Skip Navigation

Roles of EEO Counselors

Where an aggrieved person seeks EEO counseling, the Counselor must ensure that the complainant understands his/her rights and responsibilities in the EEO process, including the option to elect ADR. The EEO Counselor will:

A.    Advise the aggrieved person about the EEO complaint process under 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. The EEO counselor should explain the agency ADR program, indicating either that the program is available to the aggrieved individual or that the EEO counselor will advise the individual whether the program will be made available. The EEO Counselor further should explain that if the ADR program is available, the aggrieved individual will have to exercise an election option, and decide whether to seek pre-complaint resolution through the ADR process or through the traditional EEO counseling process. In this regard, the EEO Counselor should inform the aggrieved individual about the differences between the two processes.

B.    Determine the claim(s) and basis(es) raised by the potential complaint.

C.    Conduct an inquiry during the initial interview with the aggrieved person for the purposes of determining jurisdictional questions. This includes determining whether there may be issues relating to the timeliness of the individual's EEO Counselor contact and obtaining information relating to this issue. It also includes obtaining enough information concerning the claim(s) and basis(es) so as to enable the agency to properly identify the legal claim raised if the individual files a complaint at the conclusion of the EEO counseling process.

D.   Use of the term "initial interview" in this context is not intended to suggest that during the first meeting with the aggrieved person an EEO Counselor must obtain all of the information s/he needs to determine the claim(s) or basis(es). Nor does it mean that where the person decides to exercise his/her ADR option, the EEO Counselor is foreclosed from contacting the person to obtain such additional information as s/he needs for this specific purpose.

E.    Seek a resolution of the dispute at the lowest possible level, unless the aggrieved person elects to participate in the agency's ADR program where the agency agrees to offer ADR in a particular case. If the dispute is resolved in counseling, the EEO Counselor must document the resolution.

F.    Advise the aggrieved person of his/her right to file a formal discrimination complaint if attempts to resolve the dispute through EEO counseling or ADR fail to resolve the dispute.

G.   Prepare a report sufficient to document that the EEO Counselor undertook the required counseling actions and to resolve any jurisdictional questions that arise.

< Back to EEO Complaint Process
< Back to Civil Rights