Washington DC Federal Employment Attorney

I'm Attorney Justin Schnitzer. Our commitment is to represent federal employees in cases of employment violations just as we would want to be represented, all with the aim of achieving decisive victories.

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Advocating for Federal Employees in Washington DC

Our experienced federal employment attorneys at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer are committed to advocating for the rights and fair treatment of federal employees in the Washington DC area.

If you’re facing challenges in your federal employment, don’t navigate this complex situation alone. Schedule an initial consultation today to discuss your case with a qualified Washington DC federal employment attorney at Justin Schnitzer. Call our team at 202-964-4878. Get the guidance you need.

As a federal employee, you must understand your legal rights and protections in the workplace. This is because the laws governing federal employment differ greatly from those in the private sector. For example, federal employment is governed by statutes like the Civil Service Reform Act, which provides protections such as just-cause requirements for discipline and appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Private employers can generally fire employees for any non-discriminatory reason. Laws such as the Whistleblower Protection Act safeguard federal workers who report misconduct, while most private whistleblowers have no such statutory safeguards. Retirement benefits for federal workers are structured under laws like the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) rather than open to interpretation, whereas employer policies set private pensions.

Discrimination claims by federal workers are addressed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative process before the court, as opposed to private employees who can usually sue directly in court. If you’re facing employment issues with a federal agency, call a Washington DC federal employment attorney at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer at (202) 964-4878. We can help with various legal protections and processes that are inapplicable primarily to at-will private sector employment.

What Types of Legal Issues Do Federal Employees Face?

Federal employees deal with countless workplace challenges that may require legal assistance. This is where a proficient federal employment attorney comes in to handle everything from unfair treatment and retaliation for whistleblowing to improper denial of essential benefits and disputes over disciplinary actions.

Discrimination and Harassment

All federal employees are protected against discrimination and harassment due to a person’s race, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, age, genetic information, and more. Discriminatory treatment in hiring, firing, promotions, pay, or hostile work environments violates federal anti-discrimination laws. Some examples of illegal discrimination include being denied a position or promotion due to your gender or religion, receiving unequal pay compared to coworkers outside of your protected class, or facing a hostile work environment through severe or pervasive harassment.

Whistleblower Retaliation

Federal whistleblower laws protect employees who report waste, fraud, abuse, or violation of laws/regulations. This also includes specific public health and safety dangers from retribution like firing, demotion, or other adverse actions. However, whistleblowers sometimes still face backlash for shining much-needed light on unlawful activity. A whistleblower retaliation lawyer can help build a strong case of illegal retaliation by gathering evidence of the protected disclosure and subsequent harmful treatment.

Unfair Disciplinary Actions

Federal agencies must follow specific procedures outlined in laws, regulations, and union contracts when taking disciplinary actions like suspensions, demotions, or wrongful terminations. Failure to do so can result in the action being overturned. However, agencies sometimes disregard required procedures in their haste to punish employees. A Washington DC federal employment attorney can review documentation for any due process violations during the disciplinary process.

Improper Denial of Benefits

Issues may arise concerning the denial of essential benefits such as family and medical leave, retirement and pension benefits, health insurance, reasonable accommodations for disabilities, and more. If agencies unfairly withhold or restrict access to important worker benefits, it violates employees’ rights. An attorney can investigate benefit denials and argue for restoration of any unlawfully taken compensation or leave.

Lawyers at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer have years of experience representing federal employees in these workplace-related matters. Call (202) 964-4878 or complete our Online Contact Form to schedule an initial consultation. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is the first step to understanding your situation and determining the best path forward.

How Can A Federal Employment Lawyer Help Me?

A federal employment lawyer represents clients in employment law cases involving federal law; they handle lawsuits against private employers, federal agencies, and the government. Federal employment law covers discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wages, leave, benefits, etc. 

A key area is advising on and enforcing workplace civil rights under statutes such as the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

They litigate cases in federal courts and administrative agencies like the Department of Labor (DOL) and EEOC. Washington DC federal employment lawyers can provide a variety of services to assist federal employees dealing with legal issues, including:

Investigation of Your Claims

An attorney will conduct a diligent investigation to determine the full facts and scope of your potential legal claims against the agency. This comprises gathering all relevant documents from the agency and other sources, conducting interviews of witnesses who can support your account, and obtaining any other evidence through formal and informal means that is material to substantiate your claims.

Without such proof, it is difficult to establish the merits of a state employee’s legal claims against an agency. It becomes challenging to prove whether the employee was truly subject to unlawful discrimination, retaliation, or other employment rights violations.

Case Analysis and Protection of Your Rights

A federal employment lawyer will conduct an in-depth case assessment based on all applicable laws, policies, and presented facts. There is also a specific time limit to submit an EEOC complaint to consider, such as 180 days or 300 days if your grievance is covered under local or state anti-discrimination laws. Failing to meet statutory deadlines means losing the right to have the case’s merits considered through the administrative process. It may preclude the ability to pursue potential legal recourse in court. An exhaustive case analysis is necessary to help a state employee decide how to proceed promptly to protect their legal rights.

Representation on an Administrative Level

Administrative representation may be needed if a state employee files a complaint with a given governing body appealing an adverse employment action. If, for instance, your case requires action through administrative processes like an EEO complaint, MSPB appeal, or union grievance, an attorney can represent you from the initial filing through any hearings, negotiations, or final agency decisions. 

It’s the job of a Washington DC federal employment lawyer to work toward an acceptable resolution.

Mediation or Settlement Negotiations

Your lawyer may work to resolve the employment dispute through an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation or direct negotiations with the agency. They leverage the law and facts to negotiate the best possible settlement terms that meet your goals. For example, a government employee is fired from her job and believes it was due to her pregnancy.

She files a complaint with the EEOC for discrimination. During the investigation, both party legal representatives engage in mediation to resolve the matter. They negotiate an agreement through mediation, where said employee receives compensation for lost wages, and the company changes its policies to prevent similar bias in the future.

Litigation in Federal Court 

For substantial claims like whistleblower retaliation or unlawful discrimination, your attorney can file a persuasive lawsuit on your behalf in a federal district court if the matter cannot be resolved administratively and see the case through to a final judgment. Our firm’s skilled federal employment lawyers have obtained highly successful outcomes for clients through all of these representation options. Contact us today for a case assessment and advice.

What Sets Our Washington DC Federal Employment Attorneys Apart?

Several factors distinguish The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer among federal employment law firms in the D.C. metro area. They include:

  • Depth of Experience: With over two decades spent exclusively representing federal employees, our attorneys have an unmatched understanding of the intricate laws and procedures governing the federal workplace gained through thousands of cases. This extensive experience allows us to strategize the best approach for each client. Leveraging such a profound knowledge base gives state employers a leg up over employers.
  • National Practice: While centered in Washington, D.C., we advocate for federal workers in administrative hearings and lawsuits across the United States. No matter the location, we are well-versed in the nuanced employment laws of each state and territory; a nationwide practice enables us to aid government workers wherever their job takes them.
  • Former Federal Agency Experience: Most of our lawyers held prominent roles within agencies like the EEOC, MSPB, and Department of Justice; we can provide exclusive insight into how these organizations operate from the inside. This insight allows us to anticipate tactics, arguments, or outcomes to enable us to strategize in a manner that outmaneuvers opposing agency counsel.
  • Outstanding Results: We have secured countless favorable settlements and determinations involving millions in damages and attorneys’ costs in cases concerning discrimination, whistleblowing, and other issues. These successes demonstrate our exceptional proficiency at building persuasive cases that achieve the desired outcome for the client.
  • Personalized Services: As a boutique firm dedicated solely to federal employment law, we offer clients individualized attention and understanding of their circumstances that larger firms cannot match. This personalized focus ensures each worker receives maximum support and the best representation of their rights.

If you are a government employee needing legal assistance, our firm’s seasoned federal employment lawyers will deliver the highest level of expertise, advocacy, and service. We are dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to all federal employees. Contact Us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you achieve your legal goals.

FAQs about Federal Employment Law & the Role of an Attorney

Do I need an attorney for federal employment issues in Washington DC?

While not mandatory, legal representation is highly recommended due to the complexity of federal employment laws and the procedural nuances in DC.

What qualifications should I look for in a Washington DC federal employment attorney?

When choosing a federal employment attorney in Washington DC, consider these essential qualifications:

  • Look for an attorney focused on federal employment law with a solid track record in Washington DC, familiar with handling cases before local federal tribunals and agencies.
  • Seek an attorney with demonstrated success in federal employment disputes, evidenced by favorable case outcomes.
  • Ensure the federal employment attorney is certified to practice in DC, involved in relevant legal associations, and committed to ongoing education in federal employment law.
  • Choose a federal employment attorney known for personalized client service and effective communication, ensuring they understand and meet your specific legal needs.

What is the typical duration for resolving federal employment disputes in Washington DC?

The time frame varies based on case complexity and system backlogs but generally ranges from several months to a few years for federal employees in DC.

What role does the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) play for federal employees in DC?

The MSPB protects federal employees  against improper practices, such as wrongful termination, and ensures compliance with merit system principles

What are common workplace issues for federal employees in Washington DC?

In Washington DC, federal employees often face issues like discrimination (racial, gender, age, disability), harassment, retaliation for whistleblowing, wrongful termination, and disputes over promotions and pay scales.