Q & A Session – Unfair Hiring Practice?


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 was offered and accepted a permanent job promotion to a GS-12 position at my workforce. Prior to the start date of the new job, I called HR to ask where and who I was to report to.

HR then informed me that the job offer was postponed and that I would be notified of the new start date for the job and to contact my workplace administration office if I had any questions. I emailed my workplace administration personnel regarding the decision to postpone the job and was told that there were manning issues and I would be notified when a decision was made.

Although HR assured me that they would keep me informed and let me know about the decision, I did not receive any subsequent phone calls or emails but decided to be patient and wait for a response. No response was ever provided.

Much later, I found out that another person was hired for the job. The individual who was hired is of a different gender, race and age.

Is the situation described considered an unfair hiring practice and can I file a grievance with the Merit Systems Protection Board, EEO or any other program that prohibits unfair hiring practices based on what happened?


You do not describe a case that is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board. You could file an EEO complaint, but just being a member of a different protected group is not enough. You have to prove the position was filled with a discriminatory motive.

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

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  1. But without filing some type of complaint there won’t be a token investigation or determination of facts. File the EEO and see what they develop. If they deny your complaint at least you will have some idea of what happened and why it happened the way it did.

  2. was this merit promotion or external hire under merit promotion? Did they provide you with a final offer letter stipulating the terms of employment and extended verbal approval to let your current employer know of your acceptance of the position? Can you show a manifestation of intent?

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