ATTN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Attorney Jay Stafford Discusses Whether Losing Your Security Clearance Means Losing Your Government Job in FEDweek
Skip to Content

Virginia Federal Discrimination Lawyer Helping Federal Employees

While most people know that workplace discrimination is against the law, many federal employees face discrimination at work every day. The good news for those of you who have suffered discrimination at work is that you have rights. A Virginia federal discrimination lawyer can help you protect your rights and build a better future for yourself and others. 

Virginia State Sign

Workplace Discrimination is Illegal Under Federal Law

Federal employment laws prohibit discrimination in any form based on sex, genderageracedisability, or sexual orientation. This includes the following statutes: 

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Rehabilitation Act (prohibits discrimination against people who are disabled)
  • The Equal Pay Act (requiring that men and women receive equal pay for equal work)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

These same laws apply to all federal agencies. If you believe you have been discriminated against, a Virginia federal discrimination lawyer can determine whether you belong to one of the protected classes or have protected status under federal law. 

Workplace Discrimination Within the Federal Government Is More Common Than You Think

Workplace discrimination can include any discriminatory action related to hiring, promotion, termination, wages, or benefits. Actions that can be considered discriminatory include the following: 

  • Discriminatory hiring practices
  • The use of racial slurs or other derogatory language
  • Sexual harassment and assault
  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Discriminatory disciplinary measures
  • Discriminatory promotional procedures
  • Discriminatory pay
  • Retaliatory actions resulting from filing a discrimination complaint

If you have been treated differently due to your gender, race, age, or some other discriminatory behavior, you may have a discrimination claim under federal law. 

Discrimination Isn’t Always Apparent

Because agency heads and supervisors are aware that they can be held liable for discrimination, discriminatory behavior in the workplace is often subtle. It can take the form of agency-wide policies that have a disparate impact on minorities or other protected classes. It may be that your agency has failed to investigate or otherwise take action when they receive complaints concerning discrimination. In addition, discrimination does not need to be intentional - a federal discrimination claim can include instances where the agency has failed to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally, regardless of their gender, race, or ethnicity. 

That said, you need to prove that you have been discriminated against to prevail in a federal discrimination claim. An experienced Virginia federal discrimination lawyer can help you document your claim and collect the evidence you need to protect your rights. 

How a Virginia Federal Discrimination Lawyer Can Help With the Complaint Process

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created to protect all workers (including federal employees) against discrimination. If you are a current federal worker or someone applying for a federal position, and you believe you have been discriminated against by a federal agency, you are entitled to file a complaint. 

To start, you should contact the agency’s EEO counselor at the office that handles EEO complaints. This must be done within 45 days of the alleged incident of discrimination. The EEO counselor will give you the option to take part in EEO counseling or use alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation. 

If you are unable to settle through counseling or ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint against the agency at its EEO office. It must be filed within 15 days of you receiving notice from the EEO counselor explaining how to file. Once the formal complaint has been filed, the agency will review and determine whether it should be dismissed for procedural reasons.

If the case is not dismissed, an investigation will begin. The agency has 180 days from the date of filing to complete the investigation and once done, you will receive notice of two options: ask for a hearing with an EEOC administrative judge or request that the agency make a decision regarding the alleged discrimination. If the agency issues a decision and no discrimination is found (or if you disagree with a portion of the decision), you can file an appeal with the EEOC or take it to federal district court.

A Virginia federal discrimination lawyer can help in the following ways: 

  • They can help you document your claim and collect the evidence you need. 
  • They can ensure that all deadlines are met and that all necessary paperwork is correctly completed and filed.
  • They can represent you at any hearings.
  • They can help you understand your options.

Contact Virginia Federal Discrimination Lawyer J.W. Stafford Today

The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford is dedicated to protecting the rights of federal workers in Virginia. To speak with a Virginia federal discrimination lawyer who knows how to get results, contact us today at 410-514-6099 to schedule a consultation.