Federal Workers


As a federal worker, you have protections and rights under the law. For example, federal workers are protected from:

  • Discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, and genetic information; and
  • Retaliation.

Specifically, the federal government cannot discriminate against you by taking actions such as the following:

  • Failing to hire you;
  • Terminating your employment;
  • Paying you less than co-workers in similar situations; or
  • Denying you a promotion.

You may also be entitled to reasonable accommodations because of the following:

  • Your religion; or
  • Your disability.

The reasonable accommodations you may be entitled to because of your religion include the following:

  • Giving you a leave of absence for a religious holiday;
  • Allowing you to wear your religious clothing such as a hijab, a kufi, turban or dastar; and
  • Allowing you to time to pray.

The reasonable accommodations you may be entitled to because of your disability include the following:

  • Providing you assistance with reading or writing or other aspects of your job so you can perform your job duties;
  • Providing you a leave of absence for an illness; and
  • Transferring you to an open position that you are qualified for.



If you believe you have been discriminated or retaliated against, you must contact your agency’s EEO counselor within 45 days of the discrimination.

If you are a current or former federal worker or even an applicant for a federal job, you also have the following rights:

  • To report, without retaliation, a reasonable belief of the following wrongdoing:
  • A violation of a federal law, rule, regulation;
  • Gross mismanagement or a gross waste of funds;
  • An abuse of authority; or
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
  • Generally, to get 60 days notice prior to a Reduction In Force (RIF) of the reasons for the RIF actions and, upon request, a copy of the regulations the agency must follow in carrying out a RIF.
  • To be informed if the agency believes your performance is “unacceptable” with a reasonable amount of time for you to improve your performance, and to receive assistance to improve your performance.
  • Generally, to appeal an adverse action or disciplinary action.

For more information about discrimination and retaliation involving federal workers, please see the following website: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/index.cfm.

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