HR Order DOJ1200.1: Part 4. Equal Employment Opportunity (Sept. 12, 2003)

A.   References.

Statute

42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.

29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.

29 U.S.C. 206(d)

29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.

38 U.S.C. 101(2)

5 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.

42 U.S.C. 1981a

5 U.S.C. 571 et seq.

Code of Federal Regulations

29 CFR 1600-1691

28 CFR 0.75(d)

28 CFR Part 42

Executive Order E.O. 11478
Guidance EEOC Management Directives
MD- 110
Key terms

Mixed-case complaint

Mixed-case appeal

 

B.   Policy.

  1. This chapter applies to every employee, manager, supervisor, and executive in the Department and to applicants for employment.
     
  2. It is the policy of the Department to provide, ensure, and promote equal opportunity in employment for all persons on the basis of merit.  Management within every organization and at all levels will take effective actions to eliminate any internal policy, practice, or procedure which results in discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, status as a parent, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor.  The Department is committed to assuring that questions or complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment are promptly and thoroughly investigated and resolved without reprisal or threat of reprisal.
     
  3. EEO Counselor Training Requirements.   All EEO counselors must receive a minimum of eight hours of continuing EEO counselor training every year. All new EEO counselors must receive a minimum of thirty-two (32) hours of EEO counselor training prior to assuming counseling duties. Bureaus may develop their own training courses and/or contract with other organizations to provide training. Any training provided must meet all standards established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
     
  4. Administration.   All EEO programs within the Department will be administered in compliance with the provisions outlined in 29 CFR 1614.102.
     
  5. Delegated Authority and Responsibility.
     
  1. Attorney General.   The Attorney General retains the ultimate responsibility for establishing the Department's EEO policy. The Attorney General has designated the Assistant Attorney General for Administration to serve as the Department's Director of EEO and has delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights the authority to appoint the Complaint Adjudication Officer for the Department.
     
  2. Department of Justice Director of EEO.   The Assistant Attorney General for Administration, as Director of EEO, is responsible for enforcing and administering Department EEO policy, for proposing and coordinating changes in Department policy, for intervening, when necessary, in the processing of bureau discrimination complaints and for guiding EEO programs throughout the Department. The Assistant Attorney General for Administration has delegated to a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Justice Management Division, the general oversight responsibilities for the enforcement and administration of the Department's EEO program.
     
  3. Complaint Adjudication Officer.   The Complaint Adjudication Officer is responsible for rendering the Department's final decision or final order regarding complaints of discrimination filed by Department employees and applicants pursuant to 29 CFR 1614 and Departmental policy.
     
  4. Director of EEO Staff.   The Assistant Attorney General for Administration has delegated to the Director of the EEO Staff (EEOS) the responsibility for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of Departmental EEO policy and providing leadership and direction on EEO regulations and directives to bureau EEO officials. The Director of EEOS is also responsible for overseeing the discrimination complaints processing system. This responsibility includes final authority to dismiss, in whole or in part, all formal complaints of discrimination recommended for dismissal by any bureau. This authority includes, but is not limited to, the termination of complaints in accordance with EEO regulations (See paragraph C.14.)
     
  5. Bureau Heads.   For the purposes of this chapter, a "Bureau Head" is defined as the Director or Administrator of the following organizations:
     

    - Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

    - Drug Enforcement Administration

    - Federal Bureau of Investigation

    - U.S. Marshals Service

    - Office of Justice Programs

    - Federal Bureau of Prisons

    - Executive Office for Immigration Review

    - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

    Bureau Heads are responsible for assuring equal opportunity in employment within their organizations, for allocating sufficient resources to meet EEO program objectives, and for appointing qualified EEO program officials to administer the bureau's EEO programs.

    The Department's litigating divisions and additional organizations comprise what is referred to as the Offices, Boards and Divisions (OBDs). The OBDs are considered a bureau for administrative and reporting purposes with the Assistant Attorney General for Administration as "Bureau Head." The EEOS conducts all of the discrimination complaint and affirmative employment program activities described below for the OBDs. The Director of EEOS is directly responsible for managing, directing, and supervising these activities for the OBDs.

  6. Bureau EEO Officers.   Bureau EEO Officers are responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of EEO bureau policy, directives, and procedures to ensure full compliance with the provisions of EEO laws, regulations, and policies. This responsibility includes the authority to accept and assign for investigation formal complaints of discrimination filed within the bureau, or, if appropriate, recommend to the Director of EEOS dismissal of complaints in accordance with EEOC regulations. The EEO officers are directly responsible for managing, directing, and supervising the bureau's discrimination complaint and affirmative employment program activities. They are also responsible for recommending changes in bureau policy, personnel programs, and procedures to eliminate discriminatory practices.
     
  7. Special Emphasis Program Managers.   EEO Special Emphasis Programs include the Federal Women's Program, the Hispanic Employment Program, the Black Affairs Program, the American Indian Program, the Asian/Pacific American Program and the Selective Placement Program for Persons with Physical and Mental Disabilities. Bureaus will appoint Special Emphasis Program Managers to ensure that equal opportunity issues and concerns affecting these covered groups are adequately addressed. Particular attention will be given to ensure that collateral duty EEO Special Emphasis Program Managers are given adequate time, resources, and training to accomplish program goals.
     
  8. Affirmative Action Program Managers.   These individuals will be designated by their bureau to serve as the principal officials responsible for identifying, developing, and planning the affirmative action activities and programs aimed at enhancing the employment opportunities and representation of minorities, women, and persons with physical or mental disabilities.
     
  9. Other EEO Officials.    Includes all individuals full-time, part-time, or collateral duty who are designated by their bureau or the Department to provide counseling for aggrieved individuals or to receive, process, investigate, or adjudicate individual and class complaints of discrimination. These EEO counselors, investigators, and other EEO officials will execute their duties and responsibilities in strict adherence to the regulations outlined in 29 CFR 1614 and Departmental guidelines.
     
  10. Personnel Officers.    Personnel Officers are responsible for ensuring that all personnel management programs are free of discrimination and administered on the basis of merit. They are also responsible for providing timely assistance to EEO officials in carrying out their affirmative action or discrimination complaint processing responsibilities, including the collection of data regarding the race, national origin, and gender of new employees entering on duty. Personnel Officers are required to retain official personnel records relevant to a complaint of discrimination after they are notified of the complaint by EEO officials. Such records will be retained until the complaint is closed.
     
  11. Managers and Supervisors. These officials are responsible for implementing, within their organizational segment, the Department's equal opportunity policy in all areas of employment, ensuring a work environment which is free of discrimination and reprisal, and for cooperating with EEO officials in the performance of their duties.
     
  12. Employees. All employees are responsible for treating fellow employees with basic respect and dignity, and for neither engaging in, nor condoning in others, discriminatory behavior, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, status as a parent, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor.

Affirmative Employment Programs.
 

  1. General.   Affirmative employment programs include the multi-year Affirmative Action Program Plan for minorities and women, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP), Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Plan, Affirmative Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities, and any other initiative or program which is aimed at providing equal opportunity in employment for the purpose of achieving a representative and diverse workforce.
     
  2. Multi-Year Affirmative Action Program Plans.   The Multi-Year Affirmative Action Program Plan for Minorities and Women, and the Affirmative Action Plan for Hiring, Placement, and Advancement of Persons with Disabilities will be prepared in accordance with appropriate EEOC management directives, DOJ policy guidance and reporting requirements. The following procedures constitute Departmental supplements to EEOC management directives. Additional policy guidance on the development of annual plans and accomplishment reports is issued separately prior to the DOJ reporting dates.
     

    1. Bureau-wide affirmative employment program plans are due to the Department's EEO Staff a month in advance of the EEOC's due date.
       
    2. Bureaus will ensure that the program plans are developed in accordance with EEOC and DOJ instructions.
       
    3. Bureaus will require applicable major operating divisions to submit affirmative action program plans which shall be incorporated into the bureau-wide plan.
       
    4. Management should participate in the development of all affirmative employment program plans.
       
    5. Every bureau plan shall be signed by the bureau head.
  3. The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Program (FEORP).   The FEORP Plan will be developed in accordance with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Department instructions. The development and implementation of the FEORP Plan will require the collaboration of personnel and EEO offices within every bureau of the Department. To maximize resources and effectiveness, the objectives and strategies for recruiting minorities and women developed for the FEORP Plans will complement the action items contained in the affirmative action plans developed pursuant to EEOC management Directives, and the Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Plan. Bureau-wide FEORP Plans are due to the Department's EEO Staff a month in advance of OPM's due date.
     
  4. Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP) Plan.   This Plan, which targets strategies for the recruitment, hiring, placement, and retention of disabled veterans, will be developed in accordance with OPM and Department instructions. This plan is an integral part of the Selective Placement Program for Persons with Disabilities. All bureau-wide DVAAP plans are due to the Department's EEO Staff a month in advance of OPM's due date.

 

  • Discrimination Complaint Processing System.
     

    1. General.  All discrimination complaints based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, and reprisal, will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with EEOC regulations and directives set forth at 29 CFR 1614 and Management Directive 110. Complaints based on an applicant's or employee's gender identity, sexual orientation or status as a parent, will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with paragraph B.7.j. of the DOJ 1200.1 (Chapter 4-1).  For complaints based on political affiliation and marital status, employees should contact the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
       
    2. Where to File a Complaint.   All complaints shall be filed with and processed by the bureau where the complaint arose. Special procedures for handling complaints that pose a real or perceived conflict of interest are described in paragraph C. 13. of this chapter.
       
    3. Costs.  The bureau where the complaint arose is responsible for all costs associated with processing the complaint.
       
    4. Negotiated Grievance Procedures.   When an employee is employed by a bureau subject to 5 U.S.C. 7121(d) and the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that permits allegations of discrimination to be raised in a negotiated grievance procedure, the employee may choose to file either a complaint through the appropriate EEO office or a grievance through the negotiated grievance procedures, but not both. The employee is considered to have made this choice when he or she first files either a written complaint or a written grievance. EEO counseling does not constitute an election. Once made, the choice is binding, and may not be changed.
       
    5. Mixed Cases.   In cases where the matter is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and discrimination is alleged, the aggrieved person may elect to file either a "mixed-case appeal" to the MSPB, which must be filed within 30 days after the effective date of the action being appealed, or a "mixed-case complaint" through the administrative EEO complaint process, but not both. EEO counseling does not constitute an election. If the aggrieved person files an MSPB appeal and timely seeks counseling, counseling may continue pursuant to the applicable regulations, at the option of the parties. However, any formal complaint submitted by an aggrieved person who previously elected to file a mixed-case appeal on the same matter will not be accepted for processing.
       
    6. Contact with EEO Counselor.   If an employee or applicant for employment believes that he or she has been discriminated against because of any of the aforementioned bases, he or she must first contact an equal employment opportunity counselor at the bureau where the alleged discrimination took place. If the alleged discrimination occurred within the OBDs, the employee or applicant shall contact the EEOS to obtain counseling. A bargaining unit employee may raise the issue through the negotiated grievance procedure.
       
    7. Representation.   An aggrieved person has the right to be represented at all stages of the complaint process including the counseling stage. While an aggrieved person may generally select anyone to be his or her representative (provided that the selectee is willing), management may disallow the choice of representative if the representative is a Department of Justice employee who cannot be spared from his or her official duties or if the representation would present a conflict of interest (i.e., an incompatibility between the representation functions and an employee's official duties). An employee's right to choose a representative is not restricted by a collective bargaining agreement granting a union the right of exclusive representation.
       
    8. Right to Anonymity.   The aggrieved person has the right to remain anonymous throughout the counseling stage. A bureau's processing of an anonymous, informal complaint does not preclude the presentation of the aggrieved's issues to management.
       
    9. Allegations of Reprisal.    Retaliation or reprisal is prohibited against a person who participates in the EEO complaint process or opposes an employment practice which is not in concert with EEO laws and regulations or this order. A complaint of reprisal or retaliation is processed in the same manner as other complaints of discrimination.
       
    10. Complaints of Discrimination on the Bases of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Status as a Parent.  Complaints of discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a parent will be processed by utilizing the informal EEO counseling process and, as necessary, the EEO Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program. If the dispute is not resolved, the complainant is entitled to an investigation and a final Department decision. Back pay and non-monetary remedies are available when there is a finding of discrimination on either basis. Individual entitlement in this regard is derived from Department of Justice policy and practice and not from EEOC regulations which govern other types of discrimination complaints in the Federal Sector. Although complaints based on sexual orientation and parental status are processed under the same administrative time frames, they cannot be the subject of a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge or an appeal to the EEOC.
       
    11. Settlement Agreements.   A complainant and the Department may resolve the complaint at any step of the process. All parties to a settlement must reduce their agreement in writing. A complainant may withdraw his or her complaint, in writing, at any time.

     

    C.   Documentation and Reporting.

    1. Pre-Complaint Counseling.   A complainant must first contact an EEO counselor in the bureau where the alleged discrimination took place within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act or, in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action. Failure to contact an EEO counselor within the 45-day time limit may result in the dismissal of the complaint. Complainants from the OBDs are instructed to contact the EEOS to obtain counseling. The EEO counselor will inquire into the matter and attempt to resolve the complaint informally.

      Generally, the pre-complaint counseling period will not exceed 30 days. However, prior to the end of the 30-day period, the complainant may agree in writing with the Department to postpone the final interview and extend the counseling period for an additional period of no more than 60 days. Further, when the complainant has agreed to participate in the Department's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, the pre-complaint processing period will be 90 days. If the matter is not resolved through counseling or the ADR process, the counselor must give the complainant written notice of the right to file a formal complaint.
       

    2. Filing a Complaint.   The complainant has 15 calendar days from receiving a written notice of the right to file a complaint from the EEO counselor to file a formal complaint in writing. Failure to file within the 15-day time limit shall result in the dismissal of the complaint.

      The complainant may file a formal complaint without having received the written notice of the right to file a formal complaint if the matter has not been resolved within 30 calendar days from first contacting an EEO counselor.
       

    3. Acknowledgment or Dismissal.   Receipt of a formal complaint shall be acknowledged in writing by the cognizant bureau's EEO office. If the Department dismisses the entire complaint, the EEOS shall notify the complainant in writing of his or her right to appeal to the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations within 30 days of receipt of the Department's dismissal. If the Department dismisses a portion of the complaint, the EEOS shall notify the complainant in writing that the Department's decision is reviewable by an EEOC administrative judge if a hearing is requested on the remainder of the complaint and that the Department's decision is not appealable until the Department takes final action on the remainder of the complaint. If accepted in part or in whole, the cognizant bureau's EEO office will then assign an investigator to the complaint.
       
    4. Investigation of the Complaint.   The investigation is to be completed within 180 days of the date on which the complaint was filed (120 days if it is a "mixed-case complaint"). The investigator shall take an affidavit from the complainant and other witnesses and gather evidence about the complaint. Once the investigation is complete, the complainant will receive a copy of the investigative file. An additional copy shall be provided to a management official within the Bureau where the complaint arose (the bureaus will be responsible for designating an appropriate management official within their organization). Also, the cognizant bureau's EEO office will provide notice to the complainant of his or her right to a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge or a final Department decision without an EEOC hearing. The complainant shall be given 30 days to make the election. Where the complainant fails to make an election within 30 days, the cognizant bureau's EEO office will forward the file to the Department's Complaint Adjudication Officer (CAO) for a final Department decision.

      In a mixed-case complaint, there is no entitlement to an EEOC hearing, but a complainant may request a hearing in connection with an appeal to the MSPB on the final Department decision.
       

    5. Hearing and Decision.   If the complainant requests a hearing, it is conducted by an EEOC administrative judge. Under his or her direction, the parties may conduct "discovery," a process of obtaining relevant information needed to prepare their cases. The administrative judge hears relevant testimony and considers documentary evidence of the alleged discrimination. Witnesses give testimony under oath or affirmation, and may be cross-examined.

      Within 180 days of the administrative judge's receipt of the complaint file from the Department, the administrative judge shall submit his or her decision, along with a complete copy of the hearing record, to the complainant and the Department's CAO.

      If the CAO determines that the judge's decision will be fully implemented the CAO must, within 40 days of receiving the hearing record and the decision of the administrative judge, issue a final order notifying the parties of its decision.
       

    6. Appeals to the EEOC.
       

      1. By the Department.   If the CAO determines that the judge's decision will not be fully implemented the CAO will, within 33 days of receiving the hearing record and the decision of the administrative judge, draft a final order notifying the complainant of its decision, as well as a memorandum setting out the relevant facts, essential findings, and rationale for its decision. The CAO will forward the Order and the accompanying memorandum to the bureau component responsible for representing the bureau before the EEOC within 33 days of the CAO's receipt of the hearing record and decision. The bureau component responsible for representing the bureau before the EEOC will be responsible for filing both the Order and any appeal within 40 days of the CAO's receipt of the hearing record and decision. Any statement or brief on behalf of the affected bureau in support of the appeal must be filed within 20 days of filing the notice of appeal. If the bureau component responsible for representing the bureau before the EEOC fails to issue the final order within 40 days of the CAO's receipt of the hearing record and the administrative judge's decision, the administrative judge's decision becomes the final action of the Department.
         
      2. By the Complainant.   A complainant may file a notice of appeal of the Department's final action (i.e., final order regarding an administrative judge's decision), final agency decision (i.e., agency decision issued without a hearing) or dismissal of his or her complaint with the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations. The complainant must file his or her notice of appeal within 30 days of receipt of the Department's final action, final agency decision or dismissal. Any statement or brief on behalf of the complainant in support of the appeal must be submitted within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal.
    7. Filing a Civil Action.   A private lawsuit under Title VII, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) may be filed in a U.S. District Court:
       

      1. Within 90 calendar days of receipt of the Department's final action on an individual complaint (30 days for mixed cases); or
         
      2. After 180 calendar days from the date of filing an individual complaint if no appeal has been filed and no final action has been issued; or
         
      3. Within 90 calendar days after receipt of the EEOC's final decision on appeal; or
         
      4. After 180 calendar days from the date of filing an appeal with the EEOC if there has been no final decision by the EEOC.

      A flowchart illustrating the procedures described in sections C. 1. through C. 7. is included in the addendum to this chapter.
       

    8. Special Procedures for Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Equal Pay Act (EPA) Complaints.   An age discrimination complainant may choose between two different procedures:
       

      1. He or she may bypass the administrative complaint process and file a civil action directly in U.S. District Court provided that he or she first provides the EEOC with a written notice of intent to sue under the ADEA. The notice must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory action. Once a timely notice of intent to sue is filed with the EEOC, the aggrieved person must wait at least thirty (30) days before filing a civil action; or
         
      2. He or she may file a complaint of age discrimination with the Department pursuant to 29 CFR Part 1614 completing all necessary administrative steps before filing a civil action.

        Complainants are responsible for determining the applicable statute of limitations in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

        A private lawsuit for violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) may be filed in any court of competent jurisdiction within two years of the date of the alleged violation (or within three years in cases of willful violation). An aggrieved person does not have to file an administrative complaint before filing an EPA lawsuit.

    9. DOJ and EEOC Responsibility When an Appeal Is Filed.   The affected bureau's EEO office is required to forward the complaint file to EEOC within 30 days of initial notification that the complainant has filed an appeal or within 30 days of submission of an appeal by the bureau. The file should include all notices and forms, the EEO counselor's report, the investigative file, hearing records including the administrative judge's decision, the Department's final order, and proof of mailings (i.e., receipts of all transmittals).

      EEOC's Office of Federal Operations will review the briefs submitted by the parties and the Department complaint files, and issue a decision which may also establish remedies, if appropriate. Copies of EEOC decisions on appeals are sent to the complainant and/or his or her designated representative and the EEOS by the EEOC. Decisions on appeals received by the EEOS will be immediately forwarded to the affected bureau's EEO office.
       

    10. Relief.   When the Department or the EEOC finds that discrimination existed, it is the Department's policy to make the victim of discrimination "whole." Remedies are tailored to the circumstances and may include:
       

      1. Posting a notice to all affected employees advising them of their rights under the laws EEOC enforces and their right to be free from reprisal/retaliation;
         
      2. Corrective or preventive actions taken to eradicate the source of the identified discrimination and minimize the chance of its recurrence;
         
      3. Placement in the position, or in a substantially equivalent position, the victim would have occupied if the discrimination had not occurred;
         
      4. Back pay (with interest where applicable) and/or lost benefits;
         
      5. Recovery of reasonable attorney's fees and costs, except in age discrimination complaints; and
         
      6. Compensatory damages for losses such as emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Compensatory damages are available in limited circumstances and may not exceed $300,000 in total.
    11. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).   Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) encompasses a range of problem solving processes whose basic purpose is to resolve disagreements without litigation. EEO complainants, as appropriate, will have, consistent with the Department's ADR policy and 29 CFR 1614, the option of utilizing the Department's EEO ADR process prior to and after the filing of a formal complaint of discrimination. Once a complainant accepts the option of entering into the ADR process, management is required to enter into good faith discussions to resolve the dispute. Procedures on the operation of this element of the EEO counseling program are available from the Department's EEO Staff.
       
    12. Official Time.   Meetings with a complainant will be scheduled during his or her normal duty hours to the extent possible. Bureaus are not obligated to change work schedules or pay overtime or travel expenses to facilitate the choice of a specific representative or to allow the complainant to confer with his or her representative. However, reasonable official time is to be granted for the complainant and his or her representative, if both are employees of the Department, to meet with an EEO counselor or ADR program official, to prepare responses to Department and EEOC requests for information, and to prepare for a hearing. A reasonable amount of official preparation time is defined in terms of hours (as opposed to days, weeks, or months). Eight (8) hours is considered a reasonable amount of preparation time. However, additional official time may be granted by the supervisor when extraordinary circumstances exist. Management has the discretion to determine when the official time will be taken based on the needs of the work unit.

      A complainant and his or her representative, if a Department employee, will be granted official time when their presence is requested by the Department during the counseling process (including ADR), the investigation, at settlement meetings, or when the EEOC requests their presence at a settlement conference, hearing, or other meeting. Whatever time is spent in such meetings or hearings is automatically deemed reasonable.
       

    13. Conflict of Interest Cases.   Bureaus will forward to the Director of EEO Staff for processing those complaints that pose a real or perceived conflict of interest. These include situations where the complaint is filed against members of the EEO Office, officials having supervisory authority over the EEO office, or the head of the bureau. Conflict of interest also exists where EEO officials have had prior substantive involvement in the matter giving rise to the complaint. The Director of EEOS will make a determination on the bureau's request for reassignment of such cases. All costs associated with processing of a reassigned complaint remain with the originating bureau.
       
    14. Dismissals.   Bureau EEO officers' requests for dismissals of complaints are to be made to the Director of EEOS. Requests will be adjudicated in accordance with 29 CFR 1614.107. All requests for dismissal of discrimination complaints should be accompanied by a copy of the signed Form DOJ-201A, Complaint of Discrimination, the counselor's report, and as appropriate the following documents: Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeal or decision, civil action file, or any other relevant documents submitted by the complainant and/or maintained by the bureau. In cases where there is a request for a dismissal on the grounds of untimeliness, bureau EEO officers are to include, whenever possible, a statement from the complainant explaining the rationale for not meeting the regulatory time frames.
       
    15. Retention of Personnel Files.   Relevant records and documents of official personnel actions are required to be retained until the complaint is closed, whether it is as a result of a Department decision or by decision on appeal to EEOC, MSPB, or a U.S. Court decision. EEO officers shall identify relevant records early in the complaint process and ensure such records are retained regardless of normal records disposal schedules.

 


 

ADDENDUM

Federal Sector Complaints Processing

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