EEO Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Filing a Complaint
Questions About Using Official Duty Time
How do I file an EEO complaint?
Contact your local Major Subordinate Command (MSC) EEO Office to start the informal EEO Complaints process. Contact info for EEO Offices.
You can learn more about the EEO complaint process on the EEO Complaint Process page.
Which EEO office do I contact?
If you are an applicant, you will contact the EEO office that services the DLA component to which you applied. If you are a DLA employee, contact the EEO office that services your MSC or work location. If you are unsure who to contact, any EEO counselor can forward you to the right office. Contact info for EEO Offices.
How quickly do I need to file my EEO complaint?
To ensure the full protection of your rights, you must make contact with the MSC EEO Office within 45 calendar days of the discrimination.
What do I need to do after I get the Report of Investigation?
When you get the Report of Investigation, you will have two choices:
- Ask DLA to issue a decision on whether the discrimination occurred
- Request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge
If you do not respond in time, DLA will issue a decision.
How do I request that EEOC reconsider its decision on my appeal?
Write to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) at the address posted on their webpage.
According to the OFO, you need to “show that the decision involved a clearly erroneous interpretation of material fact or law, or if it will have a substantial impact on the policies, practices or operations of the agency.”
Using Official Duty Time
May I use official duty time to prepare my EEO complaint against DLA?
If you are a DLA employee:
Yes. You will be allowed a reasonable amount of official time to prepare the complaint and to respond to requests for information from DLA and EEOC.
DLA is not required to change work schedules, pay overtime wages, or pay travel expenses to allow your choice of a specific representative or to allow you to confer with your representative.
You will be on official time when your presence is authorized or required by DLA or EEOC during the investigation, informal adjustment, or hearing on the complaint. This is true even if it is not during your normal working hours.
If you are a former DLA employee:
No. Only DLA employees can use official time. However, if you initiate the EEO process concerning an adverse action relating to your prior employment with DLA and you designate a representative who is a current DLA employee, then they will be allowed a reasonable amount of official time.
If you designate a DLA employee to be your representative:
Yes. Your representative will be allowed a reasonable amount of official time to prepare the complaint and respond to agency and EEOC requests for information. They will also be on official time when your presence is authorized or required by DLA or EEOC during the investigation, informal adjustment, or hearing on the complaint.
If you designate an employee in a different agency to be your representative:
Possibly. DLA will not grant your representative official time, but their agency may decide to allow them to use official time.
If you are a witness in an EEO case:
Yes. Witnesses are federal employees, so you must be in a duty status when your presence is authorized or required by EEOC or DLA in connection with a complaint.
If someone in a different agency designates you to be their representative:
Talk to your supervisor. DLA isn’t required to provide official time to assist with another agency’s EEO case, but your supervisor may still allow it.
How do I request official time?
- Contact your supervisor at least 3 days before you need to use official time. Your supervisor may request proof that you need official time for EEO activity.
- Discuss with your supervisor the amount of official time to be used. If you need a substantial number of hours, you may need to justify the amount of official preparation time.
- Come to a mutual agreement on the amount of official time allowed.
- “I am meeting with an investigator for an hour in room 1556 in the building.”
- “I am going to an EEOC hearing in DC.Travel will take me approximately one hour one way. I have no idea how long the hearing will take but I will call you when it is done if it is within two hours of the end of my duty day to see if you want me to return to work.”
- “I am meeting with my attorney at her office for approximately 2 hours. Total travel time is approximately one hour.”
How much official time is reasonable?
A reasonable amount of official time is defined as whatever is appropriate in order to allow you to present the relevant information associated with your complaint, and to respond to agency requests for information.
The actual number of hours that you and your representative are allowed will vary, depending on the nature and complexity of your complaint, as well as on how vital you and your representative are to DLA’s mission. After all, DLA needs to have its employees available to perform their normal duties on a regular basis.
You and DLA should agree on how much official time you will use before you use it.
Is time for meetings and hearings included?
Yes. Time you spend in complaint meetings, hearings with agency officials or with the EEOC Administrative Judges is automatically reasonable. Therefore, you and your representative will be allowed to use official time. During that time, you are both in a duty status regardless of your normal schedules.
If you have already worked a full week and must attend a hearing or meeting on your day off, you are still entitled to official time, which may require that DLA pay overtime. Therefore, you must immediately notify DLA of the meeting and hearing schedule.
Is preparation time included?
Yes. You will be allowed a reasonable amount of official time to:
- Prepare for the meetings and hearings related to your complaint
- Prepare the formal complaint
- Prepare any appeals that may be filed with the EEOC
Because DLA or EEOC personnel conduct EEO investigations, the amount of time for preparation that is reasonable is measured in hours and not days. The exact amount of time always depends on the individual circumstances of each complaint.
Is commuting time allowed?
No. Do not include time commuting to and from home in official time computations because all employees are required to commute to and from their federal employment on their own time.
How much time may a representative spend on EEO matters?
DLA expects employees to spend most of their time doing the work for which they are employed, but doesn’t have a policy that restricts the total hours of official time afforded to a representative in any given month, quarter, or year. Instead, your representative should work with their supervisor to establish a ceiling that is appropriate for their position.
What if a meeting is outside of my normal working hours?
If a meeting, conference, or hearing is scheduled outside of your normal work hours, DLA will either adjust your work schedule to coincide with the meeting or hearing, or will grant compensatory time to allow an approximately equivalent time off during your normal work hours. This is also true for your representative’s work schedule.
Can DLA disqualify my representative?
Yes. If the official or collateral duties of your representative would conflict with preparing the complaint, EEOC or DLA may disqualify them after giving them an opportunity to respond.
Can I delay my complaint if this happens?
No. At all times, the complainant is responsible for proceeding with their complaint, regardless of whether they have a designated representative.
What happens if my request is denied?
If DLA denies your request for official time, either in whole or in part, DLA will include a written statement noting the reasons for the denial in the complaint file. If the denial happens before a complaint is filed, DLA will still give you a written explanation for the denial. If you do file a complaint, DLA will include a copy of the statement in the complaint file.
Denials at the hearing stage:
If DLA denies your request while an Administrative Judge is presiding over the matter, DLA will send you an explanation, and will send a copy to the Administrative Judge.
I am a supervisor whose employee requested official time, and I have a question.
Contact your EEO Office.