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Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity
ODEO DIVISIONS


Office of the Associate Administrator

Program Planning and Evaluation Division

Complaints Management Division




  The EEO Complaints Process
 
  Discrimination Complaints Based on Sexual Orientation or
Gender Identity
 
 
  Counseling (Informal Complaint)
 
 

An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against should:

  • Immediately contact an EEO Counselor at the Center where the alleged discrimination took place within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act.
  • Undergo counseling at the Center with the EEO Counselor. Generally, counseling must be completed within 30 calendar days .
  • If the issue has not been resolved, the aggrieved individual is eligible to file a discrimination complaint. The individual will receive a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint Form explaining his or her rights to file a formal complaint.

Note: Alternative Dispute Resolution is available at any time during the INFORMAL Complaints Process


  Formal EEO Complaint 
 
 

Upon receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint Form:

  • all formal complaints must be filed with the Director, Complaints Management Division within 15 calendar days from receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint Form.

Once the formal complaint is filed, you will:

  • receive acknowledgement of receipt of the formal complaint;
  • receive letter delineating the issues, and accepting or rejecting the complaint.

Note: Alternative Dispute Resolution is available at any time during the FORMAL Complaints Process


  EEO Investigations
 
 

If a complaint is accepted:

  • it will be forwarded for investigation;
  • the investigation shall be completed within 180 calendar days of the date of the filing of the individual complaint or within the time period contained in an order from the EEOC;
  • upon completion of the investigation, you will receive a copy of the investigative report (IR)
  • you will receive the notice of your right to request a decision from an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) or an immediate Final Agency Decision (FAD) without a hearing from the AA from the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.


  Hearing
 
 

If you request a hearing you must file the request directly to the EEOC with a copy of your request to the Complaints Management Division.


  Final Agency Decisions (FAD)
 
 

If you request a FAD without a hearing, provide written notice to the Director, Complaints Management Division , within 30 calendar days of receipt of the investigative report (IR).

If there is a finding of discrimination, this office maintains oversight of the corrective action and makes determinations regarding attorney's fees and costs as well as compensatory damages.

If there is no finding you have the right to appeal the FAD to the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations.


  Appeals
 
 

You may appeal a FAD dismissing a complaint to the EEOC within 30 calendar days of receipt of the dismissal, final action or decision.

If the complaint is on a matter that is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) you may appeal the FAD to the MSPB within 20 calendar days of receipt of the decision, or file at the appropriate United States District Court within 30 calendar days.


  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
 
 

Alternative Dispute Resolution is encouraged and available at all stages during the EEO process. The purposes of ADR are to:

  • obtain resolution;
  • reduce processing time;
  • reduce expense of process;
  • reduce formal complaints; and
  • restore harmony in the workplace.

Contact the EO Office at the NASA Center where the alleged discriminatory act occurred to request ADR.

Note: Alternative Dispute Resolution is available at any time during the EEO Complaints Process


  Settlements
 
 

Your case may be closed by a settlement agreement. If you believe that the terms of the settlement agreement are not fully implemented, please contact the Director, Complaints Management Division , immediately.


  Class Complaint
 
  An employee who believes that he or she is part of group or class that has been subjected to discrimination must:

  • contact an EEO Counselor at the Center where the alleged discrimination took place within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act; and

  • request class counseling.


  How Do I Initiate an INFORMAL Complaint
 
 

Alternative Dispute Resolution is available at both the informal and formal stage of the EEO Complaints Process

  • Contact the Center EO Office where the alleged discrimination occurred within 45 calendar days of the discriminatory act.
  • Request counseling with an EEO Counselor. You are allowed 30 calendar days for counseling and must obtain an extension for any additional time necessary to complete counseling.
  • If you elect Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at this stage, counseling is extended for an additional 30 days.


  How Do I File a FORMAL Complaint?
 
 

Alternative Dispute Resolution is available at both the informal and formal stage of the EEO Complaints Process

If your case is not resolved upon completion of counseling, you will be issued a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint.
  • If you wish to proceed, you must file a formal complaint within 15 calendar days of receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint with the Director, Complaints Management Division.
  • If your complaint is accepted, it will be forwarded for investigation. The investigation should be completed within 180 calendar days of the date of the filing of the individual complaint or within the time period contained in an order from the EEOC.
  • Upon the completion of the investigation, you will receive a copy of the investigative report and notice of your rights to either elect a Hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) or a Final Agency Decision without a Hearing from the AA at the Office of Diversity and Equal Opporutnity.

 

  Discrimination Complaints Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
 
 

Sexual Orientation

When a NASA employee or applicant for employment believes he or she has been discriminated against based on sexual orientation, that individual may have his or her case processed pursuant to the following three options: (1) Title VII/29 C.F.R. Part1614; (2) NPR 3713.4; or (3) both processes, simultaneously.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance in this arena instructs that, despite the fact that sexual orientation itself is not a protected basis under Title VII, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals may experience gender discrimination, which is protected under Title VII, including harassment or other kinds of gender discrimination. According to the EEOC, gender discrimination includes discriminatory behavior resulting from a person’s failure to conform to gender stereotypes. Included in these stereotypes is the concept that men should only be attracted to women and women should only be attracted to men; or men should engage in masculine behavior, and women should engage in feminine behavior, as these have been traditionally defined. Based on the EEOC’s definition of gender stereotyping, most, if not all, administrative complaints based on sexual orientation may be processed under Title VII/1614.[1]

Therefore, individuals should know that they: (1) have a right to file a complaint under the Title VII/1614 process, because they may have experienced gender discrimination in the form of gender stereotyping, (2) have a right to file a complaint under NPR 3713.4, because discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited in the NASA workplace, or (3) have a right to have their complaint processed simultaneously.

An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against based on sexual orientation should contact an EEO Counselor at the Center where the alleged discrimination took place within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act and undergo counseling. If the issue is not resolved during the informal process, the aggrieved individual is eligible to file a formal discrimination complaint. See also The EEO Complaints Process.

Appeals to the Commission. If an employee or applicant for employment files a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination under the Title VII/1614 process and the Agency dismisses the complaint as failing to state a claim of gender discrimination, the Agency should ensure that it provides the employee or applicant for employment with the appropriate notice of right to appeal as set forth in EEOC regulations (29 CFR 1614.401) and MD-110. See also The EEO Complaints Process.

 

  Discrimination Complaints Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
 
 

Gender Identity

EEOC’s decision in Macy v. Dept. of Justice, Appeal No. 0120120821 (April 20, 2012) represents its position that discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender (this basis is referred to as “gender identity”) is discrimination because of gender. Complaints of discrimination on the basis of gender identity therefore should be processed under the Title VII/1614 process based on gender discrimination.

An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against based on gender identity should contact an EEO Counselor at the Center where the alleged discrimination took place within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act and undergo counseling. If the issue is not resolved during the informal process, the aggrieved individual is eligible to file a formal discrimination complaint. See also The EEO Complaints Process.


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Last Updated: December 5, 2017
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