Equal Employment Opportunity

Rights and Responsibilities

Only matters that you raise in the pre-complaint counseling or issues like or related to those you raise in the pre-complaint counseling may be alleged in any future formal complaint you file. However, you may at any time before the conclusion of the investigation, amend a pending complaint to add claims that are "like or related" to those claims raised in the pending complaint. A separate Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint is not appropriate, however to facilitate an amended complaint, you must submit a letter to the Chief, EEO Office, Bureau of the Census, EEO Office, Room 1229, Federal Office Building (FOB 3), Washington, DC 20233. If you have filed a formal complaint and have been contacted by an EEO Investigator you must write a letter to the Department of Commerce, Office of Civil Rights, HCHB, Room 6010, Washington, DC 20230. After you have requested a hearing, you may file a motion with the Administrative Judge to amend the complaint to include claims that are like or related to those raised in the pending complaint.

Your responsibilities in the complaint process:

If you change your name and/or your address anytime during the processing of your complaint, you must immediately notify your Counselor:

U.S. Census Bureau
EEO Office
CENHQ Room 3K106
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233


U.S. Department of Commerce
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Compliance Division
HCHB, Room 6010
Washington, DC 20230

Your Rights in the EEO Process

(All time frames set out in this notice are stated in calendar days unless otherwise indicated)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulations governing the processing of complaints of employment discrimination by federal applicants and employees include the following:

When the EEO office has determined that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an appropriate option for your dispute, you have a right to be offered ADR. The EEOC’s revised regulations require that agencies establish or make available an ADR program beginning January 1, 2000, in lieu of EEO counseling, early in the EEO informal or pre-complaint stage; or to be offered ADR during the formal complaint stage, if you did not elect it during the informal stage.

You may find the ADR process to be a faster, more productive, and more rewarding process for resolving your dispute. ADR, which is designed to cut the time and cost of traditional administrative and legal procedures, relies on the use of a neutral third party to help disputants find mutually acceptable solutions. Consequently, the dispute resolution rate when using ADR is greatly enhanced.

  1. ! When offered ADR, you have the responsibility to sign a mediation election form, indicating your decision to elect, or not elect, ADR. NOTE: If you decline ADR at the time it is offered, you still have the option to elect it at a later time, provided the date of election permits sufficient time to arrange and conduct a mediation session within the time limits imposed by EEOC regulations.
  2. You have a right to representation of your choice throughout the complaint process, including the counseling stage or during the ADR mediation, as applicable. The EEO counselor, or ADR mediator, is not an advocate for either the aggrieved person or the agency.
  3. You have the right to confidentiality of all discussions in mediation; statements made in the mediation session/s may not be used as evidence in a formal complaint.
  4. You have a responsibility to enter into any mediation in good faith, and to contribute creative solutions which might resolve the dispute.
  5. Prior to filing a formal complaint, you have a right to anonymity.
  6. You have the right to pursue formal complaint processing, including administrative and court action, should you wish to discontinue the mediation process or are unable to reach a settlement through ADR (if ADR was elected).
  7. You may be required to choose between a negotiated grievance procedure and the EEO complaint procedure. Consult your EEO Counselor for clarification.
  8. You may be required to choose between the EEO complaint procedure and an appeal to the Merit System Protection Board. Consult your EEO Counselor for clarification.
  9. Should you wish to file a formal complaint at the conclusion of counseling or ADR, if a settlement is not reached, you are required to file the formal complaint within 15 calendar days of receipt of the Counselor’s Notice of Right to File memorandum.
  10. You may file a notice of intent to sue and file a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) instead of an administrative complaint of age discrimination when age is alleged as a basis, pursuant to 29 C.F.R. §1614.201(a).
  11. You have a right to go directly to a court of competent jurisdiction on claims of sex-based wage discrimination under the Equal Pay Act even though such claims are also cognizable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
  12. You have a right to request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge (except in a mixed case) after completion of the investigation or 180 calendar days from the filing of a formal complaint, whichever comes first. Your request should be made directly to the appropriate EEOC office, and you must notify the responding agency of your hearing request. Consult the EEO Counselor, or the Department’s Office of Civil Rights, for information on where a request for a hearing and notice to the agency should be sent.
  13. You have a right to an immediate final decision after an investigation by the agency in accordance with 29 C.F.R. §1614.108(f).
  14. You have a right to go to U.S. District Court 180 calendar days after filing a formal complaint if no final action has been taken on the complaint, or 180 days after filing an appeal if no decision has been issued on the appeal.
  15. You must mitigate damages, i.e., you must look for other appropriate employment and you must seek treatment for any injury you claim.
  16. You must keep the agency and EEOC informed of your current mailing address and serve copies of hearing requests and appeal papers on the agency.
  17. Where counseling is selected and a settlement has not been reached, you have a right to receive in writing, within 30 calendar days of the first counseling contact (unless you agree in writing to an extension), a notice terminating counseling and informing you of:
    1. the right to file a formal individual or class complaint within 15 calendar days of receipt of the notice,
    2. the appropriate official with whom to file a formal complaint, and
    3. your duty to immediately inform the agency if you retain counsel or a representative.
  18. Where ADR is selected and a settlement has not been reached, you have a right to receive in writing, upon completion of the mediation or within ninety (90) calendar days of the first contact with the EEO Counselor, whichever is earlier, the notice terminating counseling, as described in Item q above.
  19. Only claims raised at the counseling stage or claims that are like or related to them may be the subject of a formal complaint, or an amendment to a complaint after it has been filed.
  20. Your rejection of an agency’s offer of resolution made pursuant to 29 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R. §1614.109(c)) may limit the amount of attorney’s fees or costs you can recover.
  21. If you have filed two or more complaints, the agency must consolidate them after appropriate notice to you. 29 C.F.R. §1614.606. When a complaint has been consolidated with one or more earlier complaints, the agency shall complete its investigation within the earlier of 180 days after the filing of the last complaint or 360 days after the filing of the first complaint.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Equal Employment Opportunity | DIR.ADR.Coordinator@census.gov | Last Revised: August 28, 2012