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Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Process

USDA OIG maintains its longstanding policy of ensuring equal employment opportunity and sustaining a workplace free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Any current or former OIG employee, or applicant for employment with OIG may file a discrimination complaint based on race, age (40 or older), color, religion, national origin, disability, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions), parental status, marital or familial status, political beliefs, protected genetic information, prior participation in EEO activity or opposition to any practice made unlawful under any Federal antidiscrimination laws, or receipt of income derived from programs or activities conducted or funded by OIG. The following process only applies to current or former OIG employees, or applicants for employment with OIG.

To initiate an OIG equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint, you must first contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at OIG.EDI-INFO@oig.usda.gov within 45 calendar days of the alleged discrimination. Once you file an informal EEO complaint, an EEO Counselor is assigned to advise you of your rights and responsibilities, 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).

Thereafter, if your informal complaint is not resolved, you may choose to file a formal EEO complaint of discrimination. If your formal complaint     is accepted, you can expect the following:

  • A thorough, impartial EEO investigation of the accepted allegations.
  • The right to request a hearing before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or a final decision by USDA without a hearing.*
  • The right to appeal any final USDA decision to the EEOC, if you are dissatisfied.

* If your case is a mixed-case complaint, you do not have a right to a hearing before the EEOC or to appeal a USDA decision to the EEOC. A "mixed case complaint" is a complaint of employment discrimination filed with a federal agency based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or reprisal related to or stemming from an action that may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion advises OIG leadership on applying the principles of civil rights, EEO, dispute resolution, diversity, and inclusion, on matters affecting the OIG workforce, program activities, and development of policy.

USDA Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement