Civilian Federal Employees Can Seek in a Federal Court Lawsuit Just Their Attorney Fees for EEOC Administrative Proceedings
Federal employees usually go through administrative proceedings under the auspices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to bring their claims of employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against their federal agency employers. If they prevail against their agency, an EEOC administrative judge can award them their attorneys’ fees. In a recent appellate court case, a civilian employee of the Navy prevailed before the EEOC, but he believed that the EEOC administrative judge had denied him his full measure of attorneys’ fees. He sued in Federal Court seeking just all of the fees. However, the Appellate Court ruled that Title VII authorizes a civil suit in Federal Court solely to recover attorneys’ fees for legal work done in EEOC administrative proceedings. Porter V. Winter, U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit. No. 07-17120, May 5, 2010.