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 DCR EEO Complaints Management
(pdf - 208 KB.)
 How to File an EEO Complaint
(pdf - 103 KB.)
 Overview of the EEO Complaint Process
 EEO Issues and Bases
 Informal EEO Complaint Process
 Request for Informal EEO Counseling
(pdf - 78 KB.)
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 Federal EO Complaints Processing Procedures
Formal EEO Complaint Process


Acceptance/Dismissal of Formal Claim | Investigation | EEOC Hearing | Final Agency Decision
Once a person alleging employment discrimination has been given a “Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint (NORTF),” the person may elect to proceed by filing a formal complaint. The formal complaint must be filed with CBP’s Complaints Processing Center at the address listed below, within 15 calendar days of receipt of the “Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint (NORTF):

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office of the Special Assistant to the Commissioner (EO)
Complaints Processing Center
1301 Clay Street, Suite 160N
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone:  (510) 637-3100
Fax:  (510) 637-3199

The formal complaint must be in writing and signed by the complainant, or his or her attorney. (Please note that representatives who are not attorneys cannot file or sign a formal claim on behalf of another individual). The complaint must be sufficiently precise to describe the actions or practices, which form the basis of the complaint.

To file a complaint of discrimination, a person may use the DHS Formal Complaint Form, which will be provided if a NORTF is issued. Use of the DHS form is not required, but is recommended. However, if this form is not used, a complainant must provide sufficient information to identify the practices or polices that are being challenged as discriminatory and the bases for the challenge. Only issues or claims presented during the informal counseling stage, or claims that are like or related to those claims, may be the subject of the formal complaint.

It is the complainant’s obligation to immediately inform CBP if he or she obtains and/or changes representation.

The formal processing of an complaint consists of the following:

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Acceptance/Dismissal of Formal Claim
After a formal EO claim has been filed, the complainant will receive notification regarding the receipt and acceptance or dismissal of the claim. If the claim is accepted, an investigation will be scheduled. The EEOC regulations provide a number of threshold requirements that the complaint must meet in order to be actionable in the formal process (for example, the complaint must be timely filed and must allege a basis of discrimination that is unlawful).

If those threshold requirements are not met, the complaint will be dismissed. Once a complaint is dismissed, no further action on the complaint will be taken by the agency. However, if the complaint is dismissed, appropriate appeal rights to the EEOC will be provided. If an appeal is filed, and the EEOC disagrees with the agency’s dismissal, the EEOC may remand the complaint back to the agency for processing.

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If the claim is accepted, the investigation is to be conducted within 180 calendar days from the date of the filing of the formal claim. A voluntarily agreement may be made to extend the investigation for a period of not more than an additional 90 calendar days. After the investigation is completed, the complainant will be provided a copy of the investigative file. In general, the complainant will also be notified of his or her right to request a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge, or a final agency decision from DHS’s CRCL.

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EEOC Hearing
In most situations, a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge may be requested within 30 calendar days of receipt of the investigative file, or at any time after 180 calendar days of the filing of the formal EO claim, whichever comes first. A request for a hearing should be made in writing directly to the appropriate local EEOC Office.

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Final Agency Decision
If a hearing is not elected, the complainant may request a final agency decision from DHS’s CRCL, based on the evidence contained in the investigative file, within 30 calendar days from receipt of the investigative file.

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