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Federal employees facing discrimination and retaliation

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Federal Employment Law

It happens more often than we would like. A federal employee working for an agency under the federal government receives unfair treatment based on age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or other reasons.

Discrimination: what to do

Federal employees who believe that someone in their place of employment is discriminating against them can file a complaint with their agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office.

The EEO office will investigate the complaint and determine whether sufficient evidence supports the claim of discrimination.

Retaliation: what is it?

However, not all federal employees feel empowered to speak up. Many employees fear retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against a federal employee for engaging in protected activity, such as filing a discrimination complaint or reporting a violation of a law or regulation.

Retaliation: what to do

The federal government protects federal employees from retaliation. Most often, employees do not speak up because they fear adverse employment actions, such as demotion, termination, or denial of promotion.

Many employees need to learn or trust that these protections exist and are in place to protect their employment with the federal government.

There are legal remedies for federal employees. If an agency, or someone in a federal agency, discriminates against an employee who engages in protected activity, they can seek a legal remedy.

Employees may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory damages. In addition, the other individual involved in the matter, for example, a supervisor, can be subject to disciplinary action if the evidence shows that the employee was correct.

If you believe that someone in your agency—your employer—has discriminated against you, you must speak up. Seeking legal counsel can help you feel at ease if you want to understand the laws to protect you and others like you.



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