EEO Complaint Process
Step One: Informal Complaint
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in your
work or through the employment process, you must initiate contact with
an EEO Counselor within 45 days of the occurrence of the alleged
The Counselor will advise you of your rights and will conduct an
informal inquiry regarding your allegation.
During this time, the Counselor will attempt to resolve the
complaint. if the complaint is not resolved within 30 days of your
initial contact, the Counselor will issue a Notice of Right to File a
Formal Complaint. You will have 15 days from your receipt of that notice
to decide whether you wish to file a formal complaint.
During the Informal Complaint Process, you may elect to participate
In the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. The program is
designed to encourage an open atmosphere in which human relationships
may be improved; it encourages employees and managers to mediate
concerns and disputes without fear of reprisal; and it enables the
parties to settle disputes at the lowest possible level, quickly,
fairly, and impartially. Also, ADR can reduce "disharmony" costs such as
lowered morale or productivity; provide increased awareness / knowledge
to allow parties to resolve disputes themselves; and reduce
administrative delays and costs.
Step Two: Formal Complaint
After completing the informal process, you may decide to file a
formal complaint. To do this, you should send to the EEO Officer a
Department of Justice (DOJ) Form 201A, Complaint of Discrimination, that
was included with the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint. You
must file your complaint within 15 days of your receipt of the Notice of
Right to File a Formal Complaint.
You may choose to include a letter or any other supporting materials
with your complaint: however, you should submit a DOJ Form 201A. You can
obtain this form from the USMS EEO Office if you did not receive one
with your Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint.
Your complaint must be specific and limited only to those matters
that you previously discussed with the EEO Counselor. You will receive
written acknowledgment of the EEO Office's receipt of your complaint. It
will inform you of the date that your complaint was filed. If your
complaint is accepted for investigation. an impartial investigation will
be conducted. The U.S. Marshals Service will ensure that it is a
thorough and fair investigation and is completed within 180 days from
the date you filed your formal complaint. During this 180 days, the U.S.
Marshals Service has the following responsibilities: to conduct and
complete the investigation; to make attempts at settlement; and to
provide you with a copy of the investigative file and your notice of
Within 30 days of your receipt of the investigative file and notice
of rights, you may request either an Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) hearing or an immediate final agency decision by the
Department of Justice Complaint Adjudication Office (CAO).
If you fail to respond to your notice of rights or request an
Immediate final decision, the U.S. Marshals Service will forward your
case to the CAO for a final agency decision, which will be based on the
CAO's review of the Investigative report and complaint file.
If you request a hearing from EEOC, an Administrative Judge will
oversee discovery, conduct a hearing, and issue a decision. If a finding
of discrimination is made, the Administrative Judge will order an
appropriate remedy. The judge must complete this process within 180 days
from receipt of your request for a hearing.
The CAO, within 40 days of receipt of the Administrative Judge's
decision, must take final action on the complaint by issuing a final
order. This final order will notify you whether the agency will fully
implement the Administrative Judge's decision or will appeal the
decision to the EEOC.
After you receive the agency's final order, you may appeal it to the
EEOC within 30 days of receipt. You may file a civil action in a U.S.
District Court within 90 days of your receipt of the EEOC decision. You
also have the option of filing a civil action in a U.S. District Court
at any point beyond 180 days of filing your formal complaint, as long as
there has been no final action or appeal.
Complaints filed on the bases of sexual orientation and parental
status will be processed through final agency decision. There is no
right to a hearing or appeal to the EEOC or to bring an action in U.S.