Specializing in Race Discrimination Claims in the Federal Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against employees based on race, among other protected classes.

Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or applicant unfavorably because of their race (such as African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, etc.), characteristics associated with race, or skin color.

Discrimination can occur when the victim of the discrimination and responsible management official is of the same race; the question is whether a personnel action or harassment was taken because of the employees race, whatever the race, meaning so-called “reverse discrimination” claims are also actionable 

Agencies are prohibited from considering race and color regarding every employment decision, including hiring, promotion, pay, performance evaluation, and any other term or condition of employment.

Hostile work environments based on race and racial harassment, such as offensive slurs, jokes, interference with work, or even physical threats, are also illegal under Title VII.  

While race discrimination in the federal workplace is often done through less blatant means than were common decades ago, there are unfortunately still claims involving the “n-word,” which the EEOC has held can violate Title VII even if it is used only once, and violent symbols such as nooses.

The EEOC has also recognized that unconscious bias may taint employment decisions with race discrimination, especially hiring and promotion decisions.  

Additionally, President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14035 to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce called for many aspects of employment opportunity to be looked at, including an evaluation of federal employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated persons, who are disproportionately Black and Latino.

Under a rule issued by OPM, which has now been codified in the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 (Fair Chance Act), federal agencies must make a conditional offer of employment before requesting the content of OF-306, the declaration for federal employment form that collects applicants’ background information.

The EEOC determined that this change makes it easier to tell whether a non-selection decision was based on race, as agencies should have business-based reasons for denying employment based on prior incarceration. 

Expert Guidance from Race Discrimination Attorneys in Federal Cases

If you believe that you have been subjected to race discrimination, you have 45 days from the date of discrete act, such as a non-selection decision or issuance of a performance appraisal, or from the most recent incident of harassment to contact an EEO counselor to initiate an informal complaint of discrimination. For additional information on what to expect in the EEO complaint process.

You are entitled to legal representation at every step in the EEO complaint process, from the date you initiate EEO contact all the way through a hearing before the EEOC, or even an appeal. Having experienced counsel by your side can ensure that you get the relief you need to be able to work from race discrimination and harassment.  

Our federal employment attorneys have vast experience representing those who are victims of race discrimination in the workplace.  Contact us today  

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 a race discrimination attorney today