While there may be all kinds of jokes floating around about the speed with which the federal government moves, one thing is certain: Federal employees have to file discrimination claims as soon as they suspect they have been subjected to some form of discrimination. They can’t wait until they have figured out who, what, when, where and why they didn’t get a job or promotion.
Recent case: Terry Miller, who is black, has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for many years, including several as an HR analyst. Right before she settled a discrimination case against the agency that allowed her to move into the HR position, she was promised she would be included in a pool of employees who would be part of a prestigious post office planning team.
Later, she learned that she was not going to be part of the program after all.
A federal employee who claims discrimination must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory conduct for the complaint to be timely. Miller didn’t do that.
Instead, she waited until she believed she had solid evidence that race discrimination was the reason she was not selected after all. She asked the court to run the time limit from the date she knew discrimination was to blame, not the date when she was not selected.
The court refused and dismissed her case. (Miller v. Potter, No. 3:07-CV-1040, ND TX, 2008)