Discrimination Cases Our Law Firm Pursues

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is charged with hearing claims of harassment, retaliation, and discrimination from federal employees. Timely filing an EEOC charge is a statutory prerequisite to filing a discrimination complaint (the ‘exhaustion’ requirement), alleging violations of Title VII, the ADA, GINA, or the ADEA in federal court. The EEOC covers a range of workplace discrimination issues, including discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, and more.

The EEOC is a federal Agency that reviews discrimination claims to ensure civil rights laws are enforced and workplaces are free of discrimination. The agency carries out its directive by investigating complaints and offering educational and outreach efforts to promote equal employment opportunities for all workers. For complaints against federal agencies, the EEOC oversees litigation and hearings, to ensure the Federal Government lives up to its promise to be a “model employer.”

The EEOC is an important Agency for discrimination complaints, because it is a necessary part of the ‘exhaustion requirement’ for plaintiffs. Employees who are discriminated against and bring a lawsuit against their employer, are required to first ‘exhaust’ their administrative remedies by filing a complaint with the EEOC or its state level equivalent.

Contact our DC Federal discrimination Attorney if you need legal assistance with your government or private entity discrimination lawsuit.

Federally Protected Categories

Discrimination based on any of the protected classes below is illegal:

  • Age: Age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favorably because of their age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids discrimination against employees who are 40 or older.
  • Disability: Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees to allow them to perform their job responsibilities.
  • Equal Pay Act: Was created to shatter glass ceilings and salary discrimination.The equal pay act requires equal pay for substantially equal work. Under the equal pay act there is no requirement to prove intent.
  • Genetic information: Refers to information regarding an individual's genetic makeup or that of their family members and is protected under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on their genetic information.
  • National origin: Discrimination based on a person's place of birth, ancestry, culture, or language spoken is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Race/color: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits discrimination based on color, which includes mistreating someone because of their skin color, hair texture, facial features, or ancestry.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy discrimination involves treating an employee unfavorably due to pregnancy or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. This type of discrimination is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
  • Religion: Discrimination based on an individual's religious beliefs, practices, or observances is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for an employee's religious practices.
  • Sex: Gender-based discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It includes discrimination based on pregnancy, sexual harassment, and wage discrimination.

Is Your Discrimination Complaint Against a Private Sector Company or Employer?

Under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA, a plaintiff must file a charge with the EEOC within either:

  • 300 calendar days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred if it occurred in a deferral state, that is, a state with a state or local law similar to the federal scheme and a state or local fair employment practices agency (FEPA) authorized to enforce that law, and the plaintiff has instituted proceedings with the FEPA, either directly or through the EEOC.
  • 180 calendar days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred in all other states.

(42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-5(e), 12117(a), and 2000ff-6(a)(1).)

Is Your Discrimination Complaint Against a Federal Agency?

The time limit for a federal employee to initiate an EEO complaint against a Federal Agency is shorter than the time limits for private employees to file an EEOC charge. Generally, federal employees and applicants must contact an agency EEO counselor within 45 days after the alleged discriminatory act occurred. If the alleged discriminatory action is a personnel action with an effective date, then the employee or applicant must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the effective date. (29 C.F.R. § 1614.105(a).)

The 45-day time limit can be extended if the complainant:

  • Was not notified of the time limit for contacting an EEO counselor and not otherwise aware of it.
  • Did not know and reasonably could not have known that the incident or personnel action was discriminatory.
  • Was prevented by circumstances beyond the complainant's control from contacting a counselor within the time limit.
  • Has any other reason the agency or the EEOC considers sufficient to excuse the delay in contacting a counselor.

(29 C.F.R. § 1614.105(a)(2).)

What Damages Are You Entitled to When an Employer Discriminates Against You?

The remedies available to a plaintiff vary based on the specific allegations in the case. For example, depending on the claims alleged, remedies in employment discrimination and wage and hour cases may include:

  • Back pay.
  • Front pay.
  • Other injunctive and equitable relief, such as reinstatement.
  • Compensatory and punitive damages (for intentional discrimination) under certain statutes, with statutory caps for claims under:
    • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII);
    • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
    • Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
  • Liquidated damages (but generally not punitive damages) under:
    • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);
    • the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA);
    • the Equal Pay Act (EPA);
    • the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
    • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • Attorneys' fees and costs.
  • Interest.
  • Punitive damages are generally not available against government defendants.

If you suspect that your employer or federal agency has acted against you based on any protected classes, you may have experienced discrimination, which is entirely prohibited. You may be entitled to compensation. The best practice is to seek legal advice immediately to prevent any potential rights from lapsing and to ensure you meet all necessary deadlines to sue your Corporate Employer or Federal Agency.

The DC employment law attorneys at Solomon Law Firm, PLLC, can assist with your discrimination claim; please contact us at your convenience.

The DC discrimination attorneys at Solomon Law Firm, PLLC, can assist with your discrimination claim; please contact us at your convenience.


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