Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)'s mission is to advise commanders and management officials on any issues involving EEO, provide EEO training, manage all stages of complaint process to include counseling, investigation and adjudication process for U.S. employees.
EEO applies to job applicants, current employees (including appropriated fund and nonappropriated fund), former employees, contractors, volunteers and all people with disabilities. The program covers discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, color, age, genetic information, physical & mental disability and reprisal (for previous EEO activity).
EEO Complaint Procedures/Alternative Dispute Resolution
Complaint Processing Under 29 C.F.R. Part 1614
Complainant contacts EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory event, the effective date of an alleged discriminatory personnel action, or the date that the aggrieved person knew or reasonably should have known of the discriminatory event or personnel action.
EEO Counselor has 30 calendar days to counsel the complaint and to attempt to resolve the complaint following complainant's initial contact with an EEO counselor.
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO FILE
If the complaint is not resolved during counseling, the aggrieved is issued a notice of right to file a formal EEO complaint. Formal Complaint must be filed within 15 calendar days of receipt of notice of right to file letter.
The agency has 180 calendar days to investigate a formal complaint.
COMPLAINT INVESTIGATED & NOTICE ISSUED
Accepted complaints are investigated by the Department of Defense Office of Complaints Investigation. The investigator produces a report of investigation which is provided to complainant. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the report of investigation, the complainant may ask for a hearing by an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge or a decision from the Department of the Army based on the record without a hearing.
If a hearing is requested the case file is forwarded to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for appointment of an Administrative Judge.
HEARING NOT REQUESTED
If a hearing is not requested, the case file is forwarded to Department of the Army for Final Agency Decision on the record.
APPEAL OF DECISION
Complainant may appeal to EEOC, Office of Federal Operations within 30 calendar days from receipt of a decision.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION ACT OF 1990 PUBLIC LAW 101-552 29 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATION 1614
WHAT IS ADR?
ADR is a set of processes or strategies for resolving workplace related issues or controversies informally. ADR aims to foster communication, address underlying issues and improve the workplace climate. The Army's preferred method of ADR is mediation.
The Mediation process focuses on finding a workable solution to the dispute rather than focusing on the cause(s) or who is at fault. A Mediator serves as an impartial party and does not render a decision on the merits of the dispute. A Mediator's role is to facilitate an open exchange of information between the parties and to help them find Common ground to resolve the dispute.
HOW IT WORKS
If the aggrieved employee and management voluntarily agree to mediate the complaint, the EEO office will coordinate for a neutral mediator and arrange for the mediation session. Participants in the mediation session will include the neutral mediator, the aggrieved (and the aggrieved's representative, is he/she has one), and a management official who has the authority to settle the complaint.
- Earlier complaint resolution
- Lower complaint processing/settlement costs
- Lower employee/supervisor costs (counseling/witness interviews, etc.)
- Earlier return to mission focus
- Improved morale and productivity
ISSUES NOT COVERED
- DISPUTES of Government policy
- DISPUTE affects other parties not part of the same mediation proceedings
- DISPUTE involves certain sensitive issues related to EEO complaints on health, safety, and security of employees
- DISPUTE concerns violation of ADA or Privacy Act
- DISPUTE focuses on prohibited personnel practices, Hatch Act violation, criminal action or security clearance adjudication
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO CAN FILE AN EEO COMPLAINT?
Any employee, former employee, or applicant for employment (and certain contractors) who believes they have been subjected to prohibit employment discrimination may file an EEO complaint.
WHAT IS COVERED UNDER THE EEO PROCESS?
There are eight bases under which an EEO complaint of discrimination may be filed. The bases are race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (over 40), reprisal for participating in the EEO complaint process, or disability (mental or physical).
WHEN MUST ALLEGATIONS OF DISCRIMINATION BE RAISED?
An individual must seek counseling with an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the date of an alleged act of discrimination or effective date of the personnel action, or within 45 days of when the aggrieved knew or should have known about the alleged discrimination.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY SUPERVISOR DECIDES TO MAKE THINGS DIFFICULT FOR ME BECAUSE I'VE FILED A COMPLAINT?
EEO regulations prohibit reprisal against employees who have filed, or have been associated with EEO complaints, regardless of when it occurred. The employee may file a new complaint of discrimination based on reprisal, or appeal directly to the Commander for an investigation.
ISN'T THE EEO COMPLAINT SYSTEM BASICALLY FOR MINORITIES?
EEO laws and regulations prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, reprisal or physical or mental disability. This means that "non-minorities" have the same rights as "minorities" in the complaint system, and are equally protected against discrimination.
DOESN'T THE EEO COMPLAINT SYSTEM FAVOR MANAGEMENT?
The EEO complaint system is designed to favor neither management nor complainants, but rather to make it possible for the facts to be established and equitable solutions reached. Beyond legal obligations to implement EEO laws and regulations, the Command has a vested interest in maintaining high morale and productivity, both of which are adversely affected by discrimination. The various levels of appeal in the system work to ensure against possible abuse.
WHAT IS DISPARATE TREATMENT?
Disparate treatment occurs where members of a race, sex, or ethic group have been denied the same employment, promotion, membership, or other employment opportunities as have been available to other employees or applicants. For more information see Department of Labor Disparate Treatment.
WHAT IS DISPARATE IMPACT?
A theory or category of employment discrimination. Disparate impact discrimination may be found when an employer's use of a facially neutral selection standard, such as a test, an interview or a degree requirement, disqualifies members of a particular race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, and/or physical or mental disability at a significantly higher rate than others and is not justified by business necessity or job related duties. An intent to discriminate is not necessary for this type of employment discrimination to be found. The disparate impact theory can be used to analyze both objective and subjective selection standards. Additionally, in disparate impact cases, the standard prima facie intentional discrimination analysis does not apply.
WHAT IS A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (NSA)?
A written agreement signed by the complainant and appropriate Agency official(s) whereby, in exchange for specific terms (promises) outlined in the agreement, they agree to mutually resolve the complaint of discrimination which is the subject of the settlement agreement. An NSA is a legally binding contract the states the items for setting the complaint in clear language with specific dates for completion of the terms. If the agency fails to fulfill the term agreed to the NSA, the complainant may petition Department of the Army to order the agency to comply with the terms of the NSA, or to void the NSA and reinstate the complaint from the point where processing ceased as a result of the NSA.
WHAT IS PRIMA FACE?
A case in which the evidence produced is sufficient to enable a decision or verdict to be made unless the evidence is rebutted.