Dealing with federal employment issues can prove particularly difficult due to numerous steps and time constraints. While Federal law governs many interactions between federal employees and their employers, that does not mean that you cannot suffer discrimination or harassment in a federal workplace. A federal employment attorney can help you investigate your claim and fight for your rights.
Discrimination and harassment can make it incredibly difficult to manage your usual workplace tasks–and create a hostile work environment where you feel unsafe or taken advantage of. A federal employment attorney can help you throughout the entire process.
In the United States, there are several key classes that are protected–that is, you cannot be harassed or discriminated against on the basis of these characteristics or classes. They include:
Being a member of a protected class does not automatically mean that an employer has to hire you or provide you with specific opportunities. It does, however, mean that your employer cannot fire you, refuse to hire you, or deny you career opportunities, on the basis of that characteristic alone.
Workplace harassment, in general, must include two elements. First, it must be unwelcome. Teasing between coworkers that is welcomed by both parties, for example, would not likely be considered workplace harassment unless those jokes were at someone else’s expense.
Second, the harassment must be based on one of the classes protected by federal law. Making disparaging comments about a black coworker’s natural hair or someone’s use of a mobility device would both be considered harassment while being rude or judgemental about the car someone drives would not be.
Harassment is, in general, a fairly broad category because it protects against anything that could create a hostile work environment or any decision that could prevent an employee from advancing on the basis of being a member of a protected class.
No, you cannot be fired for filing a discrimination or harassment claim against your federal employer, nor can your employer take retaliatory action against you in any way–including further discrimination or harassment–for filing that claim. Not only can your employer not terminate you for reporting concerns of harassment, helping someone report concerns of harassment, or requesting reasonable accommodation for a religious belief or disability, but they also cannot suspend you, demote you, fail to promote you, or take any other adverse employment action against you in retaliation for engaging in this protected activity.
As a federal employee, there are numerous important deadlines you must meet in order to preserve your interests, the first of which is notifying the appropriate Agency official within 45 days of the discriminatory or harassing event.
Once you decide to take action, your case can take many different paths based on how your claims are alleged and whether you have legal representation or not. It is essential to contact a federal employment attorney to ensure your civil rights to be free from discrimination and harassment are protected.
If you believe that you have suffered harassment or discrimination in a federal workplace, or you have suffered retaliation for filing a complaint against your employer, you should contact a federal employment attorney as soon as possible. An experienced federal employment attorney can help you understand your rights, recommend the best course of action, and help ensure you get the justice you deserve.
There are several federal laws that help protect against harassment, depending on what kind of harassment you might be facing and the circumstances leading up to it. Your federal employment lawyer may reference:
A hostile work environment is created when someone you interact with as part of your job subjects you to derogatory, abusive, or intimidating conduct based on your membership in a protected class.
Yes. An experienced federal employment attorney can help ensure you get the justice you deserve when you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment.