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Frequently Asked Questions

Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Filing


How do I initiate an equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint?
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How do I check the status of my EEO complaint?
Answer

What is the deadline for contacting an EEO Counselor?
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How do I contact an EEO Counselor?
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What happens if I choose to participate in EEO counseling during the
informal EEO complaint process?

Answer

How do I file a formal equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint?
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What happens to my equal employment opportunity complaint (EEO) once it is filed?
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How do I initiate an USDA equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint?

You may initiate an EEO complaint by contacting an EEO Counselor for your agency. Refer to the EEO Counselors List for the contact number. EEO Cunselor List (PDF 83KB)

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How do I check the status of my EEO complaint?

To check the status of your EEO complaint, contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (202) 401-0005 or (800) 795-3272 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

What is the deadline for contacting an EEO Counselor?

You must initiate contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action. In the case of a personnel action, the EEO complaint must be filed within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the personnel action. Failure to comply with the 45 calendar day time limit for contacting the EEO Counselor is grounds for dismissal of your complaint. See the information on our Web site under Discrimination Complaint Filing or call the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (202) 401-0005 or (800) 795-3272 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

How do I contact an EEO Counselor?

To contact an EEO Counselor, call the Counselor that services the USDA Agency or office in which you work. List of EEO Counselors (PDF 83KB).

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What happens if I choose to participate in EEO counseling during the informal EEO complaint process?

If you choose to participate in EEO counseling during the informal EEO complaint process, the EEO counselor will request additional information from you, if necessary to understand your complaint. The EEO counselor may also obtain additional information by talking to other persons involved in your complaint. If the complaint is not resolved during the informal EEO complaint process, the EEO counselor will issue a Notice of Final Interview. You will have 15 calendar days to file a formal EEO complaint. If a formal EEO Complaint is filed, the EEO counselor will provide you with a counseling report. A copy of the counseling report will also be sent to the Office of Adjudication. The EEO counseling period may last up to 30 calendar days. You and the agency involved in the complaint may agree to extend the counseling period up to an additional 60 days.

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How do I file a formal equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint?

Prior to filing a formal equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint, you must first consult with an EEO Counselor in order to attempt to resolve the matter informally. If the matter is not resolved, the Counselor will inform you in writing of the right to file a formal discrimination complaint. The formal complaint must be filed within 15 calendar days of your receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint. The Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint will inform you of the appropriate official with whom to file. (See the information on our Web site under Discrimination Complaint Filing). For more information, contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service on (202) 401-0005 or (800) 795-3272 (toll free). Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). You may also send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov.

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What happens to my formal equal employment opportunity complaint (EEO) once it is filed?

For information on how USDA processes equal employment opportunity complaints (EEO) see the information on our Web site under Discrimination Complaint Filing. For more information, contact Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (202) 401-0005 or (800) 795-3272 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

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