What are the Rights of Federal Employees?

According to the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM), there are approximately 2.8 million federal employees in the United States making the federal government the largest employer in America. Federal employees are vital to ensure food safety, provide critical safety infrastructure, investigate criminal activity, develop science and technology, and more. As a federal worker, it’s important to know your employee rights; and your rights will be different depending on whether you’re a federal government employee or a private sector employee. The attorneys of Walcheske & Luzi are here to help you understand what rights you may be entitled to.

Defined: Federal and private sector employees

A federal employee is an individual employed by a department, agency, or entity of the federal government of the United States. For example, federal employees could include security personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or scientists working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A private sector employee is an individual who works for a privately owned business or organization like a corporation or small business. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with federal and private sector jobs.

The main differences between federal and private sector employees

Federal employees and private sector employees differ in several key areas. The main difference is their employers. Federal employees work for government agencies or departments where they typically perform tasks related to public service, policy implementation, regulation enforcement, and administration of government programs. Private sector employees work for privately-owned businesses with wide variance in job focus. Federal government employees may have access to benefits and protections specific to civil service employment that private sector employees do not. If you’re a private sector employee who is concerned about their right, read this general employment law FAQ.

The rights of federal employees

Federal government employees retain many of the same rights as private sector employees. For example, federal employees are protected against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA). Federal employees are also protected from any form of retaliation from their employer for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination and harassment. There are certain rights specific to federal employees, including whistleblower protection for federal employees that report fraud or certain privacy rights. Walcheske & Luzi can help you determine what your employee rights are based on your unique situation.

What is the federal process for litigating a federal employee case?

The federal process for disputing an employment issue starts by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor at the agency where the employee works or applied for a job. From there, the employee will be given a choice to participate in EEO counseling or alternative dispute resolution. Our attorneys are highly skilled when it comes to providing representation for federal employees, and can support with discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, and contract review/negotiation cases. If you’re interested in learning more about the full federal process for filing a claim, visit our resources page.

At the end of the day, you’re going to want an expert in your court if you’re planning to initiate a federal employment law case. Walcheske & Luzi is well-equipped to handle these types of cases with care and efficiency to help you achieve the best outcome. Fill out our contact form and one of our attorneys will be in touch.