Last updated: September 29, 2016
EEO Counseling Program
Region 1 EEO Counseling Program Vision
To assist management, current and former employees, and applicants in effectively resolving issues, stemming from and pursuant to Title VII concerns, at the lowest possible level, and at the least cost to all parties.
Outline of employment protections based upon the following authorities:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) which makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or reprisal;
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII to make it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth;
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace;
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects people who are 40 or older from discrimination because of age;
Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which make it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a mental or physical disability;
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members (i.e. an individual's family medical history).
Civil Rights Act of 1991, 29 CFR Part 1614 and EEOC Management Directive (MD) 110 govern Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Programs. MD 110 provides information on the pre-complaint process and Alternative Dispute Resolution options available to all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and applicants for employment.
Filing a Claim of Discrimination
All Federal employees, former employees, or applicants of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who believe they have been discriminated against on one or more of the following bases: race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), physical or mental disability, reprisal (involvement in the EEO process or opposition to discriminatory practices), sexual orientation, status as a parent, and/or protected genetic information, have the right to discuss the matter with an EEO Counselor for informal counseling. Pursuant to EEOC Management Directive (MD) 110, the individual must engaged in the informal EEO complaint process prior to filing a formal complaint in order to try to informally resolve the matter. Contact with an EEO Official must occur within 45 calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory incident, or in the case of a personnel action within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action, or within 45 calendar days when an individual becomes aware of the alleged discriminatory action. The EEO Counselor for Region 1 and Region 8 can be contacted by calling (503) 231-2081 or TTY (503) 231-6263.
Role of an EEO Counselor
The EEO Counselor is an impartial fact finder who assists aggrieved persons and management in seeking resolution of the issues at the lowest possible level.
Informal EEO Complaint (Pre-Complaint)
The aggrieved person must engage in the pre-complaint process before filing a formal complaint. The EEO Counselor will explain the process to you, advise you in writing of your rights and responsibilities, and will listen and help you specifically identify your claims of employment discrimination. The EEO Counselor will also inform you of your choice to participate either in the traditional EEO counseling process or the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.
If you elect to participate in the traditional EEO counseling process, the EEO Counselor has 30 calendar days (may be extended for up to an additional 60 calendar days by written request) from the date you contact the EEO Counselor with intent to begin the pre-complaint process to: conduct a limited inquiry into your claim(s); discuss your concerns with an appropriate official who has authority to resolve the claims; and attempt to resolve your concerns informally.
If you elect the ADR program, the process is extended for a total of 90 calendar days. A skilled mediator from either inside or outside the Department may be assigned to mediate your claim. The mediator is a neutral, objective, and impartial individual who will assist you and management in joint problem solving. Discussions held during the ADR process will not be recorded in the complaint file.
If your claim is resolved during the traditional EEO counseling process or the ADR process, the resolution will be put in writing to be signed by you and the authorized management official. If your claim is not resolved during the traditional EEO counseling or ADR, the EEO Counselor will issue you the Notice of Final Interview and the Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination (NOFI).
If you decide to file a formal complaint, you or your representative have 15 calendar days from the date of receipt of the NOFI to submit your formal complaint in writing. Your written formal complaint must be signed by you or your legal representative. A postmark dated within the requisite 15 calendar days will be evidence of timely filing. The formal complaint should be filed by you or your representative using the Department of the Interior Form DI-1892 with the Director, Office of Civil Rights or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Chief, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce Management. The NOFI contains the name and address of appropriate official(s) with whom you can file your formal complaint.