Q & A Session – EEO Reprisal


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


What is it called when a federal manager tries to stop an employee’s attempt to file an EEO complaint? How serious is this type of violation?


Trying to stop any employee from exercising EEO rights is reprisal, plain and simple. It’s a very serious violation and often easier to prove than the other types of discrimination.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.


  1. An Assistant Manager has two EEO complaints against her in a Federal Agency and yet, she continues to harass, humuliate and try to intimidate. Can something/anything be done?

  2. I am a GS-9 and was denied a promotion because I do not preform a function that is not specifically listed in my Position Description but that I have been told is “understood” to be a requirement.

    In the course of my supervisors discussion with her manager it was also discussed that another employee had disclosed that I said something about not liking my job, and being upset about my duties (something that I flat out did not say).

    So my question is in 2 parts; can I be denied a promotion for not performing a duty or job that is not listed specifically in my position description and secondly, can I file an EEO complaint that the false statement that my co-worker said about me was a partial reason as to why I did not get promoted?

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