Federal employees are protected by numerous workplace rights that prevent discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, reprisal, age (40 years of age or older), disability, gender identity, genetic information, status as a parent or sexual orientation. As attorneys who protect federal employees from discrimination, this is an area we regularly deal with.
In this series we will focus on the role the EEOC plays in protecting federal sector employees in Atlanta, throughout the country, from discrimination. We will start by providing an overview of the laws that protect federal employees from discrimination and as the series continues will explain how you can file a complaint if you have been subjected to discrimination.
The laws that protect federal employees from discrimination are:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This is the seminal law that protects federal employees and applicants from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin or retaliation. Only the five bases identified in the Act are covered.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963: Requires employers to provide equal pay for women and men who perform similar work. Federal employees alleging EPA violations can pursue the claim through the EEO administrative process or file directly in U.S. District court within the appropriate time frames.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967: Protects workers and applicants over the age of 40 from discrimination. It does not apply to workers under age of 40. Federal employees with ADEA claims can use the EEO administrative process to pursue their claims or proceed directly to U.S. district court.
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Requires each department and Agency, including the U.S. Postal Service, to develop an affirmative action plan for hiring, placing and advancing individuals with disabilities. It also mandates departments and agencies provide a reasonable accommodation when appropriate.
Congressional Accountability Act of 1995: Prohibits discrimination against legislative branch employees (and employees in other select government entities) under Title VII, the Rehabilitation Act and the ADEA. This law is enforced by the Office of Compliance.
- The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADA) of 2008: Protects public and private sector employees and applicants with disabilities from discrimination in employment, transportation and building and telecommunications accessibility.
- The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act): Requires training for managers and employees on antidiscrimination and antiretaliation laws, makes agencies found liable for discrimination or retaliation financially responsible and mandates reporting by agencies of complaint activity.
- Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA): Prohibits discrimination based on genetic information or the request or receipt of genetic services.
Discrimination claims may be brought under any of these acts. The process for bringing a case, however, can be complicated and may seem overwhelming. We are writing this blog series to help Georgia residents and federal employees nationwide better understand the process. Topics we will look at over our coming posts include:
- How to timely file your complaint
- Next steps if your complaint is not resolved at the informal state
- How to prepare an effective formal complaint; and
- What to expect once your formal complaint has been filed
If you are an Atlanta, Georgia area federal employee and believe that you have been discriminated against then contact us today to speak with an employment lawyer. We also service areas including Macon, Savannah, Athens, Kennesaw, Marietta, Decatur, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Gainesville, as well as the counties of Bibb, Chatham, Clarke, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Richmond. We also assist those elsewhere in the state and represent federal employees throughout the United States.