Our Team

Our federal employment attorneys together have over 200 years of experience practicing federal employment law and have been named among Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers. They are key components of a team whose targeted, aggressive legal approach has secured positive results for clients in virtually every aspect of federal employment and labor law.

Tully Rinckey PLLC is one of the nation’s largest federal sector labor and employment and military law firms, serving clients from San Diego, CA, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. and everywhere in-between. We are a full service, coast-to-coast firm for federal and government employees with legal issues.

We represent you at hearings before the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), and various grade determination boards, among others. We’re especially practiced in handling cases where your participation as a whistleblower has affected your employment status or workplace environment.

If you are involved in a legal dispute with the federal government, the time-tested federal employer lawyers at Tully Rinckey can help. We offer a full spectrum of legal services that protect your rights, set the record straight, and earn you the compensation you deserve. We stand ready to fight for you.

To schedule an initial consultation with one of our federal employment lawyers, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or info@tullylegal.com

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Under the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), employers and labor organizations are now required to offer reasonable accommodations for qualifying employees with limitations due to childbirth and pregnancy. While the PWFA only applies to accommodations, over 30 states already have laws protecting and providing access accommodations for pregnant workers.

At Tully Rinckey, we are well versed in pregnancy discrimination law and have helped many victims of unlawful pregnancy discrimination secure the recourse they deserve. To learn more about the PWFA and how it will impact employees in 2023, please visit our subpage on the topic here.

Federal Employee COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

“Following the recent Executive Order and presidential announcements, as of May 12, 2023, the requirements mandating that all federal employees and contractors either become vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing and mitigation requirements have been formally rescinded. Many agencies are beginning to revert back to their pre-COVID operations, and the Safe Federal Workforce Task Force is currently in the process of rolling out updated guidance for agencies and employees to navigate this transition.

 For more information about what federal employees and agencies need to be aware of when it comes to the ending of the COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please visit our article on the topic here.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all employees have the right to equal federal employment opportunities regardless of the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disability
  • prior EEO activity

If you believe that you are a victim of unlawful discrimination based upon race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and/or prior equal employment opportunity activity, Tully Rinckey PLLC can help.

Our experienced attorneys can represent you at every stage of the EEO process, from filing the initial EEO complaint through settlement, trial and mediation. Call us today at 2027871900 to set up a consultation with one of our EEO attorneys or e-mail info@fedattorney.com.

Initiating a discrimination claim:

  • You must contact an EEO counselor at your agency within 45 calendar days of the discriminatory action. This deadline usually cannot be waived.
  • You may elect alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or counseling. If unsuccessful, you may then file a formal EEO complaint with your federal agency.
  • The agency must conduct an investigation unless your complaint is dismissed.

If your complaint contains an issue that the Merit System Protection Board has jurisdiction over, your case is called a “mixed case” and may proceed before the MSPB. For all other EEO matters, once the agency completes its investigation you may request an EEO hearing before a judge. The agency must complete its investigation within 180 days from the date you filed your formal complaint.

You may file in federal court at any point after the formal complaint has been pending for more than 180 days.

To learn more about workplace discrimination including what constitutes a protected class as well as how to navigate the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, download Tully Rinckey PLLC’s free Guide to Filing a Claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC can represent you at every stage of the EEO process, including initial EEO counseling, ADR, mediation, trial, and appeal if necessary. Call us today at 2027871900 to set up a consultation with one of our EEO attorneys or e-mail info@fedattorney.com.

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Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)

At Tully Rinckey PLLC, it is our belief that every federal employee has the right to due process and a fair hearing, including proper application of the Douglas Factors. Any disciplinary action can lead to greater problems in the future and, in extreme cases, can result in the end of an employee’s career in federal service.

The attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC have litigated hundreds of cases at the agency level, before MSPB administrative judges, as well as before the full three-member MSPB panel. If necessary, our attorneys are also experienced and have been successful in arguing appeals of MSPB decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Contact Tully Rinckey PLLC to see how we may assist with your case. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 2027871900 or by e-mail at info@fedattorney.com.

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Disability Retirement

Unfortunately, federal employees may fall victim to injury or disease which may prevent them from efficiently performing the duties of their position. When this occurs, federal employees may be entitled to disability retirement benefits. At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we assist federal employees with the complex process of applying and securing disability retirement benefits. Our firm can handle all aspects of the disability retirement application process, including assisting you in preparing your application, working with your physician to obtain the proper medical documentation, or appealing an adverse OPM determination to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Eligibility Requirements for Disability Retirement

To qualify for disability retirement benefits, a federal employee must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of 5 years of credible federal civilian service under CSRS or 18 months of federal civilian service under FERS;
  • Have a disability due to disease, injury or mental health condition which prohibits you from performing useful and efficient service in your current position
  • Disability must be expected to last at least 1 year
  • Agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position and that it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same grade or pay level and within the same commuting area, or for which you are qualified for reassignment

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Employee Investigations and Actions

When a federal employee is issued a proposed or actual disciplinary or adverse action, nothing is more important that understanding your rights and fighting to protect them.

Tully Rinckey’s team of experienced federal employment attorneys are available to provide representation to federal employees who are under investigation or facing proposed disciplinary or adverse actions. In the federal government, a disciplinary action includes suspensions of 14 days or less and reprimands, while an “adverse actions” include the more severe forms of discipline including removals, suspensions of more than 14 days, and a reduction in grade or pay or demotion.

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Disciplinary Actions and Adverse Actions

When a federal employee is issued a proposed or actual disciplinary or adverse action, nothing is more important than understanding your rights and fighting to protect them.

Tully Rinckey’s experienced federal employment attorneys are available to provide representation to federal employees who are under investigation for misconduct, facing proposed disciplinary or adverse actions for misconduct or poor performance, or appealing or otherwise challenging disciplinary or adverse actions. In the federal government, a disciplinary action includes suspensions of 14 days or less and reprimands, while an adverse action includes the more severe forms of discipline such as, removals, suspensions of more than 14 days, and a reduction in grade (demotion) or pay.

Tully Rinckey lawyers have experience defending the interests of federal employees who are charged with a wide range of alleged misconduct, including, but not limited to:

  • Absence without leave (AWOL) or other attendance issues
  • Misuse of funds
  • Violence in the workplace
  • Falsification
  • Insubordination or failure to follow directives
  • Security violations
  • Improper use or theft of government property
  • Conduct unbecoming a federal employee
  • Prohibited personnel practices
  • Lack of candor

Additionally, Tully Rinckey lawyers are available to assist federal employees who are faced with allegations of poor performance, have been placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and/or are issued performance related discipline, such as a proposed removal or demotion. Tully Rinckey attorneys are also available to represent federal employees who have received a performance-related adverse action that needs to be appealed to the Merit System Protection Board.

At every stage of the investigatory or disciplinary process, Tully Rinckey attorneys will work with you and your agency to find the best solution possible for your career.
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Employee Discrimination and Harassment

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and other Federal statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)  employment decisions, including hiring, promotion and termination, cannot be based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability or prior EEO activity.

In addition, it is unlawful to subject an employee to harassment/hostile work environment or disparate treatment based on his/her membership in any of those protected classes.

Tully Rinckey attorneys have extensive experience representing both private and public sector clients who have been subject ed to or are accused of unlawful employment discrimination. Our attorneys have represented clients nationwide in the following type of employment discrimination matters:

  • Discrimination claims based on race, color, sex, pregnancy, age, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, political affiliation, veterans preference, uniform service, or other protected categories, including those listed above
  • Sexual harassment and other harassment
  • Discrimination based on retaliation for participation in prior EEO activities
  • Denial of equal pay for equal work

If you believe that you are a victim of unlawful discrimination, you should call one of our experienced attorneys who practices before the EEOC.  Our attorneys can represent you at every stage of the EEO process from pre-complaint counseling, formal EEO complaint, alternative dispute resolution, settlement and hearing all the way through to final appeal.

Initiating an EEO Claim

As with most aspects of the federal employment system, the deadlines surrounding the EEO complaint process are tight and unforgiving. Discrimination complaints must normally be filed with the agency’s EEO office for counseling within 45 calendar days of the discriminatory action. The counseling process generally must be completed within 30-90 days of filing.  At that point, if the matter has not been resolved, the employee must be given notice of the right to file a formal complaint, after which s/he has only 15 calendar days to file the formal complaint.

After the formal complaint is filed, the agency will decide whether to dismiss the complaint or conduct a formal investigation into the allegation of discrimination.  These investigations, which are typically performed by outside contractors, generally must be completed within 180 days after the date of filing of the complaint.  The investigator will file a Report of Investigation (ROI) with the agency, which will provide a copy to the employee.  At that point, the employee has 30 calendar days to request either a Final Agency Decision (FAD) or a formal hearing at the EEOC.  If the employee does not receive the ROI within 180 days after the complaint was filed, s/he may request a hearing from the EEOC. These deadlines cannot be extended.

Contact Us

Tully Rinckey PLLC can represent clients at all stages of the federal EEO process, from initial EEO counselor contact, to mediation, and through appeals in federal court.

If you are a federal employee facing or accused of discrimination, contact us to see how our experienced employment discrimination attorneys may assist you.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 2027871900 or via email at info@fedattorney.com.


Federal Appeals

Adverse federal employment decisions typically are subject to review by appeal. At Tully Rinckey, our attorneys are experienced and available to represent you at any stage of litigation, including the appeal of a negative decision by an Administrative Judge, the Merit Systems Protection Board, OPM, OSC, or even a federal court judge.

Tully Rinckey has had great success on appeals taken to the full Merit Systems Protection Board and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Our attorneys’ major appellate wins include:

Federal Circuit Decisions

  • Pucilowski v. Department of Justice, 498 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir.2007).
  • Hernandez v. Department of the Air Force, 498 F.3d 1328 (Fed. Cir. 2007).
  • VanWersch v. Department of Health and Human Servs., 197 F.3d 1144 (Fed. Cir. 1999).

Merit Systems Protection Board Decisions

  • Haskins v. Department of the Navy, 2007 M.S.P.R. 234 (2007).
  • Plezia v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2006 M.S.P.R. 135 (2006).
  • Pratt v. Department of Transportation, 2006 M.S.P.R. 244 (2006).
  • Farrell v. Secretary, Dep’t of Treasury, EEOC Petition No. 0420070019 (Oct. 24, 2008)
  • Farrell v. Secretary, Dep’t of Treasury, EEOC Appeal No. 07A20043 (May 3, 2003)
  • Flythe v. Caldera, Secretary, Department of the Army, EEOC No. 01972258 (2000)

The appeals process is subject to very strict and unforgiving timelines. If you miss a deadline, your appeal rights could be lost. Times vary from 10 to 90 days depending on your case.

If an agency has ruled against you and you would like to initiate the appeal process or find out more about your appeal rights, contact our office to see how our experienced federal appeals attorneys may assist you.

Our Lawyers are available to review your case and discuss with you the merits of a possible appeal.

Tully Rinckey can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 2027871900 or via email at info@fedattorney.com.

Hatch Act Violations

Politics & Work: A Dangerous Combination

Most federal employees care deeply about the well-being of the government they serve. As such, many involve themselves in partisan elections to support certain candidates to lead the government. While participation in elections is important to democracy, federal employees in the executive branch and employees of the D.C. government need to be especially careful about how they participate in political campaigns. Under the Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. § 7321-7326), a federal employee’s career could be put at risk if they engage in any prohibited political activities.

It is not uncommon for federal employees to get as passionate about political elections as they are about their work. Amid all the excitement, a federal employee’s slip in good judgment could result in an egregious Hatch Act violation. By forwarding an e-mail that includes a solicitation for funds for a partisan campaign or by encouraging co-workers to attend a political fundraiser, federal employees could end up facing removal or suspension.

Hatch Act Investigations & Enforcement

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is responsible for investigating Hatch Act violations and enforcing the law. Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Hatch Act attorneys in Washington, D.C. can aggressively represent federal employees before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)against adverse actions sought by the OSC. It is crucial that federal employers questioned about potential prohibited political activities are aware of their rights and they should immediately contact a federal employment lawyer upon learning they are under investigation for suspicion of a Hatch Act violation.

Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Hatch Act attorneys in Washington, D.C. can defend federal employees’ rights during OSC investigations and MSPB proceedings. To schedule a meeting with one of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Hatch Act attorneys, call 2027871900 or e-mail info@fedattorney.com.

Prohibited Political Activities

Prohibited activities in political campaigns or management for most executive branch employees generally include:

  • Affecting or influencing election results through the use of their official authority or influence;
  • Knowingly receiving, accepting or soliciting political contributions, with some exceptions;
  • Running for office in a partisan election; and
  • Knowingly asking others to participate in political activities or discouraging them to do so.

Executive branch employees should generally refrain from engaging in political activities:

  • While on duty;
  • In any federal government office or building;
  • While in uniform or wearing official insignia;
  • While using any federal government-owned or -leased vehicle.

Hatch Act Violation Penalties

The Hatch Act is a very heavy-handed law. It calls for the removal of federal employees who engage in the above-noted prohibited political activities. The MSPB, however, can grant a more lenient penalty of at least 30 days suspension without pay if the board unanimously decides removal is too severe.

Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Hatch Act attorneys in Washington, D.C. can help federal employees to dismiss OSC charges or to reduce the penalties associated with such charges. To schedule a meeting with one of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Hatch Act attorneys, call 2027871900 or e-mail info@fedattorney.com.

TSA Employees: Appeals to Adverse Actions

Like other federal employees, TSA workers are subject to certain rules concerning their conduct and performance. If TSA believes that an employee has violated any of its standards, it may choose to take adverse action (e.g. a suspension of more than 15 days or termination from service) against that employee. TSA employees have the right to appeal such adverse actions. However, because TSA is not an agency captured under Title 5, its appellate procedures differ significantly from the majority of federal agencies.

Adverse Actions

While most federal employees can appeal an adverse action taken against them to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), TSA employees must appeal adverse actions to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Appellate Review Board (OAB).

TSA Management Directive No. 1100.77-1 outlines the duties and responsibilities of the OAB, formerly known as the Disciplinary Review Board.  Pursuant to the TSA’s policies, the OAB will review appeals to the following adverse actions:

  • Suspensions of at least 15 days
  • Involuntary demotions for conduct/performance
  • Indefinite suspensions
  • Furloughs
  • Removal from service for conduct/performance
  • Involuntary workforce reduction removals
  • USERRA removals

The OAB does not review whistleblower retaliation cases. Instead, whistleblower reprisal cases can generally be appealed to the MSPB by TSA employees, if and only if that employee has exhausted their administrative remedies with the Office of Special Counsel.

TSA employees may select a representative of their choosing to assist in the preparation and presentation of their appeal to the OAB. It is critical for employees to have skilled representation before the OAB, because it is the ultimate and only level of appellate review available to employees who have been terminated or otherwise subjected to adverse action by TSA.

The attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC are experienced in assisting TSA employees with appealing adverse actions to the OAB. Call us today to schedule a meeting with one of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s lawyers at 8885294543 or e-mail info@fedattorney.com.



As a service-disabled veteran owned law firm, our attorneys understand the importance of your service to our country. As a result, we aggressively fight for the rights of our nation’s veterans both in and out of the workplace, including the right to preference eligibility when being considered for a position within the civil service.

When an agency accepts applications from outside its own workforce, the Veterans’ Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) allows preference eligible veterans to compete for these vacancies under merit promotion procedures.

This law makes an agency’s willful violation of veterans’ preference a prohibited personnel practice under law. Our attorneys, some of whom are veterans themselves and know what it means to have served, are available to assist you if you believe your rights under the VEOA have been violated.

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When you choose Tully Rinckey PLLC, you aren’t just assigned an attorney. Your legal matter will be cared for by our entire legal team and support staff. With offices throughout the United States, we make sure you receive legal counsel and representation you can trust.

Commitment to Our Clients

Our team-oriented philosophy encourages open and ongoing communication with every attorney, paralegal, and other support staff working with each client ensures we understand their goals. Our commitment to you means meeting your objectives, working attentively and persistently toward your success, and efficiently adjusting to your changing needs.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

At Tully Rinckey, we work relentlessly to ensure our ethical standards and level of professionalism surpass what is expected of us by our clients and the court. Our high ethical principles call us to treat clients with respect, offer affordability to members of the communities we serve, and provide composed and dignified representation.

Our Process

Our client-centered process is all about communication. During consultations, we teach clients about legal challenges they face and explain options available from their current position. Our attorneys explain how we resolve legal issues for the best possible outcome. We define what the expectations are, create manageable deadlines, and discover evidence to support claims.

Our Personal Process

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