Directors, managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the work environment is free from discrimination based on the following protected classes: race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment, pregnancy, gender stereotyping), national origin, age (40 and older), disability (mental or physical), genetic information or reprisal against individuals engaged in EEO activity, and those opposing discriminatory behavior.
Employees, former employees and/or applicants for employment who believe they have been discriminated against based on the above protected classes must contact the EEOD within 45 calendar days of the date the alleged discriminatory act occurred or within 45 calendar days of the effective date of an alleged discriminatory personnel action. The complaint process is explained in detail below. As an alternative to traditional EEO counseling, parties may choose to participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, which offers informal, neutral, voluntary, and confidential methods for early dispute resolution, such as mediation.
The Office of EEOD also provides uniformed Service Members, working within WHS, information and referral in pursuing Military Equal Opportunity (EO) processes within their respective service component.
Service Members who believe they have been discriminated against must contact the EEOD Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) Officer or notify their immediate Chain of Command within 60 calendar days of the date of the alleged discriminatory action occurred or within 60 calendar days of the effective date of the alleged discriminatory action.
For more information, please contact EEOD at 571-372-0832, (DSN) 499-1805, or WHS.Diversity@mail.mil.
Informal EEO Complaint Process
You must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. For an EEO Counselor, please contact the EEOD at 571-372-0832, (DSN) 499-1805, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The EEO Counselor will:
- Ask for basic information about your complaint;
- Ask for information to contact you and your representative, if you are represented;
- Advise you of your rights and responsibilities; and
- Give you an opportunity to choose to resolve your complaint through EEO counseling or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of all parties during the informal EEO complaint process, the counselor will issue the employee a "NOTICE OF RIGHT TO FILE (NRF)" a formal EEO complaint. The Notice will explain how and where to file your formal EEO complaint. A Complaint of Employment Discrimination Form will be provided with your NRF. Upon receipt of this Notice, you will have 15 calendar days to file a formal EEO complaint.
Formal EEO Complaint Process
If your complaint is not resolved during the informal complaint process, you have the right to file a Formal EEO Complaint. You must file a Formal EEO Complaint within 15 days from the receipt of the Notice of Right to file a formal EEO complaint. Your written complaint must be a signed and dated statement that includes all of the following information:
1. Name, address, telephone number, and social security number (social security number is not mandatory, but is recommended.) If you have a representative, you will also need to provide your representative's name, address, and telephone number;
2. The name of the WHS Office or serviced component you believe discriminated against you;
3. The basis on which discrimination is alleged. You may give more than one basis if applicable.
4. Specific description of the issues of the discrimination complaint, including the dates of the alleged discriminatory event or;
5. The name and telephone number of your EEO counselor; and,
6. Corrective action requested.
Mail your formal EEO complaint to the WHS EEOD at the following address: WHS, Office of Equal Employment and Diversity
Deputy Director for Complaints and Adjudication
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-3400
EEO complaints can be mediated both in the informal and formal stage. Mediation is the most common ADR technique in EEO cases because it has been shown to be effective in resolving workplace-related disputes quickly, economically, and fairly. Mediation is a viable alternative to lengthy and often expensive administrative process of agency investigation, hearing, and appeal to the EEOC, or possible litigation in the courts. Parties are highly encouraged to consider mediation in EEO cases.