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Complaints Process

Who can file:

A. Civil Servants, Co-ops and Applicants for Employment

The statutes enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) make it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetics, or reprisal. A person who files a complaint or participates in an investigation of an EEO complaint, or who opposes an employment practice made illegal under any of the statutes enforced by EEOC, is protected from retaliation.

In addition to laws that EEOC enforces, there are federal protections from discrimination on other bases including sexual orientation, status as a parent, marital status, political affiliation, and conduct that does not adversely affect the performance of the employee.

B. Contractors and Student Interns

If you are a GSFC contractor or student intern and believe that you have been discriminated against by your employer, labor union, customer or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetics, or reprisal, or believe that you have been discriminated against because of opposing a prohibited practice or participating in an equal employment opportunity matter, you may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. All laws enforced by EEOC, (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), except the Equal Pay Act (EPA), require filing a charge with EEOC before a private lawsuit may be filed in court.

Reasonable Amount of Official Time for Employees

Can I have time to work on my EEO complaint?

The EEO regulations provide that the aggrieved individual is entitled to a reasonable amount of official time to present the complaint and respond to agency requests for information, if otherwise on duty.

How much time can I have to work on my EEO complaint?

You can have a reasonable amount of official time to prepare and/or present your EEO complaint. The amount of time is in hours, not days, weeks, or months.

How do I know how much time is reasonable?

Reasonable is determined by what is involved in your complaint and what the need to work on your complaint is for; e.g., preparation for a meeting, filing the formal complaint, preparation for the hearing.

Do I have to request approval for use of official time?

Yes. You must make your request for use of official time to work on your EEO complaint to your supervisor for requesting approval of time, prior to using the time.

Do I have to tell my supervisor what I’m working on?

In deciding the approval of official time, your supervisor may need to know the reason for your request. This will permit him or her to make an informed decision on how much time is reasonable.

My supervisor did not approve all of my time requested. Can I file a complaint?

The denial of official time may not be the subject of an EEO complaint. However, you can request review of the denial of official time to the EEO Director. The EEO Director will review your request and the reason for the denial and make a decision on whether the denial was proper. The EEO complaint filed will be documented with your request, the denial and the EEO Director’s decision.

Can I work on my complaint every day?

It will not be necessary for you to work on your complaint every day. It is important that you are available to perform the duties of your position.

Will I be able to attend meetings regarding my complaint?

Yes. If your presence is required by NASA or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you must attend. The time you spend at any meetings required by the Agency or the Commission is considered reasonable and official time.

Will I have to request approval of official time to attend meetings regarding my complaint?

Any time you leave your office for a considerable period of time, you should inform your supervisor. This will eliminate any confusion concerning your whereabouts, particularly when your supervisor expects you to be at your work site performing your assignments.


EOPO Complaint Process

EOPO Complaint Process Flowchart (PDF)

last updated: 2018-11-07