A federal employment lawyer can walk you through the legal options that are afforded to federal employees (anyone employed by the federal government) that are not available to people working for a private employer or state agency. Because the federal government has a unique system for handling employment disputes, many federal employees are unaware of what their options are and tend to pursue more well-known legal paths, such as filing a claim with the EEOC or filing a lawsuit in federal court. While both are options, it’s essential to explore the legal options available through the Merit System Protection Board before making a decision regarding how to proceed with an employment case.
Legal Options for Federal Employees: A Federal Employment Lawyer Explains
The Quinn Law Group represents federal employees in cases involving the Merit System Protection Board, EEOC, and those in court, so our federal employment attorneys can provide specific advice about all three options.
#1 Merit System Protection Board (a federal employment lawyer can file an appeal on your behalf)
The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) is where federal employees can appeal employment actions that they feel are incorrect, unfair or illegal. The MSPB will hear cases regarding the following employment actions. If something happened to you that is not on this list, it’s best to speak with a federal employment attorney to determine if the MSPB would hear your case.
Removal from civil service
Wrongful termination during probationary period
Wrongful termination after probationary period
Reducing your grade or pay
A suspension of 14+ days
Failure to restore or reinstate an employee
Negative suitability determination
Involuntary resignation or retirement
Denial of within-grade increase
Furlough of 30+ days
According to the MSPB, “Not every Federal agency action or decision can be appealed to the MSPB. The Board only hears appeals in matters that are made appealable to the Board by law, rule, or regulation” so it is always wise to speak with an attorney about your case.
#2 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Federal employees can file a claim with the EEOC if they feel they are victims of discrimination or retaliation at work. The federal government is required to abide by the same employment laws as a state or private employer, meaning that the federal government cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, pregnancy status, or age.
Per the EEOC, the “EEOC investigates complaints of job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (40 or older), or genetic information.”
#3 File a lawsuit with help from a federal employment lawyer
The federal government can be sued. However, if you are suing based on discrimination or retaliation, you need to file a case with the EEOC first so they can conduct an investigation. Once they provide a “Right to Sue” letter, you can hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. There are exceptions to this. To find out if your case qualifies, speak with a federal employment attorney.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Federal Employment Attorney
It can be challenging for federal employees to know which option to pursue after being discriminated against, mistreated, or retaliated against at work. The federal government has unlimited resources and a large legal team - making it even more important to have a federal employment attorney on your side. You can speak with one at no cost by calling 443-247-5444 or booking an appointment online.