WRITTEN NOTICE OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Precomplaint counseling initiated on , will end in 30-days on , when I shall issue a Notice of Final Interview (NOFI). (An extension of precomplaint counseling, not to exceed 60-days, may be granted only upon written permission from the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.) You have the right to file a formal complaint of discrimi nation within 15-days after I issue the NOFI.
- The primary purpose of the precomplaint counseling which began on is to seek a solution to the matters which you brought to my attention. As the assigned EEO Counselor, I am not your advocate in this endeavor, nor am I an advocate for the Department. I will make necessary inquiries and counsel you concerning the issues in the matters you may raise.
- You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice at any time during administrative complaint procedures, including this precomplaint counseling. If you obtain representation, you must notify the appropriate EEO Office, in writing, of the name and address of your representative, immediately upon obtaining the representative. Failure to so notify this office may result in loss of attorney's fees to which you may otherwise have been entitled.
- You have the right to remain anonymous during this period of precomplaint counseling unless you give me specific written permission to reveal your identity. The matters you brought to my attention may be more readily resolved if you permit the use of your name during this precomplaint counseling.
- If you believe that you have been subjected to unlawful dis- crimination because sexual orientation or reprisal for participation in activity protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act or the Rehabilitation Act, 373 DM 7; you must first follow administrative complaint processing procedures as prescribed in 373 DM 7, before you appeal Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget.
- You are entitled to a reasonable amount of official time to present your complaint pursuant to 373 DM 7. In order to receive official time it must be requested and in order to be eligible to receive official time, you must be in an active duty status with the Agency.
- Allegations of discrimination grounded in acts or events occurring more than 45-days prior to ____________ may be dismissed as untimely filed by the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity pursuant to 373 DM 7.
- Allegations of discrimination grounded in acts, events or matters which you have initiated through an internal grievance procedure, negotiated grievance procedure, a previously filed EEO Complaint, filed in U.S. District Court,1 appealed to the MSPB, etc., will be dismissed by the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity pursuant to 373 DM 7.
- If the matters which you bring to my attention are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may file a formal complaint of discrimination no later than 15-days after I issue the NOFI.
- I will prepare a Counselor's Report at the conclusion of pre- complaint counseling and submit it to the Chief Counselor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
- You may file a formal complaint only on those matters which you specifically bring to my attention during these 30-days of precomplaint counseling. Other matters may be dismissed by the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity pursuant to 373 DM 7.
- Your formal complaint will be acknowledged.
- If your formal complaint, or any portion thereof, is dismissed the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity will inform you in writing of your appeal rights.
- If your formal complaint is accepted for processing, the acceptance letter will specifically state your allegation[s] of discrimination, and provide specific information regarding the processing of your complaint and appeal rights. You will receive a copy of the Counselor's Report, and your complaint will be investigated. The Department of the Interior must issue the report of investigation no later than 180-days after you file your complaint. By written agreement, you and the agency may voluntarily extend the time period for no more than an additional 90 calendar days.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a Report of Investigation, a copy of which will be provided to you by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
- Should the DOI fail to issue the ROI within 180 days of the filing date of your complaint, you may request a hearing.
- If you choose a hearing, the EO Officer shall forward a copy of the completed investigative record to Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) and request that the Director, OHA, appoint a hearing examiner to conduct a hearing. The hearing process shall be completed within 180 days from receipt of the request, unless extended.
- Any issues raised at the hearing alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability must be referred to the EO Officer for proper processing without the hearing examiner deciding the issues.
- If you request a decision without a hearing, you should receive a final decision within 60-days of your request.
- The Hearing Examiner will send copies of findings, con- clusions, and orders along with the entire record, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to you and to this agency within 180-days of the OHA's receipt of your request for a hearing.
- After the hearing, the Hearing Examiner will issue a "recommended decision" which the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity may adopt, modify or reject in the Final Decision. The Hearing Examiner's findings of fact, conclusions of law and orders for relief become the final decision 60-days after receipt unless rejected or modified in writing by this agency in a final decision.
- Within 60 days of receipt of the recommended findings and conclusions, the Director, OEO, will issue a final agency decision in accordance with 373 DM 7.11. If you are dissatisfied with the agency's decision you may, within 30 days of receipt of the decision, request reconsideration of the decision by the Assistant Secretary, PMB. The Assistant Secretary, PMB, will, within 45 days of receipt of the request, affirm or modify the decision of the Director, OEO. The decision of the Assistant Secretary, PMB, shall then be the final agency decision of the Department.
I have been informed of the employee's/applicant's rights by the EEO Counselor on ____________________________.
Signature [Aggrieved] Date
1 Sexual Orientation complaints can not be filed with MSPB or civil court. These cases are administratively processed.