Call Us Today:
(202) 862-4360
Debra D'Agostino

Debra D'Agostino

Founding Partner
contact@fedpractice.com
(202) 804-3393

Debra D’Agostino, a Founding Partner of the Federal Practice Group and leader of the firm’s federal employment law team, focuses on providing representation to federal employees worldwide in a wide range of matters against federal agencies, including EEO complaints and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearings, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals, U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaints, and replying to proposed adverse actions or disciplinary actions. She has more than 15 years of experience in this complicated area of the law and has obtained successful outcomes for her clients, including findings of liability in discrimination claims and reversals of adverse actions such as removals. Additionally, Ms. D’Agostino has represented Clients in appellate matters before the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations, the MSPB, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and D.C. Circuits.

Ms. D’Agostino is routinely looked to by her peers for her niche expertise in representing federal employees, including those in the intelligence community. In 2016, she was selected to be part of a focus group run by the Government Accountability Office to review the best method to implement the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. The report was sent to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Ms. D’Agostino served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). For the past three years she has been recognized for her skill as an attorney by being named to the Super Lawyers list. Ms. D’Agostino is also a AAA certified mediator.

Ms. D’Agostino earned her Juris Doctorate with honors from the George Washington University Law School, and her B.A. from New York University. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, D.C., and 4th Circuits, and to practice law in D.C. and New York.

Profile

Debra D’Agostino, a Founding Partner of the Federal Practice Group and leader of the firm’s federal employment law team, focuses on providing representation to federal employees worldwide in a wide range of matters against federal agencies, including EEO complaints and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearings, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals, U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaints, and replying to proposed adverse actions or disciplinary actions. She has more than 15 years of experience in this complicated area of the law and has obtained successful outcomes for her clients, including findings of liability in discrimination claims and reversals of adverse actions such as removals. Additionally, Ms. D’Agostino has represented Clients in appellate matters before the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations, the MSPB, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and D.C. Circuits.

Ms. D’Agostino is routinely looked to by her peers for her niche expertise in representing federal employees, including those in the intelligence community. In 2016, she was selected to be part of a focus group run by the Government Accountability Office to review the best method to implement the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. The report was sent to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Ms. D’Agostino served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). For the past three years she has been recognized for her skill as an attorney by being named to the Super Lawyers list. Ms. D’Agostino is also a AAA certified mediator.

Ms. D’Agostino earned her Juris Doctorate with honors from the George Washington University Law School, and her B.A. from New York University. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, D.C., and 4th Circuits, and to practice law in D.C. and New York.

Experience

Complainant v. Dept. of Health and Human Services (CDC), EEOC Appeal No. 2020004613 (August 29, 2022) The EEOC modified the Administrative Judge’s (AJ’s) order and remanded the case for further proceedings. The AJ had issued a default judgment in complainant’s favor as a sanction for the agency’s failure to timely issue a Report of Investigation (ROI). The EEOC increased complainant’s award of non-pecuniary compensatory damages from $42,500 to $75,000 and remanded the issue of pecuniary damages back to the AJ for further adjudication. 

Moncada v. Executive Office of the President, 22 MSPB 25 (August 3, 2022) In a precedential decision, the MSPB denied the Petition for Review filed by the Executive Office of the President, holding that the Board has jurisdiction over appeals filed by employees of the White House appointed pursuant to Title 5. The Board stressed that the language of the statute made clear that it was the status of the employee, not the employing agency, that determined the Board’s jurisdiction. The Board ordered the EOP to rescind its decision removing appellant as the Administrative Judge initially decided. 

Appellant v. Dept. of the Navy, DC-0752-15-0300-B-1 (May 16, 2022) The MSPB granted appellant’s Petition for Review and remanded the case for further adjudication finding that the Administrative Judge improperly found that the agency dismissed his involuntary resignation claim as untimely in the agency’s Final Agency Decision (FAD).

Muego v. Dept. of Labor, PH-3330-22-0069-I-1 (April 6, 2022) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB found the agency violated the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) and granted appellant’s request for corrective action, holding that the agency denied appellant an opportunity to compete for a vacancy.

Complainant v. Dept. of Homeland Security (ICE), EEOC Appeal No. 2020004391 (February 8, 2022) The EEOC vacated the agency’s Final Agency Decision (FAD) and remanded the matter to the agency to submit a renewed hearing request, finding that the AJ was not justified in imposing the sanction of dismissing complainant’s hearing request on complainant. 

Complainant v. USPS, EEOC (November 2, 2021) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the Postal Service subjected complainant to racial and sex discrimination as well as retaliation for protected activity. The AJ awarded $90,000 in compensatory damages and reimbursement of attorney’s fees in a separate decision following the finding of liability. 

Sharpe v. Dept. of Justice, DC-0752-19-0735-I-3 (May 20, 2021) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB held the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) violated the Rehabilitation Act when it removed appellant for charges of AWOL after rescinding her telework reasonable accommodation. The AJ determined that DEA could not show that the reasonable accommodation created an undue hardship and ordered the agency to reinstate the appellant with backpay and reimbursement of attorney’s fees.

Complainant v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, EEOC (October 12, 2021) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the VA failed to reasonably accommodate complainant in violation of the Rehabilitation Act when it “closed out” her request for reasonable accommodation alleging that complainant failed to engage in the interactive process. The AJ awarded compensatory damages, medical expenses, and attorney’s fees.

Complainant v. USPS, EEOC (September 22, 2021) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the Postal Service subjected complainant to sexual harassment in violation of Title VII following a hearing, awarding compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.

Moore v. Dept. of Agriculture, SF-0752-20-0423-I-1 (July 16, 2021) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB found the Forest Service constructively discharged the appellant by subjecting her to sexual harassment, and also committed a harmful procedural error by failing to follow its own procedures addressing harassment. The AJ ordered the agency to reinstate appellant with backpay and awarded compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees. 

Doyle v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2019-2149 (May 14, 2021) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of an Administrative Judge at the MSPB holding that an investigation by the VA’s Administrative Investigation Board (AIB) was retaliation for appellant’s protected disclosures and that the investigation qualified as an adverse personnel action under its prior holding in Sistek v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 955 F.3d 948. 955 (Fed. Cir. 2020) as it led to a change in appellant’s duties. 

Stevens v. Dept. of Agriculture, AT-0752-20-0044-A-1 (June 15, 2020) An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB held the Agency violated appellant’s due process rights by failing to consider his reply to the Notice of Proposed Removal before issuing a Decision to remove the appellant for failure to accept a management directed reassignment. The AJ ordered the Agency to reverse appellant’s removal with backpay and reimbursement of attorney’s fees. 

Boyles v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC No. 570-2013-00431X (February 16, 2017) Debra D’Agostino, The Federal Practice Group, successfully represented a senior CIA employee who faced retaliation after reporting disability discrimination and harassment following treatment for cancer, in an administrative hearing before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An Administrative Judge found the CIA liable for discrimination, and awarded appropriate relief.

Appellant v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC Appeal No. 0120162226 (March 7, 2017) After the CIA dismissed the Appellant’s sexual harassment complaint for alleged untimeliness, Debra D’Agostino, The Federal Practice Group, successfully appealed the decision to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC overturned the CIA’s decision to dismiss the complaint and ordered the CIA to investigate the claims.

Miskill v. U.S. Social Security Administration, United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, No. 2016-1598, (Decided July 20, 2017) Judith Miskill, who was represented by Ms. D’Agostino and Tom Gagliardo, AFGE Local 1923, prevailed in a challenge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to an Arbitrator’s award sustaining her removal by the Social Security Administration for violations of the Agency’s time and attendance policy. Because the Arbitrator’s decision is not in accordance with law, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the matter in a precedential decision clarifying the use of comparator information in a federal agency penalty analysis.

Appellant v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC Appeal No. 0120162226 (March 7, 2017) After the CIA dismissed the Appellant’s sexual harassment complaint for alleged untimeliness, Ms. D’Agostino successfully appealed the decision to the EEOC, which overturned the CIA’s decision to dismiss the complaint and ordered the CIA to investigate the claims.

Complainant v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC No. 570-2013-00431X (February 16, 2017) Ms. D’Agostino successfully represented a senior CIA employee who faced retaliation after reporting disability discrimination and harassment following treatment for cancer, in an administrative hearing before the EEOC. An Administrative Judge found the CIA liable for discrimination, and awarded appropriate relief.

Juel v. Department of Homeland Security, TSA, MSPB Docket No. DE-1221-14-0510-W-2 (December 12, 2016) Ms. Juel, a former TSA employee, blew the whistle on her management, which in turn removed Ms. Juel in retaliation for her whistle blowing. Ms. D’Agostino filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and then an Independent Right of Action (IRA) appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board challenging the removal. Following a hearing, the Administrative Judge ruled in Ms. Juel’s favor and ordered corrective action and other relief as appropriate.

Shimko v. Central Intelligence Agency, EEOC No. 570-2012-0138X, (September 19, 2016) Ms. D’Agostino successfully represented a senior female employee who faced retaliation after reporting sex-based harassment, and then disability discrimination following treatment for cancer, in an administrative hearing before the EEOC. An Administrative Judge found the CIA liable for all claims raised, and awarded appropriate relief.

Complainant v. Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, EEOC Appeal No. 012014863 (July 19, 2016) Ms. D’Agostino obtained a finding of liability against the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for pregnancy discrimination on behalf of a client who was denied necessary training as a result of her pregnancy, and was thus denied a lucrative overseas assignment. Ms. D’Agostino obtained this result without a hearing, on appeal to the EEOC after an Administrative Judge initially found for DIA on summary judgment.

Practice Areas

  • Federal Employment Law
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Hearings
  • Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
  • U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Hearings
  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Complaints
  • Appellate Practice

Credentials

Education

  • J.D. with Honors, George Washington University Law School
  • B.A., New York University

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognitions

  • Superlawyers, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Affiliations

  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, Board Member
  • Women’s Bar Association, Sustaining Member
  • National Women’s Law Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association

Fighting for Justice

The Federal Practice Group provides skilled, results-driven representation. Through their thorough and aggressive representation of clients, our attorneys have earned a reputation throughout the legal community as relentless advocates who leave no stone unturned. This passionate, exacting approach yields results for our clients.

Do You Want to...
uploadmagnifiercrossmenuchevron-down