Equal Employment Opportunity

EEO Discrimination Complaint Process

Informal/Pre-Complaint Stage

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is an equal opportunity employer. Any TTB employee, former employee, or applicant for employment with TTB has a right to file a complaint alleging discrimination if he/she believes he/she has been subjected to employment discrimination due to race, sex, age (40 and over), color, religion, national origin, disability (physical or mental), and/or retaliation for prior EEO activity. All individuals have the right to have a representative present at any stage of the complaint.

If you wish to file a discrimination complaint, you must contact an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counselor, or the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Advancement (EEO&DA), within 45 calendar days of the date of the alleged discriminatory action, or within 45 days of when you knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged discriminatory action. If your complaint involves a personnel action, you must contact an EEO Counselor or EEO&DA within 45 calendar days of its effective date. If the matter is not a specific action, but an on-going policy or practice, it must have been in effect within 45 calendar days of your contact with the EEO Counselor or EEO&DA.

EEO Counseling

Once you file an informal EEO complaint, an EEO Counselor will be assigned to advise you of your rights, conduct an informal inquiry into your allegation(s) of discrimination, and attempt to reach an informal resolution of your complaint. If you wish to remain anonymous, your name will be kept confidential during the informal stage (all efforts will be made by the EEO Counselor to ensure your anonymity).

The EEO Counselor will determine if a mutually acceptable informal resolution of your complaint is possible, and if so, the terms of the resolution will be put in writing and signed by you, the responsible management official(s), and the Director of EEO&DA. If the matter is not resolved within 30 calendar days (unless you agree in writing to extend the counseling period), the EEO Counselor will issue you a Notice of Right to File a Formal Discrimination Complaint. You will have 15 calendar days from the date you receive this Notice to file a written formal complaint.

NOTE: A formal complaint cannot be filed prior to completing the pre-complaint counseling process.

EEO Counselors

Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1614, governs the process of Federal sector discrimination complaints. These regulations outline the procedures for complaint processing. Under these regulations an EEO Counselor is required to:

  • Advise the aggrieved about the EEO Complaint Process, and also, his/her rights and responsibilities.
  • Determine the issues and bases of the complaint. Counsel the aggrieved concerning the issues involved in the complaint.
  • Review the issues and offer Alternative Dispute Resolution to the aggrieved as appropriate.
  • Conduct an informal inquiry into the matter to obtain information to address the concerns, and to attempt resolution.
  • Seek a resolution at the lowest possible level. One of the primary purposes of EEO counseling is to resolve EEO-related matters informally in as short a period as possible.
  • Keep a record of the counseling activities and periodically brief the EEO Director on those activities.
  • Submit a written report to the EEO Director summarizing the actions taken and resolutions obtained concerning the issues in the matter.
  • Provide the aggrieved with the appropriate notices concerning his/her right to file a formal complaint.

NOTE: The EEO Counselor is neither an advocate for management nor for the employee.

TTB EEO Counselors

Darlene M. Brown
Southeast Region, Raeford, NC
202-453-3148

The above EEO Counselors are trained and certified to assist TTB employees and/or applicants for employment, regardless of their geographical location.

If you have any questions regarding the EEO Counseling Program, please contact EEO&DA at 202-453-2063; TTY: 202-882-9914.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity regulations at 29 CFR Part 1614.102(b)(2) require that Federal agencies "...establish or make available an alternative dispute resolution program. Such a program must be available for both the pre-complaint and formal complaint process."

ADR is a process designed to encourage early intervention and resolution of disputes to maintain a positive, healthy work environment. ADR emphasizes open communication, cooperation, and flexibility in identifying mutual interests and potential solutions. ADR encompasses a variety of processes such as Facilitation, Ombudsman and Mediation. The Department of the Treasury has chosen Mediation as its preferred method for attempting to resolve employment discrimination disputes.

EEO&DA will not offer mediation to employees in every EEO case. EEO&DA evaluates cases on an individual basis and considers appropriate factors, including, but not limited to: the nature of the case, issues involved, relationship between the parties, and remedies requested by the aggrieved.

Mediation

Mediation promotes a renewed positive working relationship between the parties involved. All conversations and materials produced during mediation are confidential to the maximum extent possible except in cases of waste, fraud, abuse or criminal activity. Mediators are strictly prohibited from discussing the case with anyone outside the mediation process.

The EEO mediation process uses a neutral third party, or mediator, to facilitate conflict resolution. A mediator is trained in conflict resolution and does not take sides, render a decision, or impose settlements. Rather, the mediator helps the parties explore mutual interests and reconcile differences.

Once mediation is offered and accepted, and both parties to the dispute agree to mediate, a mediator will be assigned to conduct mediation. The management official involved has a duty to participate in the session and attempt resolution in good faith. If the manager involved in the dispute does not have settlement authority, a management official with this authority must be easily accessible to approve any resolution reached. If an agreement is reached, a Memorandum of Agreement is drafted and signed by both parties, as well as the Chief of EEO&DA. If resolution is not reached, the dispute continues through the EEO administrative complaint process.

For more information on ADR, please see TTB's Alternative Dispute Resolution Directive.

Formal Complaint Stage

Formal Complaint Process

If no informal resolution is reached within 30 calendar days of the date you filed your informal complaint, the EEO Counselor must, on the 30 th day, issue you a written Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint (unless you agree in writing to extend the counseling period). You have 15 calendar days from the date you receive this Notice to file a written formal complaint with the Treasury Complaint Center. The Center will review your complaint for acceptance or dismissal. If your complaint is accepted, an investigator will be assigned to conduct an investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, you will be given a copy of the Report of Investigation (ROI). Within 30 days of receipt of the ROI, you may request a hearing or a final decision by the Department.

Adjudication Process

If you ask for a hearing, a request is made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for assignment of an Administrative Judge (AJ). The AJ will issue to the Department a decision on your complaint within 180 days of receipt of the complaint file. The Department will then issue a final order within 40 days of receipt of the AJ's decision.

If instead of requesting a hearing, you ask for an immediate Final Agency Decision (FAD), the Department will issue one within 60 days of receipt of your request.

Appeal Process

You have the right to appeal the Department's final decision to EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) within 30 calendar days, or to file a civil action in the Federal District Court (FDC) within 90 calendar days of the Department's decision. If you elect to appeal to EEOC's OFO, you may file a civil action in FDC within 90 days of EEOC's decision on the appeal. You may also file a civil action in the FDC if final action on your complaint is not taken by the Department within 180 days of filing, or if final action is not taken on an appeal to the OFO within 180 days of filing.

NOTE : If your complaint is not related to discrimination, sexual harassment, or discriminatory reprisal, you should address your issue(s) to the Office of Human Resources and/or to the union (if you are covered under the Negotiated Agreement) for appropriate action.

Title VI and IX Section 504 Rehabilitation Act

The Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau must comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibiting discrimination based on disability in its conducted programs and activities. Any person who believes they have been discriminated against based on their disability may submit a written complaint to Tram-Tiara Ngo, Director, Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Advancement, 1310 G Street, NW., Box 12 Washington, DC 20005.

In addition, Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recipients and subrecipients of financial assistance must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting race, color, and national origin discrimination including language access for limited English proficient persons), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (prohibiting disability discrimination), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting sex discrimination in education and training programs), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of services). Any person who believes they have been discriminated against based on their race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability may submit a written complaint to Tram-Tiara Ngo, Director, Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Advancement, 1310 G Street, NW., Box 12 Washington, DC 20005.

Page last reviewed/updated: 12/24/2013

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