According to the USDA’s own regulatory documents, it is the USDA’s policy to “provide a work environment free from decisions based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, political beliefs, marital or familial status, reprisal, and sexual orientation.” Unfortunately, the USDA has not lived up to this promise in the past, nor has it shown any sign that has fully remedied its deficiencies in this area. That is why we are here. Our lawyers zealously represent the rights of USDA employees and applicants for USDA employment in cases involving employment discrimination.The Discrimination Complaint Process
The first step in filing a discrimination claim against the USDA involves pursuing an informal EEO complaint process. You must take this first step within 45 days of the discriminatory act. At this stage of the process, you will speak to an EEO counselor who will provide you with information about your rights and will recommend that you attempt to resolve the issue with your employer through counseling or some form of alternative dispute resolution. If you are not pleased with the outcome of this process, the EEO counselor will provide you with a Notice of Right to File (NRF). The NRF will open the door for you to file a formal EEO complaint.
To pursue a formal EEO complaint against the USDA, you must file your complaint within 15 days of receiving the NRF from the EEO Counselor. This formal complaint comes with numerous requirements that must be followed exactly, or you run the risk of the agency dismissing your complaint. If the agency does not dismiss your complaint, but instead issues a final agency decision (FAD) stating no discrimination occurred, you have the right to petition for an appeal through the EEOC.Potential Remedies That You May Receive
The goal of any discrimination action against the USDA is to make you whole again. This can come in many forms, including:
- Attorney fees paid to cover the legal expenses you incurred while pursuing your claim
- Compensatory damages to provide relief
- Remedial actions, including reinstatement
The remedial actions that the USDA will apply in your situation depend wholly upon the circumstances of your case. It is important to walk through all the potential remedies you may receive with your lawyer up front, so you know what you will and will not accept as your case progresses.Contact Us for Strong Representation Before the USDA
Our national federal employment law firm, The Bell Law Group, PLLC, offers convenient office locations in Washington, D.C., Miami and New York. We provide free initial consultations to new clients so as to provide a clear understanding of whether there is a valid claim worth pursuing.
We are here to represent your rights and interests in discrimination claims before the USDA, no matter where you are employed in the U.S. Call us at 855-JON-BELL or contact our D.C.-based law firm online to get the help you need and deserve at this challenging time.