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Federal Employee EEO Complaint Process

Federal Employment EEO Complaint Attorneys

What to Know about the Federal Employee EEO Complaint Process

The attorneys on the Federal Practice Group’s federal employment law team all have experience with the EEO complaint process available to federal employees and have achieved successful outcomes for our federal employee clients whether through a negotiated settlement agreement or victory at the EEOC following a hearing before an Administrative Judge.

Discrimination occurs when one is treated differently because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or age. For federal employees, all complaints of discrimination must first be filed with the agency's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) or Civil Rights office, and then if the complaint is unresolved, an employee may request a hearing before the EEOC.

What Federal Employees Should Know About the EEO Complaint Process

This process is often slow moving, but the attorneys at FPG can assist you with every step in the EEO complaint process including:

  • The informal EEO/pre-complaint stage, which can involve EEO Counseling or Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
  • The Mediation/ADR Process, where we would work with you to negotiate a resolution.
  • The formal EEO complaint stage and investigation, where the agency investigates your formal complaint of discrimination.
  • The EEOC hearing process, where your case may be heard before an EEOC Administrative Judge in a hearing that is similar to a trial, including live witness testimony.
  • The OFO appeal process available at the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) to challenge Final Agency Decisions (FADs).

The process starts with an informal complaint of discrimination. You must contact your EEO or Civil Rights office within 45 days of when the action you are complaining about occurred. At the informal complaint stage, a federal employee can either elect to participate in mediation (often referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ARD) or in EEO Counseling. The attorneys at The Federal Practice Group can assist you with filing your informal complaint, as well as deciding whether to elect mediation or EEO Counseling and then represent you during either process.

If the case is unresolved at the informal stage, then the EEO Counselor will issue you a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination. You will then have 15 days to file the formal complaint. The attorneys at the Federal Practice Group can assist you with filing your formal complaint to ensure it is accepted for investigation.

After you have filed a formal complaint of discrimination, the agency has 180 days to investigate your complaint. The attorneys at the Federal Practice Group can assist you during this investigative process to ensure your complaint is fully and fairly investigated.

Once the investigation is complete, the agency will issue a Report of Investigation (ROI) to you along with a Notice of Right to Request a Hearing before the EEOC. You will have 30 days to request a hearing before the EEOC. Once your complaint is before the EEOC, the attorneys at the Federal Practice Group can represent you through every step of the process including discovery and the hearing.

Why You Need an Experienced EEO Complaint Attorney

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace should never be tolerated. That’s where a skilled federal employment lawyer familiar with federal employee EEO complaints and the EEO complaint process can help, regardless of your location.

Discrimination and harassment can have a significant negative impact on an individual's life and ability to function in the work environment and adversely affect your career trajectory and even retirement plans. The attorneys at the Federal Practice Group can assist you in obtaining the relief you deserve as a result of your federal agency’s violation of an anti-discrimination statute. Such relief available through the EEO complaint process available to federal employees may, depending on your particular claim, include:

  • Corrective actions, such as reversal of disciplinary records and removal of any evidence from your Official Personnel File (OPF)
  • Equitable relief, such as a reassignment or change in duties
  • Back pay and benefits, such as in the case of discriminatory non-selections or non-promotions
  • Compensatory damages for pain and suffering, harm to your reputation, and out-of-pocket expenses caused by discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and retaliation/reprisal
  • Reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs

Our attorneys have represented federal employees at the EEOC before, both during the hearing process and before OFO. We understand how to stand up for our clients and defend their rights during this formative moment in their careers.  A battle against the federal government is not easy, but it can be necessary if you are facing discrimination or harassment at work. Our lawyers will assist you throughout every step of the EEO process; contacting an EEO Counselor, filing a formal complaint of discrimination, and providing representation during the investigation of your formal EEO complaint. The Federal Practice Group will also be by your side during the EEOC's hearing process, which can include settlement negotiations and mediation sessions.  Our team will work hard to resolve your complaint so that you can move on with your life and career.

To learn more about what relief may be available to you through an EEO complaint or the EEOC's hearing process for federal employees, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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