Understanding Sex & Gender Discrimination

Sex/gender discrimination in the federal workplace refers to discriminatory treatment or harassment of employees based on their sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

This discrimination can manifest in various forms, including unequal pay, stereotyping (prejudicial assumptions or expectations about an individual’s abilities, roles, or behaviors based on their sex or gender), sexual or non-sexual harassment, or unequal opportunities and disparate treatment. 

We represent federal employees with all of these various types of claims, including those arising from Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the PUMP Act, and the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

For additional information on your right to work free from sex and gender discrimination, please see the following:

Combating Sex/Gender Discrimination & Harassment in the Workplace

Federal agencies are required to have policies and procedures in place to address sex/gender discrimination, and they are obligated to investigate and take corrective action when violations are substantiated.  

Federal employees facing sex/gender discrimination in the federal workplace can take various steps to address and rectify the situation. However, an EEO complaint is the only method likely to result in personal remedies for you.

While agencies’ anti-harassment programs can be valuable tools in making initial inquiries in response to harassment complaints, they are more focused on, at best, proposing corrective action for the harasser than on getting the victim relief.  

If you face gender or sex discrimination or harassment, you have 45 days to contact an EEO Counselor to initiate an informal EEO complaint.

From there, you can pursue EEO Counseling or mediation, and if your complaint remains unresolved, file a formal complaint of discrimination. The agency will then be obligated to investigate the complaint, after which you may request a hearing before the EEOC.  

Sex/Gender Discrimination Lawyers You Can Trust

Employees should be aware of their rights and options when dealing with sex and gender discrimination in the workplaceA federal employment lawyer at the Federal Practice Group will fight for your rights and work hard to obtain a favorable outcome.   

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 Sex & Gender Discrimination Attorneys