Learn About Your Legal Rights from a Washington Federal Discrimination Attorney
As a federal employee, you are entitled to a workplace free from discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws prohibit federal agencies, offices and departments from discriminating against their employees. Yet, discrimination in federal workplaces remains a very real issue. If you have experienced discrimination on the job, you should speak with a Washington federal discrimination attorney about your legal rights.
While many of the protections that apply to federal employees also apply to employees in the private sector, there are several unique aspects to filing a discrimination claim against the federal government. As a result, it is important to work with an attorney who has specific experience in this area. At The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, our attorneys regularly represent federal employees, and we are intimately familiar with the processes involved in holding federal employers accountable.
Types Of Workplace Discrimination
Title VII and other federal laws protect federal employees against most forms of discrimination on the job. Under these laws, federal employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and job applicants on the basis of:
- Age (40 or Older)
- Gender Identity
- Genetic Information
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
These are referred to as “protected characteristics.” If you believe that you have been treated differently because of a protected characteristic, you may have a discrimination claim against the federal government. Singling out employees based on their protected characteristics, treating employees who share a protected characteristic differently, and enforcing policies that have the effect of discriminating against employees or job applicants with a protected characteristic are all prohibited forms of discrimination under federal law.
Types of Federal Discrimination Cases We Handle
We represent federal employees in Washington who have experienced all forms of discrimination. Our attorneys handle all types of federal discrimination cases, including those involving:
- Wrongful Termination
- Demotions and Reductions in Pay
- Denial of Promotions and Job Opportunities
- Pay Disparities
- Refusal to Hire
- Refusal to Promote
- Undesirable Job Assignments and Transfers
- Unjustified Disciplinary Complaints
- Unjustified Negative Performance Reviews
When you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with a Washington federal discrimination attorney in confidence as soon as possible. Your attorney will thoroughly evaluate your case and help you make smart decisions about your next steps. As a victim of employment discrimination in a federal workplace, it is important to act promptly, but you also need to be careful to protect your claim. We can explain the steps you need to take (and the mistakes you need to avoid), and if you decide to move forward with filing a claim, we can represent you throughout the process.
How to File a Discrimination Claim as a Federal Employee
How do you file a discrimination claim as a federal employee (or job applicant) in Washington? Here is a brief overview of the process:
1. Consult with a Washington Federal Discrimination Attorney
You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you during your federal employment discrimination claim, and it is important that you do so. There are strict procedures you need to follow, and these procedures vary depending on your federal employer and your position within the federal government. An experienced Washington federal discrimination attorney will be able to help you take all of the necessary steps and avoid mistakes that could leave you without the remedies you deserve.
2. Determine Where You Need to File Your Claim
One of the first steps toward protecting your legal rights is determining where you need to file your claim. For many federal employees, this is the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But, in some cases, federal employees must file their discrimination claims with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), and there are other possibilities as well. Since strict deadlines apply, if you file your claim with the wrong authority, you could run out of time to hold your federal employer accountable.
3. Contact Your EEO Counselor (if Necessary)
If you need to file your federal employment discrimination claim with the EEOC, you may also need to take the preliminary step of contacting your agency’s EEO Counselor. Your agency should have information posted about how to contact its EEO Office, but if you can’t find this information, your Washington federal discrimination attorney will be able to help.
Once you contact your EEO Counselor (or your attorney contacts your EEO Counselor on your behalf), you will have the option to either participate in counseling or pursue alternative dispute resolution (i.e., mediation). If this leads to a satisfactory resolution, you can resolve your claim without further legal action. If it doesn’t, then you will need to work with your attorney to proceed with the next steps in the process.
4. File a Claim with the Appropriate Office, Agency or Court
If you aren’t able to achieve a satisfactory resolution through your agency’s EEO Office (or if this isn’t part of the process based on your situation), then you will need to proceed with filing a formal claim. Depending on the circumstances, this could involve filing a claim with the EEOC, OSC or another federal office or agency, or it could involve filing a claim in court.
5. Work with Your Attorney to Seek a Just Result
Regardless of where you need to file your federal employment discrimination claim, you will need to work with your attorney to seek a just result. While your attorney will fight to protect your legal rights on your behalf, your attorney will also need you to remain actively involved. While many federal discrimination cases settle, some don’t—and if fighting in court is your best option, you will need to be prepared to work alongside your attorney to hold your federal employer accountable.
Request a Consultation with a Washington Federal Discrimination Attorney
Do you need to speak with a Washington federal discrimination attorney? If so, we invite you to get in touch. Please call 410-514-6099 or contact us online to arrange a confidential initial consultation.