As a federal employee, you have the right to be treated fairly in the workplace, regardless of sex or gender. If you feel you have been sexually harassed at work, you have the right to pursue legal action. The process is a bit different for federal workers versus those in the private sector. A New York sexual harassment attorney can lead you through the process.

If you are planning on filing a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the deadlines are fairly tight. If you are a federal employee, the timelines are even tighter. Under most circumstances, government workers only have 45 days from the date the harassment took place to file a charge.

Immediately after you experienced harassment, contact an EEO Counselor at the agency where you work. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency’s EEO Office. In most cases the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or participating in meditation, or other type of alternative dispute resolution. The goal is to settle the dispute during EEO counselling or ADR.

If the sexual harassment charge is not resolved, you have 15 days from the day you received notice from your EEOC counselor to file a formal complaint. Your complaint will either be dismissed, or investigated. After an investigation, you can either request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or ask the agency to issue a final decision. If your case is dismissed or you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal or file a lawsuit.

These are some additional timelines you should be aware of:

  • You have 30 days from the day you receive notice about your hearing rights to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Judge
  • You have 30 days from receiving a final decision to file an appeal
  • You have 30 days from receiving an appeal to ask for a reconsideration of that appeal

If things do not go favorably with the EEOC, or you do not want to go through with the EEOC process, you can file a lawsuit in court.

Government employees deserve to know where to turn to help, and how to correctly proceed with a claim. A sexual harassment attorney in New York City can advise you on the best possible course of action.

The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at