Direct: (202) 256-6931
Eric Bachman has a unique breadth of litigation experience and has spent his career helping to protect victims of discrimination and retaliation. Bachman litigates employment discrimination cases, including “glass ceiling” discrimination cases where an employee is not promoted to a high-level job because of their gender or race. He also handles whistleblower retaliation cases and other employment-related claims. Bachman is Of Counsel with Zuckerman Law and heads the firm’s employment discrimination and retaliation practices.
Bachman is an accomplished trial attorney, most recently serving as Deputy Special Counsel, Litigation and Legal Affairs, at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) from 2014 to February 2017. Previously, he worked for five years as a Special Litigation Counsel and Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, Bachman served as lead attorney on the largest Title VII case in the Department’s history (U.S. v. City of New York), a disparate impact class action that resulted in an approximately $100 million settlement. The case challenged the New York City Fire Department’s hiring practices, which the court ruled had discriminated against thousands of African-American and Hispanic job applicants. In 2014, Bachman received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, which is one of the highest awards the Department bestows for employee performance.
Before joining the Department of Justice, Bachman was a partner in a Washington, DC civil rights law firm. Bachman served as class counsel in a class action case against a major grocery chain that ultimately settled for $16 million. In cases against private companies and government agencies, he has litigated in federal courts across the country. This includes a Title VII retaliation trial, as well as arguing and briefing appellate cases and motions for class certification and summary judgment. Bachman began his career as a public defender and served as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials resulting in acquittals. A sample of cases he has litigated is below:
U.S. v. City of New York, 847 F.Supp.2d 395 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)
Sutton v. City of Chesapeake, 713 F.Supp.2d 547 (E.D. Va. 2010)
Aleman, et al. v. Chugach, 485 F.3d 206 (4th Cir. 2007)
Varghese v. Honeywell, 424 F.3d 411 (4th Cir. 2005)
Rhodes, et al. v. Cracker Barrel, 213 F.R.D. 619 (N.D. Ga. 2003)
Wade, et al. v. Kroger Co., 3:01-cv-699 (W.D. Ky. 2001)
Thomas, et al. v. Cracker Barrel, 4:01-cv-325 (N.D. Ga. 2001)
At the OSC, Bachman oversaw investigations and enforcement of the Whistleblower Protection Act. In particular, he spearheaded an initiative to combat whistleblower retaliation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During his tenure with OSC, the number of favorable actions for whistleblowers increased by over 50% agency-wide, and he negotiated a record-breaking compensatory damages settlement in a high-profile retaliation case. Bachman has also testified at several Congressional hearings on various whistleblower topics, including the following:
“Five Years Later: A Review of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Operations, February 1, 2017.
“An Examination of VA’s Misuse of Employee Settlement Agreements,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, September 15, 2016.
“VA Whistleblowers: Exposing Inadequate Service Provided to Veterans and Ensuring Appropriate Accountability,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, July 8, 2014.
The Secretary of Labor appointed Bachman to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee from 2015 to 2017, which makes recommendations on how to improve federal whistleblower protections. Bachman is frequently asked to provide legal training on whistleblower retaliation and litigation topics. Bachman received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before federal courts across the nation, including the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.