A DOJ employee or an applicant for federal employment may institute an equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint if that employee or applicant believes that he/she has been discriminated against based on one or more of these factors:
Informal Complaint Process
If you believe that 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 calendar days of the occurrence of the alleged discrimination. 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.
The Counselor will issue a Notice of Final Interview within 30 calendar days of your initial contact. You will have 15 calendar days from your receipt of that notice to file a formal complaint of discrimination.
Formal Complaint Process
After completing the informal process, you may decide to file a formal complaint. To do this, you must send to the EEO Officer a DOJ FORM 201A, Complaint of Discrimination that was included with your Notice of Final Interview. You must file your complaint within 15 calendar days of your receipt of the Notice of Final Interview.
You may choose to include a letter or any other supporting materials with your complaint, however, you must submit a DOJ Form 201A. You can obtain this form from the Department's EEO Office, if you did not receive one with your Notice of Final Interview.
Your complaint must be specific and limited only to those matters that you previously discussed with the EEO Counselor. You will receive written acknowledgement of the EEO Office's receipt of your complaint. It will inform you of the date that your complaint was filed. This date will be used for calculating the length of time for processing all of the steps in the formal process.
If your complaint is accepted for processing, an impartial investigation will be ordered. The Department will ensure that it is a thorough and fair investigation and is completed within 180 days from the date you filed your formal complaint. Amended complaints will be investigated within the earlier of 180 days after the last amendment to the original complaint or 360 days after the filing of the original complaint.
During the investigative stage of the process, the Department 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 rights. Within 30 days of your receipt of these materials, you must request either an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearing or an immediate final agency decision from the Department.
If you fail to make an election, the agency will issue a final decision based on its review of the investigative file. The agency will issue its decision within 60 days from receipt of your request, or from the request of the EEO Office if you fail to make an election.
If you request a hearing from the EEOC, an Administrative Judge (AJ) shall oversee discovery, conduct a hearing, and issue a decision on the complaint. You must also notify the Department if you request a hearing. If a finding of discrimination is made, the AJ will order an appropriate remedy. The AJ must complete this process within 180 days of receipt of the complaint file from the Department.
The Department, within 40 days of its receipt of the AJ’s decision, must take final action on the complaint by issuing a final order notifying you whether or not it will fully implement the AJ's decision. The final order will also explain your appeal rights. If the Department does not issue a final order within the above-stated time limit, the AJ's decision will become the final action of the agency.
After you receive the Department's final order, you may appeal it to the EEOC within 30 days of receipt. You may file a civil action in U.S. District Court within 90 days of your receipt of the final order.
In accordance with the Department of Justice's internal regulations, a complaint is processed by the DOJ Bureau in which it arose. Here are the appropriate DOJ Component telephone numbers for DOJ EEO Contacts.
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