Office of Adjudication (OA)

The Office of Adjudication supports OASCR’s mission largely through its Employment and Program Directorates.


Shawn S McGruder

Shawn S. McGruder

Director, Office of Adjudication

Effective September 3, 2017, Shawn S. McGruder became Director for the Office of Adjudication in USDA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, ...More


                       What We Do


Employment Directorate

  • Employment Complaints Division (ECD)

    ECD’s mission is to provide exemplary service to our employees and customers as it relates to employment discrimination complaints. Our goal is to decrease the number of discrimination complaints filed against USDA and to process all complaints in a timely fashion.

  • Employment Investigations Division (EID)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Employment Investigations Division (EID) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), is responsible for ensuring that employment discrimination complaints are investigated fairly, promptly, thoroughly, and in strict compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations and Management Directive (MD) 110.

  • Employment Adjudication Division (EAD)

    EAD’s main function is to independently and objectively analyze the facts and apply the applicable laws to complaints of employment discrimination filed by current and former USDA employees, or applicants for USDA employment and to then objectively and impartially issue Final Agency Decisions on the merits.

Programs Directorate

  • Intake Division

    Intake is an integral part of the Office of Adjudication. The mission of the division is to make a jurisdictional determination on civil rights complaints involving USDA’s federally conducted or assisted programs. Program Intake determinations include acceptances, non-jurisdictional closures, program referrals, Rural Development referrals based on a Memorandum of Understanding between USDA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a separate processing Memorandum of Understanding with the Food and Nutrition Service.

  • Program Investigation Division (PID)

    The Program Investigation Division’s (PID’s) mission is to independently and objectively investigate complaints that allege discrimination in United State Department of Agriculture’s conducted and/or assisted programs and activities

  • Program Adjudication Division (PAD)

    Pursuant to 7 C.F.R. §2.25(13), the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights is responsible for making final determinations on program complaints of discrimination.  The Program Adjudication Division is responsible for writing the determinations of discrimination complaints involving programs or activities conducted or assisted by the USDA. This division conducts a factual and legal analysis to determine whether discrimination occurred on the basis of one or more of the protected classes.

Employment Complaints Division’s (ECD)

ECD primary function is to process formal EEO Complaints filed against the Department under various Federal anti-discrimination statutes, regulations, and legal precedent of acceptance and referral to investigation. Additionally, ECD is responsible for processing all appeals filed with the EEOC.

Employment Adjudication Division (EAD)

EAD monitors all findings of discrimination, settlement agreements, EEOC and MSPB Orders of Relief to ensure that all terms are adhered to and that the agency is in compliance with the terms of all findings, settlement agreements and Orders of Relief.  EAD also remains current with all Executive Orders, and stays abreast of changes in EEOC law and direction provided by courts of law, and EEOC.
Major Functions:

To enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 29 CFR Part 1614, MD-110, DR-4300-007, DR-4040-735-001, and all other applicable statutes, rules, laws and regulations.

Pursuant to the applicable regulatory authorities, EAD:

  • Reviews Reports of Investigation and write Final Agency Decisions applying the above.
  • Monitors all settlement instruments to ensure compliance with same.
  • Analyzes complaints of non-compliance and write Final Agency Decisions addressing all non-compliance allegations.
  • Addresses all remands from the EEOC.
  • Prepares reports outlining the progress of the division.
Intake Division

Intake Division’s goal is to process program complaints timely and appropriately in accordance with USDA’s internal regulations. Before making jurisdictional determinations, the Program Intake staff reviews each complaint for completeness (allegation of an adverse action by a USDA agency or official which occurred within 180 days of filing the complaint); where the complaint is incomplete, the staff attempts to contact complainants to clarify or complete the intake of their allegation.

Programs Investigation Division (PID)

The investigative phase is an impartial process to determine the facts and evidence surrounding a complaint. The purpose of the investigation is to establish a fact-based, evidence-supported record of:

  • Actions and circumstances that led the complainant to believe that he or she was the victim of discrimination; and
  • Actions and circumstances that might explain the action of the agency alleged to have discriminated.
Programs Adjudication Division

If discrimination is found, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights will order corrective actions as appropriate within the Final Agency Decisions. If no discrimination is found, the complaint is closed. In either case, a copy of the determination will be mailed to all interested parties.

Final Agency Decisions are final unless the complaint involves an allegation of disability discrimination.  If a complaint alleges discrimination based on disability, the complainant may appeal the Final Agency Decision to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights within 90 days of receipt of the Final Agency Decision.  Appeal procedures only apply to complaints alleging discrimination based on disability.

How We Can Help

A  USDA/OASCR employee working at her deskFor information on the status of your complaint, contact the OASCR Information Research Service at