EEO Complaint Processing Procedures
1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
As part of its commitment to provide a work environment free from employment actions and/or employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disabilities, retaliation for prior equal employment activity, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, parental status, and marital status, the USDA herein establishes a system to process employment discrimination complaints, including procedures for offering and conducting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in employment discrimination complaints (Departmental Regulation 4710-1, USDA Alternative Dispute Resolution). It is USDA’s objective and policy to resolve complaints, when possible, via informal or formal settlement negotiations with complainants. Agencies are primarily responsible for carrying out this policy. USDA may, at its election, provide assistance to agencies at any stage of the complaint process to facilitate an amicable resolution to all complaints. The resolution strategy of USDA and its use is explained in Sections 11 and 12 below.