EEOC Releases Revisions to Rules Governing Federal Discrimination Complaint Process

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has unveiled final rules to help improve the federal discrimination complaint process.

The final rules, which will be published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, make several changes to existing discrimination complaint protocol. According to the rules, agencies may dismiss complaints alleging that a proposed personnel action is discriminatory unless the complainant alleges that the proposal is retaliatory.

“A number of commenters, such as the National Treasury Employees Union, point out that it is possible that a supervisor might place an employee on a performance improvement plan or propose an adverse action against an employee with the intent of deterring that employee from filing or proceeding with an EEO complaint,” the final rules stated. “Knowing this, an unscrupulous manager who has been accused of employment discrimination could initiate a trumped-up proposed removal in order to cause the employee to drop the complaint and avoid termination.”

The revisions also make the decisions of administrative judges in class complaint cases final instead of recommended. Currently, agencies can implement or appeal the decisions of administrative judges in class complaint cases.

In addition, the rules require agencies to submit appeals and complaint files in a digital format, unless they can establish good cause for not doing so, the rules stated. Complainants are encouraged, but not required to file documentation digitally.

The last major revisions to the federal EEO complaint process were implemented in 1999, EEOC said. The latest revisions were created in response to stakeholder dissatisfaction with the process and will take effect 60 days from July 25.

Posted in General News

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