Employees of the federal government have specific employment rights. Some of these are administrative rules that ensure legal procedures are followed. Others are substantive rights that come directly from the Constitution. Our Oakland federal employee rights attorney can help you protect all your legal rights while working for the federal government.
In federal employment, there are many different merit systems that can affect an employee’s opportunities for advancement. These systems can easily be abused for political reasons and result in violations of the employment rights of federal workers. The Merit Systems Protection Board was created to reduce these problems. Federal employees have the right to fight back against merit systems that affect their employment rights.
When these claims are denied, the MSPB hears appeals and gives workers a more neutral forum than filing a complaint with their own agency. An Oakland federal employee rights attorney can help you determine whether an appeal to the MSPB is the right strategy in your specific circumstances. There may be other appeal options that are better suited to your unique case.
Most federal agencies have a trained Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor who is trained to respond to discrimination in the workplace. This counselor can be a helpful resource, but it is important to remember that this person is also an employee of the federal government. Their job is to protect the government from legal claims related to employment discrimination – not to protect your right to be free from workplace discrimination in the first place. It is best to consult with your own lawyer before reporting discrimination to your agency’s EEO counselor. If you have already made a report, it is still important to get your own legal advice as soon as possible.
The Constitution protects all citizens’ civil rights. Some of these specific constitutional rights can be affected by your federal employment. For example, it is reasonable for the government to prevent its employees from disclosing classified information. But a blanket gag order on all issues without justification could be a violation of employees’ free speech rights under the First Amendment. Similarly, the Fifth Amendment prohibits the government from taking citizens’ property without just compensation. This “takings clause” can apply to your federal paycheck. As a result, being fired by the federal government could be a violation of both employment law and your constitutional rights. Consult with your own legal counsel to determine whether any of your constitutional rights have been violated during your federal employment.
If you are a federal employee who has experienced any potential violation of your employment rights, be sure to get your own legal advice from a lawyer who doesn’t work for the government. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Our experienced Oakland federal employee rights attorney at Bryan Schwartz Law can help you protect your legal rights before, during, and after employment by the federal government.
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