EEOC Releases New Guide for Federal Employees Filing Employment Discrimination Appeals

 

Via EEOC: Guide Intended to Assist Unrepresented Workers
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a “Guide to Writing Appeal Briefs for Unrepresented Complainants”, intended to assist federal employees and applicants with their employment discrimination complaint appeals to the EEOC.

As a resource for federal employees or applicants without legal representation, the guide explains what content should be included in an appeal brief and how it should be organized. The guide helps make the appeal process more accessible by providing an explanation of how to support or oppose an appeal, sample briefs that can be downloaded and used as templates, and a glossary for technical and legal terms.

“This new resource represents an important milestone in enhancing access to the federal sector process for the many unrepresented individuals who assert their right to be free from discrimination under the laws we enforce,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows.  “EEOC is committed to helping all workers—including the nation’s approximately 2.8 million federal employees—understand and protect their rights.”

The first step to reporting discrimination for federal employees or applicants is to contact their federal agency’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) counselor who will guide employees and applicants through the discrimination complaint process. This process will result in a voluntary resolution of the complaint or a final decision issued by the federal agency. At the end of the process, employees or applicants who disagree with an agency’s final determination may file an appeal with the EEOC or challenge the decision in federal court.

“Many people cannot afford to hire an attorney to help them, and everyone should have the opportunity to make their best case,” said Carlton Hadden, director of the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO). “We developed this guide to serve as a useful resource for those seeking to appeal their agencies’ decisions. It’s important to understand what information is most useful to provide in an appeal.”

Approximately three-quarters of all appeals on the merits involve self-represented federal employees or applicants and about half of them do not submit appeal briefs. Over the five-year period of fiscal years 2016 to 2020, a little more than one-third of the federal sector appeals decisions that found that agencies had subjected complainants to discrimination involved self-represented employees or applicants.

“We hope this guide can assist unrepresented federal employees and applicants to present their arguments more effectively, leading to more satisfaction with the process, and ultimately better outcomes,” said Edmund Chiang, EEOC senior attorney advisor and lead developer of the guide.

The Office of Federal Operations will host a webinar on February 22, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. EST to discuss the guide in detail. Registration for the webinar is required: Guide to Appeal Brief Writing. Closed captioning will be provided. Send requests for reasonable accommodation to FedeNews@eeoc.gov with “Request for Accommodation” in the subject line. For detailed information on upcoming webinars follow the EEOC’s OFO on Twitter @EEOC_OFO and on Facebook. The public may also receive federal sector information updates and news items via GovDelivery.

Federal executive branch employees and job applicants are protected from employment discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The law also protects them from retaliation for opposing employment discrimination, filing a complaint of discrimination, or participating in the EEO complaint process (including for other employees).

####

Know Your Rights: Conversations with Congress (Via Just Security)

Via Just Security:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is asserting that Congress is exceeding its authority and trying to bully State Department employees by requesting their testimony about alleged White House and State Department misconduct. His intransigence not only threatens to topple our constitutional system of checks and balances, but it attempts to nullify a basic right federal employees have enjoyed for over a century: the right to communicate with Congress free from intimidation, bullying and unfair harassment.

The Lloyd-La Follette Act of 1912, which granted federal employees this right, reads in relevant part:

The right of employees, individually or collectively, to petition Congress or a Member of Congress, or to furnish information to either House of Congress, or to a committee or Member thereof, may not be interfered with or denied.

As one of the first statutes enacted specifically to protect federal whistleblowers, the Lloyd-La Follette Act was passed, according to its accompanying House Report, “to protect employees against oppression and in the right of free speech and the right to consult their representatives.” This was especially pertinent in its time, as Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft had issued executive orders gagging federal employees from communicating with Congress, and punishing violators with termination.

This right applies to all State Department employees, current and former, who wish to testify before congressional committees.
[…]
Whistleblowers and the information they disclose are the life-blood of our system of constitutional checks and balances.  But their vital role means there is an equally strong imperative to silence or discredit them by those threatened by their truth-telling. They should prepare as if it were the most important test of their professional lives. Because it will be.

Read more:

Related items:

Pompeo’s Letter Is the Trump Administration’s Opening Salvo of Obstruction
Deciphering the Pompeo-House Clash Over Witnesses
Overwhelming Confirmation of Whistleblower Complaint: An Annotation
Trump’s Extortion of Ukraine Is an Impeachable Abuse of Power
Ukrainian Funding Delay Created a Paper Trail That Congress Should Follow
There Is No Constitutional Impediment to an Impeachment Inquiry that Concerns National Security
Top Expert Backgrounder: Trump’s Impeachment–What Comes Next?
The Iceberg’s Tip: Ukraine Phone Call and the Months-Long Conspiracy to Violate Federal Campaign Finance Laws
Whistleblower Says White House Took Unusual Steps to Limit Access to Ukraine Call Record
Trump’s Call to Ukraine May Constitute “Honest Services Fraud”—A Core Crime of Public Corruption