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EEO Complaint System Questions & Answers

What Is The EEO Complaint System?

It is a well defined procedure to handle complaints of discrimination filed by employees of the Department and applicants. The system was instituted to comply with Public Laws on Equal Employment, Opportunity, and with, Department of Justice regulations.

Under the system, an employee has the right to have his/her complaint processed through several levels of investigation, review and appeal in an attempt to achieve a satisfactory adjustment of the problem.

What Is An EEO Complaint?

It is an allegation of discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), age, physical or mental handicap. The complaint may arise from a specific personnel action, such as employment, promotion, work assignment, selection for training, disciplinary action, or separation, or it may relate to prevailing conditions in an organization.

Who May File An EEO Complaint

A complaint of discrimination may be filed by an applicant or any employee or group of employees. The employee has the right to be represented at all stages of the process.

What Do I Do If I Have A Complaint?

If you feel that you'have been discriminated against, as described above, first get all the facts on the matter to make sure there has been no misunderstanding. Feel free to speak with your supervisor, admfinistrative officer or personnel representative.

If you are still dissatisfied and wish to utilize the EEO complaint system, you must first bring the matter to the attention of an EEO counselolr within 45 calendar days of the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory act.

How Can The Counselor Help Me?

The counselor will listen to your problem, and advise you of your rights under the EEO complaint system.- The counselor will make inquiry into the matter, if you wish, by discussing the problem with your supervisor, associates, personnel representative, etc. and will attempt to resolve the problem informally, acting always with your approval. What If I Am Not Satisfied With The Informal Counseling?

You have the right to file a formal complaint of discrimination with the EEO Officer within 15 calendar days from your receipt of the Notice of Final Interview. Your counselor will provide you with the required complaint form. The EEO Officer will then assiqn your case to an EEO investigator.

What Does The EEO Investigator Do? What Complaint Processing Steps Follow?

The investigator conducts an independent investigation into the matter by interviewing you, securing affidavits from other persons having knowledge of the matter, and gathering pertinent statistical data and background information. Once the investigation is complete, the investigative file and notice of your rights will be furnished to you.

Within 30 calendar days of your receipt of these materials you may request either an EEOC hearing or an immediate final agencyDdecision from the Department.

Must I Accept These Findings?

No, you have the right to request that the EEO Officer arrange a hearing of your case to be conducted by an Administrative Judge appointed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If you do not request a hearing but still desire further Departmental review of the complaint, you may request a final Department of Justice decision based on the record. The final agency decision will be rendered by the Complaints Adjudication Officer, an attorney designated by the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights to perform this function.

Can I Appeal This Decision?

Yes, if you are not satisfied with the decision, you may file an appeal with the Director, Office of Federal Operations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Post Office Box 19848, Washington, DC 20036.

You may also file a civil action if you have not received a final Department decision within 180 calendar days of filing your formal complaint of discrimination with the EEO Officer.

Can Anyone Interfere With My Right To File A Complaint?

No! Department regulations strictly prohibit any such interference, as well as any reprisal as a result of your action. In addition, they guarantee you (and your representative) sufficient time and facilities to pursue your complaint.

Where Can I Get More Information On The EEO Complaint System?

Additional information, including prescribed time limits for taking actions described above may be obtained from any EEO counselor or from the EEO Officer.

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