EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Federal Employees & Job Applicants

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. These laws protect you against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in your workplace, because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that you need because of your religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because you complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

In addition to laws that EEOC enforces, there are federal protections from discrimination on other bases including sexual orientation, status as a parent, marital status, political affiliation, and conduct that does not adversely affect the performance of the employee.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a federal agency, you have a right to file a complaint with that agency. The first step is to contact an EEO Counselor at the agency within 45 days of the discriminatory action. The individual may choose to participate in either counseling, or in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) when the agency offers ADR. Ordinarily, counseling must be completed within 30 days and ADR within 90 days. At the end of counseling, or if ADR is unsuccessful, the individual may then file a complaint with the agency.

The Federal Sector Complaint Process

Types of discrimination (facts and guidance)

Other types of discrimination prohibited in the Federal government (not enforced by EEOC)

Prohibited Practices
What can't an employer do?