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Frequently Asked Questions

What are my Equal Employment Opportunity rights and protections under federal law?
If I believe that I have been discriminated against, how do I file a complaint?
What if I'm not satisfied with the outcome of attempts to resolve my informal complaint?
What action will be taken once a formal complaint is filed?
If I am not satisfied, how do I file an appeal of the agency's final order?
How do I request for reconsideration of the appeal decision?
If I am displeased with the outcome of all phases of the EEO Complaints process, what other options are available?


What are my Equal Employment Opportunity rights and protections under federal law?

Federal law protects federal employees and job applicants from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The law also provides protections from retaliation against individuals who oppose employment discrimination, file a complaint of discrimination, or participate in the EEO complaint process (even if the individual is not the complainant.)

There are also federal laws and regulations and Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination on other bases, such as sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation.

If I believe that I have been discriminated against, how do I file a complaint?

Any DLA employee or applicant for employment who believes they have been discriminated against has a right to file a complaint. DLA employees or job applicants should contact the local Major Subordinate Command (MSC) EEO Office to engage the informal EEO Complaints process.

To ensure the full protection of the employees or applicants rights, contact should be made with the MSC EEO Office within 45 calendar days from the day that the alleged discrimination occurred.

In most cases the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in an Alternative Dispute Resolution program. The DLA ADR Program (RESOLVE) is administered by through the DLA General Counsel Office.

Once the informal process has been initiated, the agency has 30 days to address and attempt to resolve the issues raised by the DLA employee or job applicant. With the consent of the employee or applicant, this timeframe may be extended up to 90 days.

What if I'm not satisfied with the outcome of attempts to resolve my informal complaint?

If resolution is not achieved during the EEO counseling phase or through ADR, the DLA employee or job applicant can file a formal discrimination complaint against the agency. An overview of the process as well as instruction regarding how to file a formal discrimination complaint will be detailed in a written Notice of Right to File a Complaint issued by the servicing MSC EEO Office. Generally, DLA employees or job applicants are given 15 days from the date of receipt of notice to engage the formal EEO Complaints process.

What action will be taken once a formal complaint is filed?

Once a formal complaint is filed, the agency will review the complaint and decide whether or not the case should be dismissed for a procedural reason (for example, your claim was filed too late). If the agency does not dismiss the complaint, it will conduct an investigation. The agency has 180 days from the date the complaint is filed to complete an investigation.

When the investigation is completed, the agency will issue a notice giving DLA employee or job applicant two choices: either request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or ask the agency to issue a decision as to whether the discrimination occurred.

Agency Issues a Decision (Final Action): If the DLA employee or applicant requests that the agency (DLA) to issue a decision and no discrimination is found, or if there is disagreement with some part of the decision, the decision may be appealed to EEOC or challenged it in federal district court.

Requesting a Hearing: If a DLA employee or job applicant desires a hearing, a written request must be made within 30 days from the date that the notice from the agency about hearing rights. If a hearing is requested, an EEOC Administrative Judge will conduct the hearing, make a decision, and order relief if discrimination is found.

Once the agency receives the Administrative Judge's decision, the agency will issue what is called a final order which will advise whether the agency agrees with the Administrative Judge and if it will grant any relief the judge ordered.

The agency will have 40 days to issue the final order. It will also contain information about EEOC appeal rights, rights to file a civil action in federal district court, and the deadline for filing both an appeal and a civil action.

If I am not satisfied, how do I file an appeal of the agency's final order?

DLA employee or applicants have the right to appeal an agency's final order (including a final order dismissing the complaint) to EEOC Office of Federal Operations. DLA employee or applicants must file an appeal no later than 30 dates after receipt of the final order. EEOC appellate attorneys will review the entire file, including the agency's investigation, the decision of the Administrative Judge, the transcript of what was said at the hearing (if there was a hearing), and any appeal statements. If the agency (DLA) disagrees with any part of the Administrative Judge's decision, it must appeal to EEOC.

How do I request for reconsideration of the appeal decision?

If DLA employees or applicants do not agree with the EEOC's appeal decision, a reconsideration of the decision can be made. A request for reconsideration is only granted if it can be shown that the decision is based on a mistake about the facts of the case or the law applied to the facts. A re-consideration can be requested no later than 30 days after receipt of EEO decision on the appeal.

Once EEOC has issued a decision on the appeal, the agency also has the right to ask EEOC to reconsider that decision. Once the EEOC has made a decision on the DLA employee or applicant request for reconsideration, the decision is final.

If I am displeased with the outcome of all phases of the EEO Complaints process, what other options are available?

A DLA employee or applicant may file a lawsuit after exhausting the administrative complaint process in the following situations:

  • After 180 days have passed from the date the complaint is filed, if the agency (DLA) has not issued a decision and no appeal has been filed
  • Within 90 days from the date the agency's decision is received, so long as no appeal has been filed
  • After the 180 days from the date the appeal is filed, if the EEOC has not issued a decision, or
  • Within 90 days from the date the EEOC's appeal decision is received.