EEO Formal Complaint Processing Procedures
The U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Employment Complaints Division, is responsible for processing formal complaints of discrimination.
Upon receipt of a formal complaint, OCR will analyze the complaint and make a determination on whether to accept or dismiss the complaint. OCR notifies the Complainant and the Agency whether the complaint was accepted for investigation or dismissed.
Once a complaint is accepted, an investigator is assigned by FSIS to investigate the complaint.
Following completion of the investigation, a Report of Investigation is provided to the Complainant and to the Civil Rights Division, Office of the Administrator, FSIS.
The Complainant is given a choice between withdrawing the complaint, a final decision, or a hearing before an Administrative Judge (AJ) from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If a Complainant elects a final decision without a hearing, OCR will issue the decision. If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the decision, an appeal may be filed with EEOC. Complainants who are dissatisfied with a decision from EEOC may go to Federal District Court.
If the Complainant elects a hearing, the AJ issues a decision to both parties. USDA adopts the decision of the AJ by issuing a final order. However, if the Agency does not plan to fully implement the AJ's decision, the Agency must file an appeal with EEOC and give the Complainant his appeal rights.
If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the Agency's decision, he or she may file an appeal with EEOC.
The Civil Rights Division, Office of the Administrator, FSIS is responsible for tracking formal complaints, providing assistance as appropriate, and coordinating activities which will facilitate the processing of formal complaints. This includes working closely with investigators, Agency and Complainant representatives, managers, supervisors and employees during the processing of complaints, to include attempts at resolution.