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Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The legal remedies available to federal employees who believe they have suffered discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are Prohibited Personnel Practice (PPP) under 5 USC 2302(b).

Discrimination is specifically included as a prohibited personnel practice in 5 USC 2302 (b). Specifically, one of the listed PPP’s, 2302 (b)(10), provides that no employee with authority to take or direct a personnel action shall discriminate for or against any employee or applicant for employment on the bases of conduct which does not adversely affect the performance or the employee or applicant or the performance of others.

  • Allegations of Prohibited Personnel Practice may be raised in different ways depending on the circumstances. If the allegation of discrimination based on sexual orientation results from an agency action against the employee that is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the employee may raise it as a challenge to the agency action in the appeal to MSPB.
  • An employee subjected to a PPP may also file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) whether or not the agency’s action is appealable to MSPB. The OSC is an independent agency authorized to investigate and seek corrective action from MSPB concerning allegations of PPP’s.
    • Negotiated Grievance Procedure. A bargaining unit employee may grieve through a Negotiated Grievance Procedure (NGP), on any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any law, rule, or regulation affecting conditions of employment.
    • Agency Administrative Grievance Procedure. Non-bargaining unit employees also have the formal agency Administrative Grievance System to resolve disputes. This system attempts to achieve a relatively informal resolution between the immediate parties before elevating the dispute to higher levels of management.
    • Office of Inspector General (OIG) Complaint. An employee’s allegation of discrimination based on sexual orientation could be reviewed by the agency OIG if the alleged conduct were part of disclosure of fraud, waste, and/or abuse.
    • Discrimination Complaint Process. An employee, applicant or former employee may file a claim of Sexual Orientation discrimination with the EEO Office as it falls under sex discrimination which is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.