As a federal employee, if you’re a victim of discrimination, you only have 45 days to initiate contact with your EEO counselor. Otherwise, your claim may be forever time barred:
(a) Aggrieved persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information must consult a Counselor prior to filing a complaint in order to try to informally resolve the matter.(1) An aggrieved person must initiate contact with a Counselor within 45 days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory or, in the case of personnel action, within 45 days of the effective date of the action.
See 29 CFR 1614.105(a) (emphasis added).
This is a big departure from private sector employment law where you have 180 days to file a discrimination claim, and in some instances up to 300 days.
Public sector (federal) employment law is a unique animal, and when selecting an attorney you should choose someone with expertise in this area.