Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Process
It is the policy of the Department of Army (DA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees and applicants for employment in every aspect of their employment and working conditions. Important aspects of an effective equal employment opportunity program are a vigorous affirmative action program and a discrimination processing system, which facilitates the early informal resolution of complaints raised. Below are the step in which the administrative Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process works. Any DA or DOD employee or applicant may file complaints of discrimination for a DA or DOD job, who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of:
- National Origin
- Sex (Includes sexual harassment and sexual orientation)
- Age (40 and older)
- Disability (physical and mental)
1. Pre-complaint Process:
An aggrieved (any federal employee, paid from appropriated or non-appropriated funds, applicants for employment, formal employees, and certain contract employees) must contact an EEO Counselor or EEO Official within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action. Names and contact information for EEO Counselors/EEO Staff Members may be obtained from bulletin boards in DA or DOD facilities, the EEO Office or from this website under the link Staff Directory.
2. EEO pre-complaint Counseling:
The EEO Counselor/EEO Staff member will try to resolve the matter informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial interview with the aggrieved person. Counseling may be extended an additional 60 calendar days for a total of 90 calendar days upon agreement between the aggrieved and the EEO Office.
3. Formal Complaint Process:
A complainant may file a written formal complaint within the Garrison Commander, servicing EEO office, or Agency Head within 15 calendar days after the final interview with an EEO Counselor. Formal complaints file after 15 calendar days from the date of the final interview may be dismissed for untimely filing of a formal complaint IAW 29 C.F.R., Part 1614.
If the EEO Office accepts the complaint, an investigation will be requested within 15 calendar days from the filing of a formal complaint. An investigator will be assigned to collect all relevant information pertaining to the complaint. If the complaint in its entirety or and portion is dismissed, the complainant/his or her representative will be provided, in writing, the reason (s) for dismissal and informed of his/her right to appeal the decision to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Operation.
Department of Defense, Civilian Personnel Advisory Service, Investigation and Resolution Directorate is required to complete an investigation within 180 calendar days from the date a formal non-mixed case complaint or 120 calendar days of a mixed case complaint is file. Investigations can be extended for 90 calendar days if agreed upon by the complainant. After the investigation of a non-mixed complaint, the complainant may request a Final Agency Decision or a hearing by an EEOC Administrative Judge. Complainant is only entitled to a Final Agency Decision after investigation of a mixed case complaint with appeal rights to EEOC. Complainant may also request a hearing after 180 calendar days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, if the investigation has not been completed.
6. Final Agency Decision:
If the complainant request a Final Agency Decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Complaints Review (EEOCCR) will issue a Final Agency Decision (FAD) to the complainant. The decision, based on information in the investigation/case file, is issued within 60 calendar days.
7. EEOC Hearing:
If Complainant requests a hearing by EEOC, an EEOC Administrative JUDGE (AJ) conducts a hearing and submits his/her findings and conclusions, within 180 calendar days of the request. If the agency does not issue a final order within 40 calendar days of receipt of the AJ’s decision, the AJ’s decision become the final action of the agency.
If Complainant is dissatisfied with the Agency’s Final Decision, Complainant may appeal to EEOC’s Office of Federal Operation (OFO) or file a civil action in a U.S. District Court.
9. Right to file a civil action:
If Complainant is dissatisfied with OFO’s decision, Complainant may request reopening and reconsideration by EEOC/OFO or may file a civil action in a U.S. District Court. Complainant’s who raise a claim under Age Discrimination in Employment Act may bypass the administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with EEOC at least 30 days before filing a civil action in District Court. Complaints involving violations of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) may also bypass the administrative process and file a suit in District Court.
10. EEO Process vs. Union Process:
Employees covered by Bargaining agreements (e.g. Local 1770, AFGE; R4-27, NAGE; or Firefighters Association) may use the Union grievance procedures or the EEO complaint process as Applicable.
11. Class Complaints:
The EEO Office will provide counseling in “Class” complaints. The EEO Officer will designate a Counselor for class complaints as in the informal process. The Agency’s headquarters EEO Office will process formal Class Complaints.
Additional information pertaining to the EEO complaint process may be obtain from the EEO Office, building 2-1515, 135 Jackson Street, Fort Bragg, NC 28310-5000 or call (910) 396-5214.