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Enforcement: Department of Health and Human Services and EEOC

Executive Order 11478 (1969)

This order establishes the principles of affirmative action for federal employers and requires the federal government to create affirmative action programs to insure equal employment opportunities for all civilian employees and applicants for employment.

Federal employers must make special efforts to increase employment opportunities for minorities and women. If agencies find that minorities and/or women are underrepresented among their workers, the sex or race of qualified applicants may be considered in the selection process until the agency's labor force is brought up to parity.

This order also integrates the Federal Women's Program into the overall EEO program and brings it under the stewardship of agency EEO directors.

Enforcement: EEOC

Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974

This act requires government employers to take "affirmative” steps to employ and promote qualified disabled veterans and Vietnam Era veterans.

Enforcement: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

Civil Service Reform Act of 1978

Among its requirements, this act states that:

Federal employers must recruit and employ a labor force that reflects the diversity of the nation's available labor force.

Employers may not discriminate on the basis of marital status or political affiliation.

Performance appraisals for Senior Executive Service personnel measure the executive's effectiveness in achieving equal employment opportunities for federal workers and in meeting affirmative action goals for his/her department. The result of these efforts will be reflected in the executive's promotions, raises and bonuses.

Enforcement: EEOC

Rehabilitation Act, Section 501

This section applies to all departments and agencies of the Executive Branch and requires each agency to have affirmative action plans for hiring, placement, and advancement of handicapped individuals. The nondiscrimination provisions also affect federal employers.

Enforcement: EEOC


Notice of Rights of the Complainant
(given at the initial counseling interview).

Use of the EEO complaint process is voluntary. However, informal precomplaint counseling is required for filing a formal EEO complaint. You have the right at every stage in the processing of your complaint, including the mandatory precomplaint counseling, to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of your choice. You and your representative and witnesses shall be free from restraint, intimidation, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal in the presentation and processing of the complaint, including EEO counseling, and any time thereafter. If you have a representative, you must provide written notice of his/her name, address and business telephone, and any later changes in your representation.

If you do not receive EEO counseling beyond this initial interview, nothing more will be done. Your copy of the EEO Counseling Report (Part 1) and that of the EEO counselor will be the only records of this activity. If you continue EEO counseling, you will be notified in writing 21 days after the initial contact with the counselor of your right to file a formal complaint, of how and where to file, of the future disposition of your formal complaint, and of your further rights to a hearing, decision, appeal, or to file a civil action, where applicable. You will receive this notice regardless of the status of the matter(s) you raised or your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the results of EEO counseling.

You have the right to remain anonymous during informal EEO counseling only. However, anonymity may unduly restrict the EEO counselor in achieving informal

resolution of the matter(s) you have raised. If you choose to remain anonymous, your name will appear only on the EEO Counseling Report (Part I), of which only you and your EEO counselor will have a copy. If you file a formal complaint, the counselor will provide the entire Report of Counseling (Parts I and II) to the EEO Officer. If you choose not to file a complaint, the counselor will destroy his/her notes concerning the contact in 45 days.

If you are dissatisfied with the result of EEO counseling, you may file a formal EEO complaint within 15 calendar days after the date you receive the Notice of Final Interview with the EEO counselor. Your complaint must be in writing and signed by you, but it may be filed either by you or your representative. The EEO counselor will provide you with the name and address of the person with whom you may file the complaint, which may be submitted on the individual complaint form. Use of the form is not required. However, if you choose not to use it, you must supply the same information as is required on the form.

The effective date of filing the complaint is the date on which it is received in the EEO Office. Receipt of your complaint will be acknowledged by the EEO Office staff, who will identify the issues and allegations accepted for investigation. If your complaint is rejected, in whole or in part, you will be informed as to how you may later appeal the rejected part(s).

You or your representative will receive an extra copy of your complaint file, including the Report of Investigation. After investigation, you may review the file and make comments on it. You may also discuss the file with a responsible management official in an attempt to adjust your complaint informally. If informal adjustment is achieved, the terms of agreement will be stated in writing, made a part of your complaint file, and a copy given to you.

If informal adjustment is not achieved, you will receive a proposed disposition with notice of right to a decision with or without a hearing. Even if you do not request one, a decision will be issued unless you withdraw your complaint. All decisions, including rejections, give notice of the right to appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or, if appropriate, to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and/or of filing a civil action in an appropriate U.S. District Court.

If you file a formal EEO complaint, you relinquish the right to anonymity, and the filing of your complaint will not be regarded as confidential.

Other Avenues of Redress

There may be other ways to seek a remedy for the action about which you contacted the EEO counselor. Depending on the issue, you may have the right to file an agency or negotiated grievance, an appeal to MSPB, or a charge with the Office of Special Counsel or the Inspector General. However, the fact that you have contacted an EEO counselor will not affect the deadlines for beginning those other processes. In some instances, the time limits for the other processes are shorter than those for contacting an EEO counselor; therefore, you should contact your Personnel Officer immediately to pursue your rights.

Right to File a Civil Action Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

If you believe you have experienced prohibited age discrimination, you may file a civil action in an appropriate U.S. District Court at any time within 180 calendar days of the unlawful discriminatory incident, act, event, decision, or personnel action, provided that you give the EEOC notice of intent to sue at least 30 calendar days in advance of filing suit.

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