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DHS Headquarters EEO Office

The DHS Headquarters Equal Employment Opportunity Office (HQ EEO) supports more than 6,000 Headquarters employees by promoting and facilitating compliance with EEO laws, regulations, and mandates; providing leadership and guidance to HQ management officials and employees on all aspects of EEO, diversity, and inclusion; preventing and addressing unlawful employment discrimination through training and awareness; and ensuring that all HQ employees have a work environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, or reprisal and that will support them in the fulfillment of their mission to protect the homeland.

The Headquarters EEO Office’s work and accomplishments are captured in the following reports: the Annual Federal EEO Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints; the Annual U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Management Directive 715 Report; and the DHS Annual Report, pursuant to the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002. 

The Elijah E. Cummings Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2020 amended the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 to require Headquarters to post findings of discrimination (including retaliation) from any final action of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, appeal of a final action by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or a final judgment from a court of jurisdiction, once all appeals are exhausted.  Agencies must keep Notices posted online for one year.  Findings of discrimination, if any, are listed below:

Date of finding: July 22, 2022App
eal/Case Number:  570-2019-01474X
Agency No.: HS-HQ-00227-2019
Location: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, Human Capital Business Solutions
Law(s) violated: Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791
Date of discriminatory act(s): Disability discrimination for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation

The Complaints Program administers the process through which DHS Headquarters employees and applicants to a Headquarters program office can file an allegation of unlawful employment discrimination.  By filing an EEO complaint, an employee or applicant will be provided EEO counseling, which involves a limited inquiry into the allegations and efforts to resolve the matter informally.  If the matter is not resolved, the employee or applicant may file a formal complaint and the Headquarters EEO will conduct a full, fair, and impartial investigation into the accepted claims.  Throughout all stages of the EEO complaint process, Headquarters EEO encourages alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a confidential, fast, and cost effective approach towards resolving disputes. 

Informal EEO Complaints Process

If you are a DHS Headquarters employee, a former DHS Headquarters employee or an applicant for employment at DHS Headquarters, and you believe you have been subjected to employment discrimination based on your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, reprisal (for participating in prior EEO activity), or your status as a parent, you must contact the Headquarters EEO Office within 45 calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory event to initiate an informal EEO complaint.

You may initiate an informal EEO complaint by sending an email to hqeeo@hq.dhs.gov or by contacting us at 202.357.7700.  You should provide a brief statement on why you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination.  You must also provide your email and phone number so an EEO Counselor can contact you.  The EEO Counselor will process your complaint by conducting a limited inquiry within 30 calendar days.  If the matter is not resolved, the EEO Counselor will provide you with a “Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint” that will allow you the opportunity to continue on to the formal EEO complaint process.  The Headquarters EEO Office and the EEO Counselor are neutral. 

Formal EEO Complaints Process

Once an individual (also called a complainant) alleging unlawful employment discrimination has received a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint (NRTF), the complainant may elect to proceed in the EEO process by filing a formal complaint. The formal complaint must be filed with the HQ EEO Office within 15 calendar days of receipt of the NRTF.  The formal complaint may be filed by email: hqeeo@hq.dhs.gov or by mail: 

Headquarters EEO Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE
Mail Stop 0192
Washington, DC 20528-0192

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

To file a complaint of discrimination, the complainant may use the DHS Formal Complaint Form, which will be provided with the NTRF.  Use of the DHS form is not required, but is recommended.  However, if this form is not used, the complainant must provide sufficient information to identify the practices or polices that are being challenged as discriminatory and the alleged EEO bases.  Only issues or claims presented during the Informal stage, or claims that are like or related to those claims, may be the subject of the formal complaint process. The formal processing of a complaint consists of the following: 

Acceptance or Dismissal of Claim(s)

After a formal EEO complaint is filed, the complainant will an acknowledgment of receipt of the formal complaint filing.  If the complaint is accepted, the Headquarter EEO Office will notify the complainant of the accepted claim(s) and assign the case to an EEO investigator.  If the entire complaint involves claims that must be dismissed, CRCL will issue a final agency decision that procedurally dismissed the complaint, and provide appeals rights to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations.  An appeal of the decision may be filed with this office within 30 calendar days of receipt of CRCL’s decision.  If an entire complaint is dismissed, the complainant will also be informed of the right to file a civil action in a U.S. District Court within 90 calendar days.

EEO Investigations

An EEO Investigator will be assigned to conduct a full, fair, and impartial investigation into the accepted claims by gathering statements and documents.  The EEO Investigator is authorized by the Headquarters EEO Office to obtain sworn testimony and written or verbal affidavits from the complainant, management officials, and witnesses.  The investigation will include a thorough review of circumstances surrounding the alleged discrimination, statements by parties involved, and documentation relevant to the case.  All DHS Headquarters employees are required by federal regulation to cooperate with the investigation. 

After completing the investigation, the EEO Investigator submits a Report of Investigation (ROI) and the investigative file to the Headquarters EEO Office.  The Headquarters EEO Office will provide a copy of the ROI and investigative file to the complainant.  If the agency has not given the complainant this ROI and investigative file within 180 calendar days of the filing of the formal complaint, and no extension has been granted, the complainant may request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or file a civil action in a U.S. District Court. 

Election

Upon receipt of the ROI and investigative file, the complainant will be provided 30 calendar days to either request an hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge, or a final agency decision by CRCL.  If the complainant requests a hearing, an EEOC Administrative Judge will oversee discovery, may conduct a hearing, and issue a decision on the complaint.  The request for a hearing should be made using the EEOC’s Public Portal.  The complainant must notify the Headquarters EEO Office if a hearing if filed with the EEOC.

In the alternative, the complainant may request a final agency decision.  CRCL will review the evidence contained in the investigative file, issue a decision, and provide appeal rights.  If the complainant does not make an election, the Headquarters EEO Office with automatically send the matter to CRCL for the issuance of a final agency decision. 

Mediation

Mediation is an ADR technique in which a neutral mediator assists the parties with communication to achieve understanding, identify interests, and potentially achieve a mutually beneficial resolution to the matters in a dispute.

The core principles of ADR/mediation are:

  1. Voluntary: ADR/mediation is voluntary for employees including the settlement or resolution of the issues. The agency must participate in the mediation process.
  2. Neutral: The facilitator or mediator has no stakes in the outcome of the complaint.
  3. Confidential: Nothing that is said by the parties in mediation may be used in subsequent EEO proceedings if the complaint is not resolved.
  4. Enforceable: Any agreement reached in mediation is binding on both parties and enforceable by the EEOC.

DHS is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to Headquarters employees and applicants with a disability.  A reasonable accommodation is a workplace adjustment or alteration that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform essential job duties, or enjoy the full benefits and privileges of employment. The Reasonable Accommodation program facilitates the requests for such accommodations, provides support and guidance to management officials and employees on interactively identifying potential accommodations, and tracking and reporting requests to ensure they are processed in a timely manner.  The program also provides training to Headquarters program offices regarding the reasonable accommodation process and disability employment related matters. For more information, visit: Reasonable Accommodations at DHS | Homeland Security

The Affirmative Employment Program proactively works to identify barriers to equal employment opportunities, and collaborates the DHS Office of the Chief Human Capital Office and Headquarters program offices to identify solutions that will eliminate those barriers.  Using the MD-715 Report as a roadmap, the program supports and encourages the recruitment and retention, selection and promotion, and training and career development of the diverse and inclusive workforce across all Headquarters offices.  The program also leads diversity-related special emphasis programs to raise awareness and improve advancement opportunities for individuals in certain targeted groups (i.e., minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities). 

By Mail or Phone

DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE
Mail Stop 0192
Washington, DC 20528-0192
Phone: 202-357-7700

By Email

hqeeo@hq.dhs.gov

Last Updated: 10/14/2022
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