Chief Employment Counsel

Office of Employment Counsel
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Civil Rights Division (Division) of the Department of Justice, created by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division is primarily responsible for enforcing federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit, among other things, unlawful discrimination in education, employment, housing, police service, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and federally funded and conducted programs. The Division also has jurisdiction to enforce constitutional prohibitions on certain conduct by law enforcement agencies and public residential institutions, such as health care and correctional facilities, that violate the constitution.

The Office of Employment Counsel (OEC) is responsible for ensuring that all Division personnel programs, policies, and practices comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the merit system principles and prohibited personnel practices set forth in 5 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2302. The OEC is responsible for reviewing Division (and, in some cases Department or federal government-wide) personnel policies and practices for compliance with applicable federal law and recommending necessary changes, as well as coordinating with the Professional Development Office and Human Resources to ensure that all Division managers and employees receive training regarding their rights and responsibilities under applicable equal employment opportunity, merit system principles and prohibited personnel practices laws, rules and regulations.

CRT offices are near the Metro transportation system or other public transportation, and are conveniently accessible to restaurants, museums and other Washington, D.C. area attractions. Most jobs in the Division offer alternative work schedules and other family friendly opportunities. Most employees who commute by public transportation are eligible for a transit subsidy benefit.

Job Description: 

The core duties of the Chief Employment Counsel include:

Provides legal advice and counsel to the Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG), Division management and human resource staff regarding the full range of employment matters, including, but not limited to, hiring and other personnel policies, disciplinary and other adverse personnel actions, formal and informal equal employment opportunity related complaints, grievances, and requests for reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Works proactively with managers and employees to resolve employment related disputes informally through mediation; and, as necessary and appropriate, represents the OAAG and/or Division managers in administrative and court proceedings in connection with complaints and grievances involving current and former Division employees and applicants.

Serves as the Division’s primary point of contact with other federal agency components, such as the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on matters involving complaints by or the conduct of current and former Division employees and applicants.

More broadly, advises on and/or consults with others within the Department and at other federal agencies regarding prospective Division and/or Department employment-related policies, practices, laws, rules and regulations.


Applicants must possess an extensive knowledge and expertise in federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws, rules and regulations, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act and merit system principles. Applicants also must have strong interpersonal, leadership, organizational, editing and writing, and oral communication skills.

You must submit a separate narrative statement that addresses each of the Technical Qualifications (TQs) listed below.

Technical Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experience in federal employment law.
  • Knowledge and experience in the practice of litigation before administrative forums, and in the negotiation and execution of settlement agreements.
  • Ability to communicate effectively on complex legal and technical issues, both orally and in writing, including the ability to advocate successfully with diverse stakeholders, external partners and individuals or groups having differing and often conflicting interests, on matters related to the successful execution of an organization's mission, programs and related to federal employment law.
  • Experience supervising a staff that includes attorneys.

Specialized Education and Licensing:

You must be a graduate of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

$121,956.00 to $183,300.00 / Per Year.
The position requires occasional travel.
Application Process: 

You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59pm (Eastern Time Zone) on the closing date of the announcement. Please refer to the "How To Apply" section at this link:

Questions about this position may be directed to Harry Vickers at 202-514-3934 or

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 7, 2016

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:   The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  See list of DPOCs.    

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.