Employment Litigation Section

Employment Litigation Section

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Our Mission

The Employment Litigation Section (ELS) protects the right of job applicants and employees by fighting unlawful discrimination in the workplace. 

ELS works to stop discrimination in state and local government workplaces by enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Title VII is a federal anti-discrimination law that makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on a person’s:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Religion;
  • Sex (including pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity); or
  • National origin.

Under Title VII, ELS also works to end retaliation, which is when an employer treats someone unfairly because they complained about discrimination or participated as a witness in a complaint of discrimination.

ELS can bring lawsuits against state and local government employers who violate this law.

We also protect military servicemembers’ rights by enforcing another federal anti-discrimination law: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). USERRA is a law that makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against someone because of their past, current or future military status, service, or obligation. ELS can bring lawsuits against private employers, and state and local government employers who violate this law.

ELS enforces Executive Order 11246, which states that federal contractors and subcontractors cannot discriminate in their employment decisions because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity), or national origin.

Featured Items

DOJ and Partner Agencies Issue Guidance on Employment Protections for Servicemembers and Veterans

U.S. v. Michigan and MDOC Settlement

On February 18, 2021, the parties filed a proposed settlement agreement with the court, which, if approved, will settle this case.  Visit the settlement webpage for more information about the proposed settlement, including how to object to the terms of the settlement agreement and how to file an Interest-in-Relief Form to request a share of the money and/or consideration for priority transfer.

Department of Justice to Resume the Issuance of Right-To-Sue Notices for Title VII, ADA, and GINA Referrals in August 2020

Department of Justice Temporarily Halts the Issuance of Right-to-Sue Notices Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

DOJ is proud to support our nation's men and women who serve in the uniformed services. Servicemembers.gov provides useful information regarding how the Department of Justice and other federal agencies assist our service men and women with protecting their rights under the law.

Karen D. Woodard


Employment Litigation Section
(202) 514-3831
TTY - 202-514-6780
FAX - (202) 514-1005
FAX 2 -(202) 514-1105

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