Even with Republicans in full control of Congress there’s no certainty over what is likely to come out of the budget hopper in the weeks and months ahead. The full budget plan fed into the funnel late last month does not bode well for federal workers. The plan calls for cuts that will leave thousands out of jobs, and that’s just in the Washington, D.C., area. What that likely means for many is termination or unanticipated demotion.
The chance that some of those decisions will be made in a way that raise questions about whether discrimination played a factor is something that cannot be overlooked. And workers owe it to themselves to be particular vigilant that rights guaranteed under such laws as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 are not violated.
Sadly, some in Congress fear that is likely to happen. Further, some lawmakers suggest that one specific budget-cutting proposal could mean that enforcement of those laws will erode. The plan calls for merging the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and slashing staff by more than 130 employees.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta says the changes won’t mean discrimination will run rampant across the federal workforce and in the private sector. However, even Republicans have been critical of the EEOC because it already faces a significant backlog of unresolved discrimination cases at current staffing levels.
A federal employee who has worked for years to get where he or she is today deserves more, regardless of prevailing political agendas. And if discrimination is suspected as a cause behind a job loss, contacting an attorney to explore your rights and options makes good sense.