Complaint Process

Filing a Complaint

Any employee, former employee, or applicant for employment can file an EEO complaint. An EEO complaint is an allegation of discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability (mental/physical), genetic information, national origin, race, religion, reprisal or sex. The first step in filing a complaint is to contact the EEO Office within 45 calendar days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory or, in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action.

If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or if you have questions please contact the EEO Office as soon as possible.

Who can file: An employee, former employee, applicant for employment, certain contract employees, or group (class) of individuals who allege that they have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, and\or reprisal in an employment matter, including Equal Pay Act complaints, subject to the control of the Army.

How to file: Contact the EEO Office within 45 days of the alleged act(s) of discrimination, or if a personnel action within 45 days of its effective date. This is a mandatory step in the individual and class complaint process. You may also see the EEO Officer who will assign a counselor to serve you. All days referred to in the EEO process are calendar days.

EEO Complaint Process

Key Roles During Complaint Process

 Counselor’s Role

  • Resolve the matter at the lowest level possible
  • Advise the aggrieved person about the EEO complaint process and inform them that the election of remedies requirement may apply
  • Inquire into the facts and claims made to furnish information for settlement efforts and to determine jurisdictional questions should formal complaints be filed
  • Determine the issue(s) and basis (es) of the potential EEO complaint
  • Advise the aggrieved of the right to file a formal discrimination complaint if no resolution of the complaint is reached
  • Report in writing required counseling actions have been taken

 EEO Officer’s Role

  • Resolve the matter at the lowest level possible
  • Ensure availability of sufficient pool of EEO counselors and assign if counselor is not contacted by complainant
  • Acknowledge complaint
  • Accept or dismiss complaint or portions there of as appropriate
  • Provide administrative and technical support throughout counseling, investigative and hearing processes
  • Ensure that every reasonable effort is made to resolve complaints at the lowest level

 Office of Complaints Investigations’ Role

  • Presiding official at fact-finding conference
  • Development of material evidence
  • Issuer of request for information
  • Interviewer

 EEOC Administrative Judge’s Role

  • Review file for adequacy and requests additional documentation
  • Oversees discovery process
  • Presides at hearing
  • Imposes sanctions
  • Issues findings and conclusions

Click here for the EEO complaint process

An EEO specialist or counselor may offer you the opportunity to participate in the pre-complaint counseling process or, if determined appropriate, the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method in lieu of traditional counseling.  Mediation is the ADR process preferred by the Department of the Army, however other methods may be offered as determined by the activity. Mediation is a method by which an objective and impartial person (a trained mediator) facilitates communication between the aggrieved and management to resolve concern(s) or disputes(s). If ADR is offered and accepted, the pre-complaint period will be extended an additional 60 calendar days from the date of contact with the EEO Office. If ADR is not offered, or you choose not to participate in ADR, the EEO counselor will continue with traditional EEO counseling.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Brochure