AFGE Vows to Get Back Rights to Help Members with Discrimination Complaints

Categories: The Insider

Only two weeks before leaving office, the Trump administration continued with its attacks against federal workers. This time, it stole federal workers’ right to have their colleagues who are union representatives help them with their workplace discrimination complaints. AFGE, however, vowed to get it back.  

In a party-line vote on Jan. 7, Trump’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted 3-2 to prohibit union representatives from using official time to help federal workers who report discrimination, harassment, and other EEO law violations.  

As a result of this mean-spirited rule, federal employees will be forced to hire an attorney, try to represent themselves, or not file a complaint – making it more difficult for employees to address discrimination in the workplace. 

“This is an outrageous and hypocritical position for EEOC to take during this national reckoning of racial injustice. EEOC should focus on robust civil rights enforcement, not create roadblocks for federal workers who raise internal discrimination complaints,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “Federal victims of discrimination who want a knowledgeable representative will now have to pay an attorney. Otherwise, they may suffer in silence or even quit.” 

“Let us be clear – anyone who voted for this anti-worker rule gave a gift to bad managers, making it easier for them to get away with discriminating against their subordinates by hamstringing the union,” he added. 

This rule is not effective immediately, and AFGE members will fight to get our rights back and bend the moral arc back to justice.  

Our union is already working on a legal strategy. Stay tuned for future actions and guidance for ongoing and future representation of EEO complainants. 


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