Filing an EEO Complaint

The EEO Complaint process is available to FMC employees or applicants who believe they have been discriminated against by the FMC on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Disabling condition (mental or physical)
  • Reprisal
  • Genetic information

The EEO Complaint Process

  1. Pre-complaint Process – Filing
    Complainant (a FMC employee or job applicant) must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action, or in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of action. Names of FMC EEO Counselors appear on posters in the building, on the FMC website, or you may contact FMC Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and speak to the Director.
  2. Counseling
    An EEO Counselor will begin the fact-finding and attempt to resolve the matter informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial contact with Complainant. Counseling may be extended upon agreement of both the EEO Office and Complainant up to 60 additional days if more time is needed to achieve a resolution.
    The Complainant may elect, at the time of the initial contact, a process which attempts resolution through mediation. In this process, the 30-day period may also be extended up to an additional 60 calendar days.
  3. Formal Complaint Process – Filing
    If a resolution is not achieved during EEO counseling, Complainant may file a written formal complaint with the FMC EEO Director or with the FMC Chairman within 15 calendar days of receiving the Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint.
  4. Acceptance/Dismissal
    If the complaint is accepted by the FMC, an investigator will be assigned to conduct an investigation to collect relevant information pertaining to the complaint.
    If the complaint or portions are dismissed, the Complainant will be provided, in writing, the reason(s) for dismissal and informed of his/her right to appeal the decision.
  5. Investigation
    The FMC is required to complete an investigation within 180 calendar days of receipt of the formal complaint, with a possible extension for 90 additional calendar days, upon mutual agreement by the FMC and Complainant.
    After the investigation, within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Investigation Report, Complainant may request: FMC final agency action or a hearing by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
    If the investigation is not completed after 180 calendar days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, Complainant may also request a hearing from the EEOC or file a civil action in U.S. District Court.
    Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution may be requested at any time during the formal complaint process.
  6. EEOC Hearing
    Complainant may request a hearing by an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Investigative Report. The AJ may conduct a hearing and submit his/her decision within 180 calendar days of the request. If FMC does not appeal the AJ’s decision, or issue a final agency action, the AJ’s decision becomes the final decision of the FMC 40 calendar days after it is received.
  7. FMC’s Final Decision
    If Complainant requests a final agency decision, the EEO Director, (when advised by the FMC Chairman), will issue a decision based on information in the investigative file within 60 calendar days. The Director will also issue a decision where neither a final decision nor a hearing has been requested.


If Complainant is dissatisfied with the final agency action issued by FMC, she/he may appeal to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the final agency action.

Right to File Civil Action

If the Complainant does not file an appeal with the OFO, she/he may file a civil action in an appropriate U.S. District Court within 90 calendar days of receipt of the final agency action.

If the Complainant files an appeal and is then dissatisfied with the OFO’s decision, she/he may request reconsideration within 20 calendar days of receipt of the OFO’s decision; or may file a civil action in a U.S. District Court within 90 calendar days of receipt of the OFO’s decision appeal. A civil action may also be filed if the OFO does not issue a decision within 180 calendar days from the date that the appeal was filed.

A Complainant who raises a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may bypass the administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with the EEOC at least 30 calendar days before filing a civil action in court.

For More Information

Additional information pertaining to the EEO Complaint process may be obtained from the Director, Equal Employment Opportunity or within FMC Commission Order 52 – Equal Employment Opportunity available on the FMC Intranet.