Legal Insider: 7 reasons to hire a federal employment lawyer

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

There are several reasons why federal employees should hire an experienced federal employment attorney if facing a potential disciplinary action, security clearance issues, equal employment opportunity violations, whistleblower claims, investigations, or disability retirement issues.

Here are seven reasons why a federal employee should hire a federal employment lawyer when the need arises:

1. Resolve Issues Early

With a federal employment lawyer, a federal employee may be able to resolve disciplinary action, equal employment issues and security clearance matters early, before they get worse and potentially lead to removal or result in other adverse situations for the federal employee in the workplace.

2. Identity Potential Reasonable Accommodations

For federal employees with disabilities, a federal employment lawyer can help identify potential reasonable accommodations for them to assist them in making the workplace better for them.

3. Get Accurate Advice on Confusing Issues and Claims

Federal employment lawyers understand the nuances of the different statutes that govern federal employee issues before the Merit Systems Protection Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, security clearance authorities at each agency and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. These different venues/issues can be confusing and are often intertwined. Getting accurate advice is very important. A Federal employment lawyer helps to provide clarity and understanding amongst confusing claims and complex laws to help federal employee clients.

4. Identify Claims of Defenses Not Previously Considered

The complicated language of federal laws can be challenging for federal employees outside of the legal profession to understand thoroughly. There may be a basis for a defense or perhaps a separate claim against a federal agency that a federal employee is unaware of unless they have the benefit of representation by a federal employment lawyer.

5. Get Taken More Seriously

Represented federal employees have their cases taken more seriously. While this should not be the case, federal employees that have counsel representing them clearly get more attention and responsiveness to their case or claims than those federal employees that are not represented by federal agencies.

6. Understand Procedural Hurdles

Federal employment lawyers are aware of the process of filing a claim or case and relevant deadlines and can help a federal employee each step of the way. It is often the case that a federal employee that is unrepresented can miss key deadlines through no fault of their own as many are short and sometimes confusing.

7. Avoid Difficult Situations at Work

It is often uncomfortable for a federal employee to deal with their management directly over claims they may have at work (sometimes with the same supervisor). Federal employment lawyers take on this role and represent federal employees in otherwise uncomfortable situations and advocate on their behalf.

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