Did You Know

The overwhelming majority of complaints that reach the EO Office are actually not based on the legal terms of discrimination. Click here to see the basis of discrimination.

Did You Know

If you exhaust the entire EEO Complaint Process, unfortunately, resolution is often measured in years due to caseload backups.

Did You Know

You have the right to hire your own legal counsel to represent you at any time during the complaint process.

Did You Know

63% of workers who file an EEOC discrimination complaint lose their jobs.

Did You Know

You have a right to file a EEO complaint even if you're not the one who has been discriminated against.

Did You Know

Discrimination may occur in up to 33 percent of EEO cases.

Did You Know

That discrimination based on retaliation has the highest percentage of all charges filed in the federal sector.

EEO Complaint Process

The EEO Complaint Process is a legal and complicated process. Thankfully, there are EEO counselors available to help assist you.
For more Information c
ontact your EO Office or the EEOC.

Discriminatory Incident Has Taken Place

Please note that your complaint is officially against the agency in which you are employed and not against the individual that committed the discriminatory act. You can also file a complaint as a former employee or applicant for employment.

Contact an EEO Counselor

By law, you must contact the EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the incident or 45 calendar days from when you became aware of the incident.

*You can contact an EEO Counselor in person, by phone, or by written correspondence.   

Traditional Counseling

By law, the EEO Counselor must complete the counseling process within 30 days unless you authorize an extension. If this process is unsuccessful, the EEO Counselor must issue you with the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint.  

OR

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
If appropriate, the EEO Counselor may recommend that you participate in this ADR process. If a resolution is unsuccessful within 90 days, the EEO Counselor must issue you with the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint.

* This ADR process has proven to be very successful, it results in a acceptable resolution, and resolves the complaint within 90 days. ADR is available at ANY stage of the complaint process should you choose to use it.

Formal Complaint
By law, you must file within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint. Your complaint will be acknowledged and reviewed for acceptance or dismissal. If your complaint is accepted, the claims will be investigated. If your complaint is dismissed, an explanation will be provided along with appeal rights. 

Investigation
At this stage of the process, an investigator will be assigned to your case. By law, the investigation must be completed within 180 days of the formal complaint. After completion, you will receive a copy of the Report of Investigation (ROI) that will notify you of your rights to (Option 1) a Final Agency Decision (FAD) without a hearing or (Option 2) request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ).

OPTION 1: Final Agency Decision

A Final Agency Decision (FAD) will be issued within 60 days of receiving the ROI or within 45 days for a mixed case complaint.

Appeal

If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you may appeal to the EEOC within 30 days of receiving it.

Civil Action

If you are dissatisfied with the EEOC's decision, you may file a civil action in Federal District Court within 90 days of receiving it.

OPTION 2: Hearing Before Administrative Judge
A hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) may be requested within 30 days of receiving the ROI.

AJ Decision
An EEOCAJ will make a decision. Within 40 days of receiving the AJs decision, the Agency must issue a Final Order (FO).

Appeal
If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you may appeal to the EEOC within 30 days of receiving it.

Reconsideration and/or Civil Action

If you are dissatisfied with EEOC's decision, you may file a civil action in Federal District Court within 90 days of receiving it.