Employment Litigation Section
The Employment Litigation Section (ELS) protects the right of job applicants and employees by fighting unlawful discrimination in the workplace.
Karen D. Woodard
Tel: (202) 514-3831
TTY: (202) 514-6780
FAX: (202) 514-1005
FAX 2: (202) 514-1105
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:
- 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.
The United States and Mobile County Sheriff filed a settlement agreement with the Court on April 21, 2023. If the Court approves that settlement, it will resolve this systemic sexual harassment case.
DOJ is proud to support our nation's servicemembers who serve in the uniformed services. Servicemembers.gov provides useful information regarding how the Department of Justice and other federal agencies assist our servicemembers with protecting their rights under the law.