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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. 

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Federal Law Protects All Federal Employees Against Discrimination

Federal laws prohibit agencies from discriminating against employees on the basis of genderracereligiondisabilityage, or other categories. These laws, 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

If you believe you have been discriminated against, a North Carolina federal discrimination lawyer can determine whether you have a claim. 

Federal Employees Must First Report Discrimination to Their Agency

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.

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