Along with Washington, D.C., and Maryland, Virginia is home to the greatest number of federal employees in the nation. Countless federal employees spend their entire careers in Virginia serving the country. And it’s no surprise that many of these workers will need a federal employment law attorney in Virginia. After all, federal employees need assistance with a vast array of legal issues, including reasonable accommodation, MSPB appeals, whistleblower retaliation, and illegal discrimination. 

Federal employment law is a unique legal field with significant differences from private-sector labor law. Therefore, federal employees with legal needs must contact a qualified  Virginia federal employment lawyer to get the best representation possible. Pines Federal has been a top Virginia federal employment law firm for years. We’re experienced with every facet of federal employment law. Whether you need to fight discrimination or file for federal disability retirement, we can meet your needs. Set up a consultation with one of our federal employment attorneys in Virginia today by calling (800) 801-0598 or sending us an online message


“I was so pleased working with Pines Federal. I had peace of mind knowing I would not have to deal with the federal agency and all was taken care of by Pines. They are professional and responsive. I was very happy with the outcome of my case. Hiring Pines was the best decision I made.”

Joy D.

What Kinds of Issues Can a Virginia Federal Employment Attorney Help With?

You enjoy incredible employment protections thanks to the Constitution and various federal laws. There are numerous ways that we can help you protect your rights.

Discrimination Claims

Every year, tens of thousands of employees file discrimination and harassment claims before the EEOC. Countless others experience discrimination and harassment but fail to report it because of fear of retaliation. This includes race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, and sexual orientation. Each category receives protection under various federal laws, such as the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and others. 

The process for filing a discrimination claim can be intricate, involving specific procedures and deadlines. An attorney can assist in properly filing a claim, whether it’s with the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or in federal court.

Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims

Retaliation occurs when a federal employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in legally protected activities. Protected activities include reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or condemning illegal discrimination. When retaliation occurs, employees must defend their rights by filing a complaint with agencies such as the EEOC or Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). 

A similar issue involves protecting whistleblowers, people who report illegal or unethical practices within the government. 

Specifically, whistleblowing includes any good-faith report of: 

  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation;
  • Gross mismanagement; 
  • Abuse of power; and
  • A significant danger to public health and safety.

Laws like the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) attempt to shield these individuals from reprisal by their supervisors. When bad actors violate these protections, whistleblowers can file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) or the MSPB. 

Appealing Improper Discipline and Removals to the MSPB

Federal employees enjoy a level of job security and due process rights not typically found in the private sector. This means that federal agencies cannot simply decide to fire their employees without adhering to certain procedural rights. One of the MSPB’s other functions is upholding these rights by allowing employees to file appeals. 

Before filing an appeal to the MSPB, you generally need to:

  • Be a non-probationary federal employee; and
  • Be the target of an adverse action. 

“Adverse actions” include significant disciplinary actions that agencies take against the employee. Under federal law, the phrase encompasses demotions, suspensions longer than 14 days, removals, and pay losses. It does not matter whether the agency took action because of alleged misconduct or performance issues. Employees can also appeal certain retirement issues to the MSPB, like denials of disability retirement.

Regardless of the reason you decide to launch an MSPB claim, the services of an experienced Virginia federal employment attorney can be invaluable. They can start by meticulously dissecting the agency’s actions and their stated rationales against you. This allows them to lay the groundwork for a robust appeal. They can also gather compelling evidence and prep witnesses. Once the case proceeds to the hearing phase, a skilled lawyer will deliver persuasive oral arguments to protect your rights vigorously. Should the initial decision not be in your favor, they can escalate the matter by appealing the initial decision.

Reasonable Accommodation Requests

One of the most significant protections for federal employees is the right to seek reasonable accommodation. Thanks to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can receive an accommodation to perform your job effectively. Accommodations include various modifications and adjustments in the workplace that help you overcome the limitations created by your disability. You can obtain virtually any accommodation as long as it enables you to perform the core duties of your job effectively and does not create an undue hardship for your employer.

Nevertheless, requesting a reasonable accommodation can be a complicated process. The process traditionally begins when you signal your need for an accommodation to a supervisor or manager. You also need to provide comprehensive medical documentation supporting your request if you want your claim to gain traction. Once you’ve done that, your employer has to engage with you in a collaborative process. The goal of this process is to identify a suitable accommodation for you. 

Unfortunately, employers often propose alternatives that fall short of meeting the employee’s actual needs. They can also ignore requests or force employees to jump through endless hoops. A lawyer can play a decisive role in this scenario by enlightening you about your legal rights and helping you formulate an impregnable reasonable accommodation request. As the accommodation dialogue progresses, we’ll negotiate with your employer and champion your ideal accommodations. We also won’t hesitate to remind the employer of their statutory obligations. When a federal employer dismisses a request, we’ll transition into resolving disputes and pursuing legal action to vindicate your rights if necessary.

In summary, having legal representation significantly simplifies the reasonable accommodation process and increases your chances of receiving an ideal accommodation.

OPM Disability Applications

Disability retirement through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a process for federal employees who can no longer perform their duties effectively due to a medical condition. It’s an entirely distinct program from regular retirement, focusing specifically on those whose health impairs their ability to continue working in their current federal role. To qualify, you must demonstrate that your disability will last at least one year. You also need to show that it prevents the completion of your job duties. Finally, you must finish at least 18 months of service in a qualifying federal position.

Even if you meet these prerequisites, applying for OPM Disability Retirement involves a thorough and often complex process. Every applicant has to furnish OPM with detailed medical documentation regarding their disability. You must also produce evidence showing how this condition impacts their job performance. Moreover, the application requires various forms, including personal statements and your agency’s certification of the inability to accommodate the disability. 

All this can be incredibly difficult to manage on your own. Fortunately, a federal employment attorney can significantly demystify the process. First, we can help interpret the governing regulations surrounding OPM’s disability retirement and guide you on meeting the eligibility criteria. Next, we can prepare and review all of your application documentation. That assistance extends to getting complete and comprehensive medical documents by liaising with your medical team. Our firm actually drafts letters for our clients’ doctors to fill out, in order to help ensure comprehensive documentation that validates your disability retirement claim. Once we’ve compiled the information and reviewed the application for errors, we’ll work with your agency to make sure they complete their part of the application. Finally, we’ll represent you in hearings if OPM denies your application

Representing Civilian Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Most employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who work in healthcare services fall under a different part of the federal code (Title 5, Title 38, and Title 38 Hybrid). As a result, these employees have a different set of rights and privileges. In turn, they can face unique challenges revolving around pay, performance assessment, and discipline. 

Fortunately, the attorneys at our firm bring a wealth of experience in resolving unique employment challenges, offering dedicated legal support tailored to their specific professional context.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Appeals 

Armed Forces members receive specific protections under USERRA. This law guarantees members of the armed forces reemployment rights when they transition back to civilian jobs after military service. When employers infringe upon these rights, our USERRA law firm assures the service member’s interests, ensuring their smooth and fair reintegration into civilian employment.

Advocacy for Federal Union Members 

Lastly, our legal practice includes robust representation of federal employees who face issues relating to their union membership. We work to uphold their rights in collective bargaining processes and other union-related negotiations. We also assist employees in filing grievances against unfair practices and represent them in arbitration hearings. 

Our Outstanding Team Is Ready to Help You Get the Legal Representation You Deserve

When federal employment issues come up, they have the potential to wreak havoc on your career and turn your life upside down. That means you can’t afford to gamble with your future. Instead, partner with the best federal employment law firm possible. 

We know we’re not the only Virginia federal employment law firm. However, dedication, experience, and sheer talent make us stand out from the crowd. Unlike many other firms, our practice centers exclusively on protecting federal employees. That means we have ample experience and are up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. Moreover, we have a stellar track record and outstanding client reviews. Whatever your federal employment legal needs are, we can help. Schedule your initial appointment today by calling (800) 801-0598 or filling out our online form.

Meet Our Legal Team

Eric Pines, Esq. Attorney
Amanda Moreno, Esq. Attorney
Justin Schnitzer, Esq. Attorney
Michael Kleinman, Esq. Attorney
Ibidun Roberts, Esq. OF COUNSEL
Elizabeth Matta, Esq. Attorney