Fairfax County City Overview
Fairfax County is a 406 square mile jurisdiction that borders the Potomac River and is just across the river from Washington, DC. Fairfax was founded in 1742 and has seen its share of significant events in American History. George Washington settled in Fairfax, where he built his family’s famous estate at Mount Vernon between 1757 and 1778. Notably, during the Civil War, the Battle of Chantilly was fought within the county, ending the Northern Virginia Campaign. Today, with over 1.1 million residents, the County of Fairfax is the most populated jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was also the first county in America to reach a six-figure median household income, and has the second-highest median household income of any local jurisdiction in the United States, after Loudoun County.
Fairfax County is also home to ten Fortune 500 companies and the headquarters of many of the government’s intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. As of 2010, there were over 50,000 federal government workers and retirees in Fairfax County. The law protects government employees from wrongful employment conduct. If you are a government worker, and you feel you have suffered from a wrongful employment practice, please visit our Federal Worker Practice Area page to learn about your legal rights. Similarly, employees of federal contractors are protected under federal whistleblower laws. To learn more, please visit our Whistleblower Law Practice Area page today.
Employment in Fairfax
Although Fairfax has a proud history, it is not immune from the everyday struggles that workers across America face each day. According to the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, 273 human rights cases were pending at the end of in 2011. Of the cases received and resolved by the Fairfax Office of Human Rights, 76% were based on claims of unlawful employment discrimination. With the Office of Human Rights resolving around 160 employment discrimination claims each year, Fairfax residents consistently turn to the Fairfax employment lawyers at The Spiggle Law Firm for help in responding to discrimination on the basis of sex, age, disability, marital / family status, and other issues that can people at work.
Employment discrimination in Fairfax may be reported to the Fairfax Office of Human Rights or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Fairfax Office of Human Rights is a Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA), which means it helps to enforce anti-discrimination law locally and often cooperates with the EEOC. To file a complaint, Fairfax residents may write to the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035 or call 703-324-2953. The Office of Human Rights provides forms to report such discrimination in both English and Spanish. The office has information available that can help workers understand their rights, and what they can do if they become a victim of unlawful treatment.
The Office of Human Rights provides an administrative process for reporting and investigating employment discrimination. In general, the process involves: (1) A report by the person claiming the discrimination (“Complainant”) to the Office of Human Rights alleging the specific discrimination perpetrated against the Complainant by the individual or company (“Respondent”). (2) An investigation by the Office of Human Rights. (3) A determination by the Office of Human Rights about whether the complaint is justified. A finding that the complaint is not justified results in the dismissal of the complaint, which may be appealed. (4) If the complaint is justified, then the office will try to have the parties settle through conciliation. (5) If conciliation fails, the Office of Human Rights may hold a hearing to determine the facts of the case and to hear each side’s arguments. (6) A decision is issued stating findings and recommendations.
If discrimination is found then the Office of Human Rights may seek a remedy on behalf of the Complainant. Possible remedies include back pay, job reinstatement, rental of an apartment, credit for a loan, or a promotion. If no discrimination is found then the complaint will be dismissed. A complaint that is dismissed by the Fairfax Office of Human Rights may be appealed to the Fairfax Human Rights Commission. If an appeal to the commission is unsuccessful, an individual has fifteen days to pursue a claim with the EEOC.
Process of Filing An Employment Claim
Our attorneys at The Spiggle Law Firm can help you through this process. We can evaluate your claim, advise you throughout the administrative process, and even advance other options if the administrative proceedings fail to meet your needs. There can be benefits to pursuing your claim with the Fairfax Office of Human Rights before filing complaint with the EEOC. While the EEOC usually investigates a complaint over the phone, local FEPAs often investigate complaints in person. Additionally, the EEOC does not have the same internal appeals process as local FEPAs. If the EEOC decides not to prosecute a claim of unlawful employment discrimination, it will issue a “Notice of Right-to-Sue” to the complainant. The “Right-to-Sue” letter allows a person to file a complaint against an individual or employer in court within 90 days.
Not all employment cases are alike, though. For example, age discrimination cases may be filed in court as early as 60 days after a charge has been filed with the EEOC, a complainant need not receive “Right-to-Sue” latter from the EEOC prior to filing an age discrimination case in court. Moreover, although claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must first be filed with the EEOC, Equal Pay Act claims may be pursued in court without filing a charge with the EEOC. Therefore, for cases that do not involve Title VII, it is sometimes better and more efficient to file a claim with a local FEPA rather than the EEOC.
Employment lawyers at the Spiggle Law Firm can help you appraise your situation, make sense of potential claims, work through the processes at the administrative level, and even file a complaint. From the moment you enter our office (at 4830 31st St S, Arlington, VA 22206) until the conclusion of your case, we will fight to make you whole and to vindicate your rights. Whether your case is settled through negotiations or proceeds to trial at the Fairfax County Courthouse (at 4110 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, VA), our attorneys will be by your side. Please take a moment to explore our practice areas page to learn how our employment lawyers can help you.
At The Spiggle Law Firm, our experienced employment lawyers join residents throughout the Fairfax community in standing up to perpetrators of unlawful employment practices, in all of their forms. We have seen, first hand, the physical, emotional, and financial harm that such unlawful treatment causes for ordinary Americans each year. Our firm is committed to providing the professional, zealous representation necessary to vindicate our clients’ rights and to ensure that all workers are treated with respect. Let us help you.
Contact us today to discuss any questions you have regarding your situation, or the situation of a friend, family member, or loved one.