Wrongful Termination: When Federal Employees Have a Case

The federal government, as with any entity or business, is not without corrupt practices. In some instances, these practices can lead to wrongful termination, giving employees potential grounds for a lawsuit. Every employee is entitled to certain protections under the law, and federal employees are no exception. There are several situations that may constitute a case.

Illegal Discrimination

Federal employees often suspect that their termination was the result of personal discrimination, which may allow for legal action by an employment attorney. Individuals are protected by law from experiencing discrimination at work, which often occurs in the form of sexism, racism, xenophobia, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and prejudices toward characteristics such as religion, political affiliation, pregnancy, or marital status.

Whistleblower Retaliation

The U.S. Merit System is a set of explicitly stated laws that federal supervisors must adhere to in taking disciplinary action against an employee. These laws include Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP), which bans retaliation against an employee for reporting knowledge or suspicion of illegal activities undertaken by another federal employee or agency.

Violation of Constitutional Rights

Believe it or not, federal government employees enjoy more constitutional protections than those who work in the private sector, particularly as relevant to the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This means that government workers are entitled to free speech in the workplace, as well as the safeguard of due process in the event that they experience unlawful termination as a result of the violation of their rights.

Government Contractor Rights Violations

The protections of those who are employed by government contractors are different than those who are employed directly with the federal government and are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Employees who believe that violation of their specific rights, such as requests for paid sick leave or pay transparency, led to their firing may be able to pursue a wrongful termination suit.

If you believe that you were wrongfully terminated from your position within a federal government agency or by a federal government contractor in Massachusetts, Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP can help you determine if you have a case. Contact us online today to speak with one of our experienced employment attorneys or call (617) 489-5300 to schedule a consultation.