It is the policy of the
Department of Labor (DOL) to provide equal opportunity for all of its
employees and applicants for employment with regard to the terms, conditions,
and privileges of employment.
Important aspects of an effective equal employment opportunity (EEO) program
are a strong affirmative employment program and a discrimination complaint
processing system that facilitates early informal resolution of complaints.
This poster provides specific information on how the administrative EEO
complaint process works.
Complaints of discrimination may
be filed by a DOL employee or applicant for DOL employment who believes he or
she has been discriminated against on the basis of:
- national origin
- sex, including
- age (40 and up)
(physical or mental)
- reprisal for prior EEO protected activity
- parental status*
- sexual orientation*
orientation and parental status are bases protected by Executive Orders 13087
and 13152, respectively, and not by Federal EEO statute. Complainants may request a final agency
decision concerning claims of discrimination on the bases of sexual
orientation and/or status as a parent, but may not request a hearing from the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or seek to appeal a final
agency action to the EEOC or the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
Complainant (a DOL employee or
job applicant) must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action, or in the case of a personnel action,
within 45 calendar days of the
effective date of action. Names of EEO
Counselors appear on posters in DOL buildings, on DOL’s LaborNet and RegionNet websites, or you may contact the Civil Rights Center (CRC) or a Civil Rights
Officer located in the regions.
An EEO Counselor will begin fact-finding and attempt to resolve the matter
informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial
interview with Complainant. Counseling
may be extended upon agreement of both the CRC and Complainant up to 60
additional days if more time is
needed to achieve a resolution.
The Complainant may elect, at
the time of the initial interview, a process which attempts resolution
through mediation. In this process,
the 30-day period may also be extended up to an additional 60 calendar days.
Formal Complaint Process
If resolution is not achieved during EEO counseling, Complainant may file a
written formal complaint with the Director, CRC, or with the Secretary of
Labor, within 15 calendar days of receiving the “Notice of Right to
File a Discrimination Complaint.”
If the complaint is accepted by the CRC, an investigator will be assigned to
collect relevant information pertaining to the complaint.
If the complaint or portions are dismissed, Complainant will be provided in
writing, the reason(s) for dismissal and informed of his/her right to appeal
The CRC is required to complete an investigation within 180 calendar days of receipt of the formal complaint, with a possible extension for 90
additional calendar days, upon mutual agreement by the CRC and
After the investigation, within 30
calendar days of receipt of the Investigative Report, Complainant may
request: mediation*; DOL's final agency action; or
a hearing by the EEOC.
If the investigation is not completed after 180 calendar days has
elapsed from the filing of the complaint, Complainant may also request a
hearing from the EEOC or file a civil action in U.S. District Court.
Dispute Resolution may be requested at any time during the formal complaint
Complainant may request a hearing by an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the
Investigative Report. The AJ may
conduct a hearing and submit his/her decision within 180 calendar days of the request. If DOL does not appeal
the AJ’s decision, or issue a final agency action,
the AJ's decision becomes the final decision of the
Department 40 calendar days after
it is received.
DOL's Final Decision
If Complainant requests a final agency decision, the Director, CRC, will
issue a decision based on information in the investigative file within 60
calendar days. The Director will
also issue a decision where neither a final decision nor a hearing has been
If Complainant is dissatisfied with the final agency action issued by DOL,
s/he may appeal to the EEOC's Office of Federal
Operations (OFO) within 30 calendar
days of receipt of the final agency action.
File Civil Action
If Complainant does not file an appeal with the OFO, s/he may file a civil
action in an appropriate United States District Court within 90 calendar days of receipt of the final
If Complainant files an appeal
and is then dissatisfied with the OFO's decision,
s/he may request reconsideration by the EEOC of the OFO’s decision within 20 calendar days of
receipt of the OFO’s decision; or may file a civil
action in a U.S. District Court within 90
calendar days of receipt of the OFO’s decision
on appeal. A civil action may also be
filed if the OFO does not issue a decision within 180 calendar days from the date that the appeal was filed.
A Complainant who raises a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may bypass the
administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with the EEOC at
least 30 calendar days before filing a civil action in court.
EEO vs Union Process
Any employee within the American Federation of Government
Employees (AFGE), Local 12, the National Union of Labor Investigators,
Independent (NULI), or the National Council of Field Labor Locals (NCFLL)
bargaining units may file allegations of discrimination under the negotiated
grievance procedures of their respective union. Employees
within Local 12 or NULI must choose whether the allegations of
discrimination will be processed under the negotiated grievance procedure or
under the EEO complaint procedure. Election will be determined by whichever event comes first, the date
of the grievance or the date of the formal complaint. Employees
within the NCFLL who file formal EEO complaints on the same issues as
those raised in a grievance will effectively terminate the grievance. In the event that the DOL dismisses that
EEO complaint for reasons other than on merit, the NCFLL employee has 30 calendar days from receipt of the
dismissal to resurrect the grievance.
In the national office, class complaints are
initiated by contacting the National Coordinator of Counselors in the CRC,
who will assign the complaint to the appropriate agency EEO Manager for
In the regions, class complaints
are initiated by contacting the Civil Rights Officer, who will also conduct
pertaining to the EEO complaint process may be obtained from DOL’s LaborNet and RegionNet websites; or by contacting the Civil Rights
Center (FPB, Room N4123, 202/693-6500 or TTY: 202/693-6515 or 6516), or Ms. Lillian Winstead at (202)693-6548 National Office EEO Counselor.