Complaint Process


The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Process consists of several steps - all designed to resolve the complaint at the lowest possible level, if at all possible.


Who can file a complaint?

Any current or former employee, or applicant for employment at Fort Drum, whether paid from Appropriated or Non-Appropriated Funds (except AAFES) may file an EEO complaint with the Fort Drum EEO Office. In addition, some contract employees may also have a right to file using the federal complaint processing procedures. Determination of the rights of a contract employee to use these procedures will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Informal Complaint Process

If employees or applicants for employment feel that they have been discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation when based on sex stereotyping), physical or mental disability, genetic information, or reprisal (for previous EEO activity or opposing discriminatory practice), they should contact the Fort Drum EEO Office to initiate the complaint process. An EEO complaint must be initiated within 45 calendar days from the date of the incident or, if a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of its effective date, or the date that the complainant became aware of the discriminatory act or personnel action. Matters raised after the 45-day time limit will be looked into through the informal complaint process even though a formal complaint may later be dismissed for untimeliness.


The person filing a complaint will be given the option of:

  • Remaining anonymous during the informal stage of the complaint process;

  • Using traditional counseling (EEO counselor assigned to look into the matter and attempt to resolve); and

  • Opting for mediation with a trained mediator (a neutral third party who will meet with the complainant and a management official who has the authority to resolve the complaint.) In accordance with local policy, if the complainant accepts mediation, management must participate.


If the complaint is resolved during the informal stage, the parties will be asked to document the resolution in the form of a negotiated settlement agreement (NSA).


If the complaint is not resolved during the informal stage, the complainant will be given a final interview and a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination. A copy of the counselor's report will be furnished the complainant after the final interview.


Right to representation and Official Time

At any stage in the complaint process, the complainant may designate a representative. Designation of a representative must be made in writing to the EEO Office, and will become part of the case file. Any changes to this designation must also be made in writing and furnished to the EEO officer.


Complainants are entitled to use a reasonable amount of duty time to prepare and present their case. Determinations of what is reasonable must be made on a case-by-case basis and requested from the complainant's supervisor, prior to use. If the representative is also employed at Fort Drum, the representative is also eligible to use duty time for representation purposes.


For more information, contact the EEO complaints manager at (315) 772-6565.


Complaint Process Information Paper

ADR Flyer

EEO Complaint Timeline