Appealing EEO Discrimination Cases

The Office of Federal Operations (OFO) appeals process typically refers to the process individuals can use to appeal certain employment-related decisions or actions taken by federal agencies in the United States.

The OFO is part of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and handles appeals of federal sector discrimination complaints, including issues related to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other violations of federal employment discrimination laws. 

The federal employment law team at the Federal Practice Group has extensive experience in EEO complaints and the processes involved.

The OFO Appeals Process

1. Initial EEO Complaint: Before filing EEOC OFO appeals, you must first file an initial EEO complaint with your employing federal agency. This complaint must be filed within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory action or decision. 

2. Agency Investigation: The agency conducts an investigation into the complaint. Once the investigation is complete, the agency will issue a report and a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint. 

3. Formal Complaint: If the complainant wishes to continue pursuing the complaint, you must file a formal complaint with the agency within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint. 

4. Agency Investigation and Decision: The agency conducts a second, more detailed investigation into the formal complaint. After the investigation, the agency will issue a decision on the complaint. 

5. Request for an Administrative Judge (AJ): If the complainant is not satisfied with the agency’s decision, you can request an AJ from the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations to review their case. The request must be made within 30 days of receiving the agency’s decision. 

6. AJ Review and Decision: An AJ will review the case, conduct hearings if necessary, and issue a decision on the appeal. The AJ’s decision can either affirm the agency’s decision, reverse it, or order other remedies. 

7. Appeal to the OFO: If the complainant is dissatisfied with the AJ’s decision, they can appeal to the OFO within 30 days of receiving the AJ’s decision. The OFO will review the appeal and make a final decision. 

8. Civil Action: If the complainant is still not satisfied with the OFO’s decision, you may have the option to file a civil action in federal district court. 

Contact Our Experienced OFO Appeals Attorneys

If you’re considering filing an OFO appeal and would like to explore this further, contact our team to schedule a consultation. 

What Makes Us Different

From EEO complaints to adverse actions, our experienced federal employment attorneys ensure your entitlement to due process and legal representation every step of the way.

Represent government employees at all federal agencies, nationwide and overseas

Highly-skilled MSPB appeals attorneys with a proven track record

Notable success in EEO complaints and appeals

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal employees are protected from discrimination based on sex, gender, color, race, national origin, religion, age, and disability, and have the right to file an EEO complaint against their agency should they face discrimination. Federal employees also have the right to due process before being subjected to an adverse action  

Yes, federal employees can sue for discrimination, but first you must exhaust administrative remedies, which includes filing a formal complaint with your agency and letting 180 days pass. In many instances, federal employees elect to pursue their EEO complaints through the EEOC’s hearing process instead of filing a civil action. 

Federal employees must initiate contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 days of any act of discrimination. After an informal complaint stage, you will be issued a Notice of Right to File a formal complaint, which will permit you 15 days to do so.  

Federal employees do not have the right to sue for wrongful termination the way private sector employees do, but most federal employees have the right to appeal a removal to the MSPB, which will adjudicate whether the Agency can sustain any charges raised against you.  

Yes, most federal employees can file a complaint against their agency with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) if they are facing whistleblower retaliation. If OSC does not accept your complaint for investigation and prosecution, OSC will issue you an Individual Right of Action (IRA) notice giving you the right to pursue corrective action at the MSPB. Federal employees do not have the right to sue in court under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Speak with Our OFO Appeals Attorneys today