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Homeland Security

How to File an EEO Complaint

(For Headquarters Employees Only)

HQ EEO >> How to File a Complaint

If you believe you have been discriminated against and wish to pursue the EEO process, you are entitled to seek EEO counseling and should contact the DHS Headquarters Office of EEO at 202-357-7700.

The Department of Homeland Security is an equal opportunity employer. If you are an employee or applicant for employment and feel that you have been discriminated against, you may have the right to file a complaint of discrimination with the Department.

Complaints can be filed on the following bases: race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, protected genetic information, or reprisal. Complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation or parental status although not covered by the laws prohibiting discrimination, may be filed and will be handled under special Department of Homeland Security procedures.

If you believe that you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination, you MUST contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory activity to preserve your rights. If you are not aware of who the EEO counselors are, you should contact the DHS-HQ EEO Director via e-mail at

The role of the EEO counselor is to resolve disputes between aggrieved persons and management. The counselor is a neutral participant in this process, and is not an advocate for either side. The counselor will inquire into the facts and circumstances and attempt to find a resolution that is satisfactory to both parties.

The counseling process should not exceed 30 days; however, you may agree to extend counseling for up to an additional 60 days. If no resolution is achieved during that time, the counselor will provide you with a Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint. The formal complaint MUST be filed with the appropriate office within 15 days of receipt of that notice with the appropriate office. The address of the office to which you should send your formal complaint will be indicated on the Notice of Right to File, and a complaint form will be provided by the counselor.

Once a formal complaint has been filed, an investigation may be conducted. Upon completion of the investigation, you may be entitled to a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administrative Judge or a Final Agency Decision by the Department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

More in the EEO Headquarters Site


Last Published Date: April 23, 2015
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