- JD Catholic University of America
- Columbus School of Law
- BA Assumption College (Honors)
- District of Columbia
- Federal Employment Law
- Employment Law
- Security Clearance Representation
- Washington DC
John P. Mahoney, Esq.
Partner & Chair, Labor & Employment Law Practice Group
John Mahoney, Esq. is a Partner with the law firm of Tully Rinckey, PLLC and Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, which includes the firm’s National Security Law practice area. John concentrates his practice in federal sector employment, labor, and national security law. He is rated as a “Preeminent AV Rated Lawyer™” and is registered by Martindale-Hubbell® in the 2013 Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers™. In September 2013, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™ selected John as a "2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment."
John provides representation to federal employees, agencies, unions, contractors, and employee associations in federal sector employment, labor, and national security law matters throughout the country and around the world. He has over 20 years of experience effectively representing the federal sector community and has served as an expert witness on federal employment law. He recently served on the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board’s (MSPB) stakeholder working group that substantially revised the Board’s regulations at 5 C.F.R. Part 1201.
John has represented clients before some of the highest courts in the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as before such federal agencies as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the MSPB, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Office of Special Counsel, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA). In one victory before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, John successfully argued an appeal of first impression resulting in the creation of new due process rights for a class of disabled federal employees and the reversal of several MSPB decisions and an OPM regulation. See VanWersch v. Department of Health and Human Servs., 197 F.3d 1144 (Fed. Cir. 1999).
John has served as the vice chair (ES IV) and as an administrative judge for the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Personnel Appeals Board (PAB). He has also served as general counsel to various unions, outside counsel to various corporations, as senior associate to the general counsel of the Senior Executives Association (SEA), as well as a member of the AFL-CIO’s national Lawyers Coordinating Committee.
John received the highest attorney AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from the Martindale- Hubbell® National attorney rating service, meaning he is considered by the Washington, D.C. legal community to be a lawyer with “preeminent legal ability; expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence” and that he “clearly demonstrates the highest professional and ethical standards.” He has also achieved a “Superb 10.0 Avvo Rating.” John has been a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), and is a current member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland.
John was elected to serve as the D.C. Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section Co-Chair, which under his leadership was named “Best Section of the D.C. Bar.” In 1999, John served on the EEOC’s Working Group that revised the Commission’s federal sector regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. Subsequently, he was elected to serve as the Chair of the D.C. Bar’s Council on Sections, in which position he oversaw the development of continuing legal education and community outreach programs. As a former candidate for the Maryland State Senate, member of the Executive Committee of the Maryland Democratic Party, and as the former Young Democrats President of Maryland, John has worked with several high profile political leaders in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. In 2004, John had the honor of addressing the Maryland Delegation at the Democratic National Convention, where he had the pleasure of meeting for the first time Barack Obama, President of the United States.
Prior to joining Tully Rinckey PLLC, John was a founding partner and the Director of Litigation at Mahoney & Mahoney, LLP, at that time another leading, AV®Rated Washington, D.C. federal employment law firm. He is also a published author and frequent public speaker on federal labor and employment law issues. His recent article, “What Rights to Privacy Do Federal Employees Have?” was published in THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL (Jan. 2011). John also Co-authored nine chapters of the 1st Edition of the book “THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEE'S LEGAL SURVIVAL GUIDE”. John earned his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in 1993. While there, he was chosen as an Editor of the Year of THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW. In 1990, John obtained his bachelor’s degree with honors from Assumption College in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, where he co-founded the college’s Law Society.
In over 20 years of practice, John has effectively represented thousands of federal employees in EEO complaints, as well as EEOC cases and appeals. He has won cases before the EEOC in which his federal employee clients have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in backpay, benefits, interest, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees, in addition to equitable relief including the reversal of termination decisions and the award of retroactive promotion to the Senior Executive Service. He has successfully negotiated thousands of settlements in federal sector EEO cases, including a recent settlement awarding his disabled federal employee client retroactive reinstatement to a Criminal Investigator, GS-1811-14, position and awards of $275,000 in compensatory damages, over $193,000 in attorneys’ fees, and backpay, benefits, and interest in excess of $250,000. For the purposes of his 2013 EEOC Excel Presentation on EEOC sanctions awards, John has successfully litigated and/or negotiated settlements in numerous EEOC sanctions cases, including obtaining a default judgment sanction, which resulted in full relief for a federal employee in a then-novel race and national origin by association and “regarded as” disability discrimination case that resulted in the reversal of a termination decision. See Johnson v. Johanns, Sec’y, USDA, EEOC Case No. 520-2006-00120X, Agency No. FSA 2005-00711 (EEOC New York District Office, Boston Area Office, Sanctions Order Issued Jan. 22, 2007).
"What Right to Workplace Privacy do Federal Employees Have?" published in the National Law Journal (January 2011).
Co-author of the 1st Edition of the book "The Federal Employee's Legal Survival Guide."
J. Mahoney & P. Jeffrey, "Regulations Strip DHS Employee Appeal Rights," Commentary Article in The Federal Times Newspaper (Dec. 10, 2007).
Mr. Mahoney was quoted extensively in the August 15, 2007 issue of the CyberFEDS online newsletter in an article by Melissa Turley of CyberFEDS Washington Bureau entitled "EEOC: Fewer Employees Finish ADR Counseling."
"Developments in U.S. Government Labour & Employment Law That May Have International Implications: Unfortunate Events In History: The Recent Disenfranchisement Of American Employees Labour And Employment Rights," Center for International Legal Studies Labor and Employment Law Symposium, Salzburg, Austria (Jun. 29, 2007).
"Decision Leaves Older Employees at Risk for Retaliation", Article in The Federal Times Newspaper (June 11, 2007).
"How to Save Time on EEO Investigations," Article in The Federal Times Newspaper (Jul. 24, 2006).
"Homeland Personnel Changes Leave Employees Vulnerable," Article in The Federal Times Newspaper (Aug. 15, 2005).
Interview, Municipal Notebook on Montgomery Municipal Cable, Channel 16 for political commentary (Mar. 2005).
John Mahoney is the author of the 2002 Federal EEO Handbook
John Mahoney is the co-author of the book entitled Federal Employees Legal Survival Guide, How to Protect & Enforce Your Job Rights, 1st Edition (National Employee Rights Institute ed., Jul. 1999).
Articles in FEDAGENT E-Report (Aug & Mar. 6, 2003 issues).
"Legal Analysis: Misconduct Investigations And Exceptions To The Privacy Act," FEDMANAGER ON-LINE NEWSLETTER. (May 23, 2000).
"EEOC's New Federal Sector Regulations and Management Directive 110: an Overview," THE D.C. B. LAB. & EMPLOYMENT L. SECTION'S NEWSLETTER, No.3. (Winter 1999-2000), at 13.
"Official Public Statement Regarding the EEOC’s Proposed Federal Sector Complaint Regulations," (D.C. BAR LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW SECTION, Apr. 1998).
"Official National Comments On The EEOC’s Proposed Federal Sector Regulations" (THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (NELA), Apr. 1998), reprinted in NELA’S EMPLOYEE ADVOCATE.
"Reckless Disregard: Intentional And Willful Violations Of The Privacy Act’s Investigatory Requirements," The Federal Lawyer Magazine, May 1997, at 38.
"MSPB Non-Local Attorney Fees Awards: Recognizing the Strong Interest of Geographic Latitude in the Selection of Counsel," 95 FED. MERIT SYSTEMS REP. 35 (Aug. 28, 1995), reprinted in FEDERAL MERIT SYSTEMS 1996 DESK BOOK, Part IV, at 19, (3d ed. LRP Publications).
- John P. Mahoney - More than five years after the EEOC initially affirmed an EEOC Administrative Judge's finding the U.S. Department of the Treasury liable for sex discrimination when Petitioner was not selected for an SES position, the EEOC once again ordered the U.S. Department of the Treasury to calculate the Petitioner's salary based upon the assumption that she would have received the highest performance review available for each review period and should award benefits that the average outstanding SES employee at the agency received during each fiscal year at issue. Further, the EEOC found the Petitioner entitled to receive attorney fees. See Farrell v. Dep't of Treasury, Petition No. 0420070019 (Oct. 24, 2008); see also Farrell v. Dep't of Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. 07A20043 (May 3, 2003)
- John P. Mahoney directed the litigation that lead to full relief for a Federal Employee in a novel Race & National Origin Discrimination by Association and "Regarded as" Disability Discrimination case. See Steven A. Johnson v. Mike Johanns, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, EEOC CASE No. 520-2006-00120X, Agency No. FSA 2005-00711 (EEOC New York District Office, Boston Area Office, Sanctions Order Issued Jan. 22, 2007)
- John P. Mahoney represented a manager at the Federal Election Commission in successfully settling her claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation against that agency. See The Washington Post, Mar. 8, 2006, The Federal Page.
- John P. Mahoney settled a disabled cancer survivor's claim of disability discrimination and retaliation in federal employment against the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. See the Gazette Newspaper June 3, 2005.
- John P. Mahoney won a finding of discrimination and an award of full relief, with retroactive promotion to the SES level, backpay, compensatory damages, and attorneys fees in excess of $100,000, in a federal employee sex discrimination case before the EEOC, see Farrell v. Snow, Secretary, Department of the Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. 07A20043 (May 5, 2003)
- John P. Mahoney won a finding of discrimination and an award of full relief, with backpay and compensatory damages in excess of $100,000, in a Wage Grade-level federal employee race and perceived disability discrimination case before the EEOC, see Flythe v. Caldera, Secretary, Department of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 01972258 (2000)
- John P. Mahoney successfully argued an appeal of first impression before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, resulting in the creation of new due process rights for a class of disabled Federal employees and the reversal of several MSPB decisions and an OPM regulation, see VanWersch v. Department of Health and Human Servs., 197 F.3d 1144 (Fed. Cir. 1999)
- John P. Mahoney co-authored a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States as an attorney of record in a case, which, with the assistance of AFGE, helped lead to legislation treating the Smithsonian Institution as an agency under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, see Dong v. Smithsonian Institution, 125 F.3d 877 (D.C. Cir. 1997), reh'g denied, No. 96-503 (1997), cert. denied, 524 U.S. 922 (1998)
- John P. Mahoney successfully tried, as an attorney of record, a case of first impression before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, see Dong v. Smithsonian Institution, 943 F. Supp. 69 (1996)(first case awarding compensatory damages under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a)
- John P. Mahoney successfully prosecuted and argued a motion for summary judgment in a multi-million dollar class action against the U.S. and D.C. Governments in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of retired U.S. Park Police officers, which case was covered in the press, see Wheeler v. District of Columbia (D.D.C. 1995)
- John P. Mahoney - Hussey v. United States Department of Agriculture - To date, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has issued three final decisions awarding the firm over $45,000 in reasonable attorneys’ fees based upon the successfully enforced settlement of the appellant’s removal appeal. In one of those decisions, the Board held that “the appellant met his burden of showing that he is the prevailing party, he incurred attorney fees and that an award of attorneys fees is warranted in the interest of justice.” E.g., Hussey v. United States Department of Agriculture, MSPB Docket No. DA-0752-10-0130-A-1 (Jan. 6, 2011).
I found Mr. Mahoney to be dedicated, experienced, caring, and excellent in all service. My case consisted of over two and a half YEARS of endless required paperwork submissions – all with deadlines attached (I measured the stack of official …
I contacted John Mahoney, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Tully Rinckey, for legal advice involving a federal employment problem. My consultation with Mr. Mahoney occurred long after I had been interviewed regarding allegations made against me, a …
“I had a very positive experience with Mr. Mahoney as my attorney and highly recommend him. He was most attentive to all my legal needs; he was accessible and always responded to my questions in a timely fashion. I have …
By Eric Katz Three days after the government shutdown in 1995, the Social Security Administration brought back 50,000 employees from furlough to deal with a backlog of benefits the agency lacked the personnel to deliver. In the run up to …
How is the crisis hurting contractors differently than federal employees? What about back pay and unemployment benefits? Some federal contractors believe they’re in the same boat as federal government workers: Furloughed without pay and wondering how they’ll get by. But …
John Mahoney, Chairman of the Tully Rinckey Labor and Employment Practice Group, talks government shutdown and the Anti-Deficiency Act with Federal Drive co-hosts Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.
“Do I look fat in this?” How many times have we uttered or heard those words, not giving a second thought to the negative connotation that goes with them. These are the kinds of comments that influence children as young …
By John P. Mahoney The nation’s largest employer, the federal government, is still pretty good at keeping secrets, even after the WikiLeaks scandal. The question is: To what extent does its employees and contractors have a right to workplace privacy? …
The Federal Government is pretty good at keeping secrets. When it comes to national security, the Feds do their best to ensure that only trustworthy people have access to classified government information and operations. In order for federal employees and …
By John P. Mahoney Martin Luther King Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the gains Black/African Americans have made in the almost five decades since the civil rights leader made his “I have a dream” speech. In the federal …
By John P. Mahoney Americans are expected to spend an estimated $465.6 billion this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. For many consumers, a chunk of the average $704 they expected to spend on gifts and seasonal merchandise …
By John P. Mahoney, Esq. The agency responsible for protecting federal whistleblowers is warning that federal employees who blow the whistle and hold security clearance are vulnerable to retaliation from managers. The agency, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), cautioned …