When an employee feel they should file a discrimination case because they meet the criteria for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) they begin the process which can be found at www.EEOC.gov Have you ever noticed that a private sector employee may get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but a federal employee may only receive $45,000 for employment discrimination and/or retaliation. Private sector employees have different processes than federal employees. Here are five reasons why private-sector employees generally receive a higher financial settlement than federal employees.
First, federal employees have to file discrimination cases through their federal agency first. They have to contact their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) representative in their federal agency within 45 days from the day the employment discrimination occurred. Well—do you trust an internal process? Many people don’t trust that they will get a positive outcome. In many cases, the EEO representatives that work in a government workplace, work for the director.
Two, in most cases a federal employee will be offered EEO counseling or an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs such as mediation to resolve the issue. Mediation often does not stop employment discrimination or retaliation for reporting discrimination. Why? Because in many cases, a settlement will be offered to the employee and it does not come out of the pockets of the federal bullies—it comes out of government money. The settlement often does not hold the perpetrator accountable, it’s often swept under the rug.
Third, federal employees have the right to say they don’t want to go through the ADR mediation process. However, I have seen where agencies ignored this request and others have shared with me a similar story. This will slow down the EEO process by about 90 days. Why would a federal agency want to hold up EEO charges? The easiest way to get rid of an employee is to harass them to the point that they have a mental break down or they quit their job. Seriously—EEO charges that make it to a Formal Hearing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can take over a year. Can a harassed employee hold on that long? It’s not easy!
Fourth, I have seen it and others have shared with me that their internal EEO representative will not respond back to their inquiries or give them status updates. I have always told employees to always put everything in writing—create an email trail. That way you can address your concerns with an employment attorney, the EEOC Administrative Judge or other personnel.
Fifth, after all the charges are recorded and investigated, the agency creates a Report of Investigation file. If the employee is seeking to have a Formal Hearing with an EEOC Administrative Judge, the Report of Investigation file has to be sent to the appropriate EEOC office nearest to the employee. You hope that all the charges and evidence is in the Report of Investigation file. Often, by the time the investigation is concluded and the Report of Investigation is completed, the employee is emotionally and physically exhausted from the long EEO process. Unknowingly, they may sign off that the Report of Investigation is complete and true. However, there have been quite a few times that I have seen missing information that was very relevant and should have been in the report. It can’t be added in later if the employee signed off on the report that everything is correct.
I strongly suggest that anyone who is being discriminated in the workplace or is unsure if they meet the criteria, to reach out to an employment attorney for legal counsel. So many employees are losing their jobs or the perpetrators are getting away with employment discrimination and retaliation. We can all stand up for ourselves, our loved ones, and employees. For more articles on workplace issues, check out https://goodmenproject.com/author/consultwithdawngmail-com
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