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USCIS: How Do I File An Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint?

Information on the Administrative Processing of Discrimination Complaints

Background
It is the policy of the federal government to provide equal employment opportunity for all persons and to prohibit discrimination in employment. Any employee or applicant for employment who believes that they have been discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, parental status, protected genetic information and/or reprisal in an employment matter may file a complaint of discrimination.


What is the Legal Foundation for Filing an EEO Complaint?

Several statutes have been enacted to enforce the obligation of equal employment opportunity and protect the rights of employees and applicants:

  • Title VII of the of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) prohibits individual and class discrimination in the federal government on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically prohibits discrimination in the federal government on the basis of age when the complainant is 40 years of age or older
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and
  • The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination.

Retaliation prohibited by the above statutes is also prohibited.
Pursuant to 29 CFR § 1614, this organization has adopted procedures for processing individual and class complaints of discrimination.


Who May File a Complaint?

Any employee or applicant for employment who believes that he or she has been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, parental status, protected genetic information and/or reprisal in an employment matter including Equal Pay Act (EPA) complaints may file an individual complaint of discrimination. A group of employees, former employees or applicants for employment who believe that they have been or are being adversely affected by an agency personnel management policy or practice that discriminates against the group on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, parental status, protected genetic status and/or reprisal may file a class complaint.


How Do I Make an EEO Complaint?

Employees and applicants with an EEO complaint must first have their complaint counseled. Counseling consists of an informal effort to resolve the complaint. Only after a complaint is counseled may a formal complaint be filed. You must contact a counselor within 45 days of the matter alleged to be discriminatory.


Can Anyone Help Me?

For further information regarding federal EEO complaint processing, please call 1-866-860-8885.

 

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/22/2010