Q & A Session – EEO Complaint based on National Origin


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.


I work for U.S. forces in Europe (USAREUR). There is a policy here which allows German nationals who work for the U.S. military to work an additional 15 minutes per day so that they can take off the U.S. holidays. However, I am not permitted to work 15 minutes a day more to take off their holidays, such as Veterans Day or some of their religious holidays, such as Three Kings Day. Is this legal?


Interesting question! To give a full answer I would need more facts including USAREUR’s opinion on whether German law requires USAREUR to give local nationals paid time off on German holidays. Also, your local national hires are not necessarily German. They are just not federal employees in the civil service. My initial reaction is that you would be unsuccessful with an EEO complaint based on national origin.

 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.

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