overtime and travel pay. Our attorneys have significant experience representing federal employees who have not received due compensation for hours worked on behalf of the federal government.
- Retaliation – Federal employees who report government misconduct through the appropriate channels are entitled to protection against retaliation. Similar to discrimination, retaliation can take many forms. If you have faced any form of retaliation for reporting discrimination, security violations, or other illegal or improper conduct, we encourage you to contact us for more information.
- Violations of Employees’ Privacy Rights and Freedoms – As a federal employee, you have a right to privacy in the workplace, and you are entitled to numerous other freedoms as well. If the federal government has violated your rights, our attorneys can take appropriate legal action on your behalf.
Wrongful Termination – When seeking to terminate their employees, federal agencies must follow strict rules and procedures regarding removal. If you were removed from service and your agency did not follow the requisite rules and procedures, you may be entitled to reinstatement or other remedies.
Contact North Carolina Federal Employment Discrimination Lawyer J.W. Stafford
You need to act quickly to protect your rights if you are a victim of discrimination. Highly responsive with deep experience, North Carolina federal employment discrimination lawyer J.W. Stafford can help you understand your options. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, send us an email or call us at 410-514-6099.