Keep Fighting: Part 2 of Our Series on Filing Employment Discrimination Claims Against Federal Agencies

Bringing forward a complaint for employment discrimination when your current, past, or prospective employer is a federal agency can trigger long and process-oriented proceedings with the EEOC (“Equal Employment Opportunity Commission”). Our blog for the previous month covered the beginning of this process up to the end of the agency’s investigation. While that might sound like the end of the entire process, there are plenty of ways that federal employees can continue fighting past the conclusion of the agency’s investigation. 
Requesting an EEOC Administrative Hearing
The agency’s investigation must take no longer than 180 days after you file a formal complaint. When the investigation has been completed, you will receive a notice that allows you to request a formal hearing before an EEOC administrative judge. You also have the option to review the agency’s findings and, if you’d like, request an administrative hearing anyway. 
You have 30 days from the receipt of the notice to request an administrative hearing; you must ask for it in writing or on the EEOC’s website. A lawyer should help you make this request and prepare for the hearing. The administrative judge will hear your case and order relief if he or she rules for your side. Once the judge rules on your case, the agency has 40 days to determine whether or not it will grant you aunty relief ordered by the judge. This decision by the agency is referred to as the final order, which isn’t always final. 
Appealing the Agency’s Final Order
After getting a final order from the agency, you have 30 days, if you wish, to appeal the order to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations, upon which the EEOC’s appellate attorneys will review your entire case. The agency also has the option to appeal. 
After the EEOC makes its decision on your appeal, you may then ask the agency to reconsider the appeals decision. Note that a reconsideration is different from another appeal; the EEOC will only review the appeals decision under specific circumstances. 
Going to Court
Not even the EEOC’s decision on reconsideration of your appeals decision marks the end of the road for your case. Within 90 days of this decision, you may file a lawsuit in federal court. There are other points during your case where you may skip ahead and file a lawsuit, which usually have to do with the federal agency or the EEOC not adhering to particular deadlines. This prevents the government from delaying an employment discrimination case against one of its federal agencies. 
Getting justice after you experience discrimination from your federal employer can be a long and winding path. Without an experienced attorney by your side, it can be easy to miss a deadline or neglect some other important part of your case. Attorney Carla D. Aikens is well prepared to guide you through this process and fight for you at every turn. If you’re not even sure you have a case, don’t worry—we offer free consultations. Contact us today to set yours up.

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