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Q. What can I do if I believe that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not properly investigated my charge of discrimination?

A. If you believe that the EEOC did not properly investigate your charge, you may wish to contact the following office:
Director, Office of Field Management Programs
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M Street, NE
Washington, DC 20507

The Department of Justice does not have authority to review the manner in which the EEOC conducts its investigations or to intervene before the EEOC on behalf of an individual.

Q: What can I do if I believe that the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) has not properly investigated my complaint under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)?

A: VETS is a separate agency of the federal government to which Congress has assigned responsibility for receiving and investigating complaints under USERRA. If you believe that VETS did not properly investigate your complaint, you may wish to contact one of the following offices:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training Service
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-1325
Washington, DC 20210
Office of the Solicitor
Division of Employment and Training Legal Services
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

The Department of Justice does not have authority to review the manner in which VETS conducts its investigations of complaints under USERRA.

Q. What can I do if I disagree with the way the court handled my case?

A. The courts are part of the judicial branch of the federal government and they are separate from the executive branch of which the Department of Justice is a part. The Department of Justice does not have authority to review the decision-making process of the federal courts.

Q. Can the Department of Justice provide legal advice or representation to private citizens?

A. The Department of Justice is not authorized to provide legal advice to private citizens or to represent them, except in instances where the Department of Justice has determined it will provide representation to a person who has filed a complaint with the Department of Labor (DOL) under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) after the complaint has been referred to us by DOL.

Q. Can the Department of Justice assist an individual with a discrimination complaint that the individual may have against a federal employer?

A. The Department of Justice is not authorized to pursue charges of employment discrimination against departments or agencies of the federal government. The procedure for filing a charge of employment discrimination against a department or agency of the federal government is to contact an equal employment opportunity officer at that agency who is authorized to receive and investigate such a charge. The personnel office at the agency in question can provide you with further information about filing a charge of employment discrimination.

Q. What if I would like to file a private lawsuit but cannot afford to pay for one?

A. You may want to contact a local legal aid agency to find out whether that agency can be of any assistance. Additionally, many Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) field offices maintain lists of local labor and employment law attorneys. You may reach your local EEOC field office by calling 1-800-669-4000.

Q. What can I do if I believe that I have been improperly represented by a private attorney?

A. Individuals who believe that they have been improperly represented by a private attorney may want to bring their concerns to the attention of the state bar association in their area.

Q: What can I do if I have a complaint regarding workers’ compensation?

A: The Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs is responsible for regulating workers’ compensation issues involving federal workers. All other workers’ compensation complaints are handled by the particular state involved. The Department of Justice does not have jurisdiction to address complaints regarding workers’ compensation.

Q: What can I do if I have a complaint regarding wages or work hours?

A: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record-keeping and child labor. The Department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division has jurisdiction to enforce the FLSA, and to receive complaints of alleged violations of the FLSA. You also may contact the Department of Labor’s local office serving your area. The Department of Justice does not have jurisdiction to address complaints regarding wages or work hours.

Q: What can I do if I have a “whistleblower” complaint regarding violations of federal or state health and safety laws, wage laws, or workplace standards?

A: The Department of Labor (DOL) and its components may have jurisdiction over such complaints if they arise under certain federal laws, including federal health, safety, wage, and workplace standards laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who raise concerns, initiate, participate, testify, or assist in proceedings to enforce those laws. Information about filing a “whistleblower” complaint with DOL may be obtained by calling the DOL’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, toll free, at 1-800-321-6742 or 1-877-889-5627 (TTY). The Department of Justice does not have jurisdiction to address “whistleblower” complaints under federal or state law.

Q: What can I do if I have a complaint regarding health and safety violations in private employment?

A: The Occupational Safety and Health Act is administered by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety and health conditions in most private industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-approved state systems. Nearly every employee in the nation comes under OSHA’s jurisdiction with some exceptions such as miners, some transportation workers, many public employees, and the self-employed. In addition to the requirements to comply with the regulations and safety and health standards contained in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers subject to the Act have a general duty to provide work and a workplace free from recognized, serious hazards. Information about filing a complaint of health and safety violations with DOL may be obtained by calling OSHA, toll free, at 1-800-321-6742 or 1-877-889-5627 (TTY). The Department of Justice does not have jurisdiction to address complaints regarding violations of health and safety in the workplace.

Q: Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

A. While Title VII does not specifically include either sexual orientation or gender identity as protected categories, Title VII prohibits sex discrimination, which includes discrimination on the basis of nonconformity with gender stereotypes (e.g., discrimination against a woman for dressing or acting in a manner that is not perceived as sufficiently feminine). Some courts also have applied Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination to those who undergo gender transitions. In addition, some state and local laws prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. You should consult with your local or state civil rights enforcement agency to determine whether discrimination on these bases is prohibited. Congress is considering adding new federal protections from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity through passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

General Information Employment Section
 
Leadership
Delora L. Kennebrew
Chief
Contact
Employment Litigation Section
(202) 514-3831
TTY - 202-514-6780
FAX - (202) 514-1005
FAX 2 -(202) 514-1105
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