Once you pass through the looking glass into the world of federal employment, all the normal employment rules change. While on the one hand federal employees are afforded more procedural protections than employees in the private sector; on the other, they are subject to a bewildering array of regulations and agencies invested with power to decide the fate of their careers.
Described below are some of the avenues that federal employees can pursue to seek relief from discrimination and adverse personnel actions. Bear in mind that this is general information, does not apply to every case or every federal employee, and that it is no substitute for seeking the advice of an attorney as soon as it becomes apparent that you are likely to have a problem at work.
One thing to remember is that most cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement at some point before a hearing or a trial. This saves the employee money and provides for sure relief, and it is almost always the best option if the Agency will agree to reasonable terms. Sometimes, however, Agencies are not reasonable, and those are the cases that you need to win at a hearing or a trial. Remember, it is the result that is important, not the case. Understand, however, that deciding whether to settle your case is up to you, not your attorney.