Maryland EEOC Hearings
Federal employees should not be concerned that discrimination has kept them from getting a promotion, transfer, raise, or another employment opportunity that they deserved. If you have suffered harassment because of sex, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristic, you may want to seek professional legal help.
A Maryland EEOC hearings lawyer who understands your rights could advise you about the federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) processes that apply to your situation. Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace are intolerable, and anyone who experiences these or other unlawful employment practices could benefit from the effective legal representation that a skilled EEOC attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could provide.
Steps Leading Up to EEOC Hearings in Maryland
Federal government employees who experience discrimination and retaliation at work must comply with procedures that differ from those that apply to private sector employees. While government employees have greater procedural and substantive rights in many situations, they must comply with specific procedures or risk losing the opportunity to seek compensation or other relief for discrimination, harassment, or other workplace violations that they may experience.
The initial step for a federal employee who believes they have suffered employment discrimination is to contact an EEO counselor within their agency. You need to do this within 45 days of a discriminatory act, or you may risk losing the right to move forward with your claim. Given the importance of meeting the deadlines for an EEOC hearing in Maryland, federal employees should speak with a driven attorney immediately regarding their case.
Once an EEOC counselor has a case, they will initiate EEO counseling or alternative dispute resolution (ADR). If neither counseling nor ADR resolves the issue, you have the right to file an internal EEO complaint with your agency. The case can then move on to investigation and a hearing with an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC).
What to Expect in Federal Sector EEOC Hearings
A Maryland EEOC hearing is similar in many ways to a court trial. An EEOC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)—a specially trained lawyer experienced in federal employment EEO laws and practices—presides over all aspects of the case and is responsible for making a final determination.
While having an attorney at the hearing is not required, there are many ways in which legal counsel could help. A seasoned Maryland attorney should understand all the rules of evidence and procedure that apply to EEOC cases and could help you work to prepare and present your case effectively at EEOC hearings.
The employee bears the burden of proof in the hearing, and a lawyer could help you assemble the documents, witnesses, and other evidence needed to work toward a favorable result. Experienced legal counsel may also be well-versed in the statutes, regulations, and case law that apply to your case and can help you develop the strongest case possible based on the facts and the law.
After the hearing, the ALJ issues a decision which may or may not result in a final action by the agency. In some instances, the ALJ may issue a decision without conducting a hearing. This is known as summary judgment.
Regardless of how this stage ends, if you disagree with the EEOC’s judgment, you have the right to appeal the decision to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations or file a civil lawsuit for damages in federal court. An attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could help you determine whether you may be able to appeal your case and could also assist in the appeals process.
When to Get Help with EEOC Hearings in Maryland
At all points in their representation, the goal of a federal employment lawyer is to help a person reach a favorable resolution for their legal concerns. Federal employee cases can be complicated, though, so hiring an attorney to help with Maryland EEOC hearings attorney as soon as possible may help set the stage for a successful hearing or court case later if necessary.
A skilled legal representative could advise you about available actions you could take to resolve your particular case. This could include seeking monetary damages, back pay and benefits, correction of undeserved discipline, reimbursement of attorneys’ fees, and other relief. Use our online case review tool to learn more about your options and see what may be possible in your circumstances.