I am a federal government employee with over twenty years of exceptional performance in the Department of Defense. I was verbally attacked by my supervisor. He got in my face while I was sitting down and he began yelling and pointing his finger in my face. When I reported the incident to higher leadership, it was ignored. They even attempted to remove me from the work space I have occupied for many years. It wasn’t until I filed an EEO complaint regarding the abusive hostile work environment that they moved my supervisor from the office we shared. However, my leadership allowed him to remain as my supervisor and rater. His behavior towards me has worsened since the EEO complaint in the form of reprisal and higher leadership appears to be fostering this abusive, hostile behavior. What can I do?
Filing an EEO complaint alleging discrimination on any basis under Title VII is considered a “protected activity.” Law prohibits retaliation for opposing any practice made unlawful by Title VII, the ADEA, the Equal Pay Act, or the Rehabilitation Act, or for participating in any stage of administrative or judicial proceedings under these statutes. In order to file a reprisal complaint, you must begin the process by contacting an EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the personnel action or event that you believe is motivated by reprisal. From there, you may file a formal EEO complaint. However, to pursue an EEO complaint, you must sufficiently claim that you were subjected to an action that would be considered materially adverse to a reasonable employee and that the action could dissuade a reasonable employee from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.
This response is written by Conor D. Dirks, associate attorney of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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