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FDA EEO Compliance: Filing a Discrimination Complaint

Filing A Charge

Any FDA employee, or applicant for employment at FDA, or individual benefiting from an FDA administered employment program may institute an EEO complaint if that employee or applicant believes he/she has been discriminated against based on one or more of the following factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (Including Sexual Orientation)
  • National Origin
  • Age
  • Disability (Physical Or Mental)
  • Retaliation/Reprisal
  • Genetic Information

Step One - Informal Complaint

If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination in your work or through the employment, and you wish to file a complaint, you must initiate contact with an EEO counselor within 45 days of the occurrence of the alleged discrimination. Counselors are assigned through the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity(OEEO). The counselor will advise you of your rights, conduct an informal inquiry into your allegation(s) and attempt resolution of the complaint. Ordinarily, counseling must be completed within 30 days. The aggrieved individual may then file a complaint with FDA.

Step Two - Formal Complaint

After completing the informal process, you may file a formal complaint. You must, within 15 calendar days of the notice of final counseling, give notice to FDA that you intend to file a formal complaint. You do so by completing the Complaint of Alleged Discrimination form, that is included in your copy of the counseling report, and sending it to:

Director, Division of Compliance
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity
10903 New Hampshire Avenue, WO32-2260
Silver Spring, MD 20903-0002

Your complaint must be specific and limited only to the allegation(s) raised with the EEO counselor. If your complaint is accepted by FDA/OEEO, they must acknowledge receipt of your complaint and must, within 180 days, conduct a complete and fair investigation.

During these 180 days, FDA/OEEO has the following responsibilities:

  • to conduct and complete the investigation
  • to make attempts at settlement
  • to provide you with a copy of the investigative file and notice of your rights

Within 30 days of your receipt of these materials you may request either an immediate final agency decision or a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative judge (AJ).

If you fail to respond or request an immediate final decision, the agency will issue it based on its review of the investigative report and complaint file. The agency must issue its decision within 60 days from receipt of your request or failure to respond.

If you request an EEOC hearing, an administrative judge will be appointed and he/she will oversee discovery, conduct a hearing, issue findings of facts and conclusions of law. If a finding of discrimination is made, the judge will order an appropriate remedy. The judge must complete this process within 180 days from the date of receipt of your request for a hearing.

The agency, within 60 days of its receipt of the judge's notification, must issue its final decision. The agency may reject or modify the finding and relief ordered by the judge. If the agency does not take any action the judge's finding and relief becomes the final decision.


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