Practice Areas

Federal, State and Local Government Employees

Federal government workers are protected under federal laws and regulations from unfair employment practices such as discrimination or workplace reprisal. If you are a federal employee or job applicant, the law protects you from discrimination because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The law also protects you from retaliation if you oppose employment discrimination, file a complaint of discrimination, or participate in the EEO complaint process (even if the complaint is not yours.) There are also federal laws and regulations and Executive Orders (which are not enforced by EEOC) that prohibit discrimination on other bases, such as sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation.

Government employees also often have additional rights with respect to being afforded formal review prior to having discipline and removal imposed. These appeals can be made to the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), which independently reviews agency actions. If you are a federal employee or job applicant and you believe that a federal agency has discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency’s EEO Office. You can contact an EEO Counselor by calling the office responsible for the agency’s EEO complaints program. Federal employees asserting claims of unlawful discrimination must file a charge with an EEO compliance officer within 45 days of the unlawful conduct.

Federal employees also may have appeal rights for violations of government regulations in discipline and adverse personnel actions taken by federal agencies. These appeals can be made to the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) which independently reviews agency actions.

Whistleblowers are also entitled to protection under law and regulation. Government employees are entitled to the protections contained within the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) for federal employees who engage in “whistleblowing,” that is, making a disclosure evidencing illegal or improper government activities. The protections of the WPA apply to most federal executive branch employees and become applicable where a “personnel action” is taken “because of” a “protected disclosure” made by a “covered employee.” Generally, whistleblower protections may be raised within four forums or proceedings: (1) employee appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board of an agency’s adverse action against an employee, known as “Chapter 77” appeals; (2) actions instituted by the Office of Special Counsel; (3) individually maintained rights of action before the Merit Systems Protection Board (known as an individual right of action, or IRA); and (4) grievances brought by the employee under negotiated grievance procedures, i.e., a union grievance.

Similarly procedures may apply to state and local government employees who are the victims of discrimination or adverse personnel actions. Your due process rights require that you be given the opportunity to seek redress for violation of those rights. Henrichsen Law Group is here to protect your rights and preserve your value as employees.

If you are a government employee and you believe you are being, or have been, subjected to unlawful conduct by your agency employer, please contact the law firm of Henrichsen Law Group, P.L.L.C. immediately for a confidential review and consultation of your case.

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