LOADING...
Text Size
NASA - Did You Know?
December 28, 2009
 
  1. What is Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)?
  2. What purpose does the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) serve?
  3. What is reasonable accommodation?
  4. Does OEOD process complaints that are not enforceable by EEOC?
  5. Who can file a discrimination complaint with the OEOD?
  6. What if I am a contractor?
  7. How long can I wait to file a complaint?
  8. Who is a formal complaint of discrimination filed against?
  9. What happens after I contact OEOD with a complaint?
  10. What is the difference between the informal process and the formal process?
  11. Can I anonymously file a complaint?
  12. Are discrimination complaints kept confidential?
  13. What does Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mean?
  14. Can ADR be offered again during the formal stage of the process?
  15. Can I appeal a decision?
  16. What constitutes a reprisal?
  17. Can I withdraw a complaint made to the EO Office?

  Answers:

  • What is Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)?
    Equal opportunity in employment means opportunity not just for some but for all. NASA provides equal opportunity in Federal employment regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a parent.

    EEO covers all human capital and employment programs, management practices, and decisions including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, merit promotion, transfer, reassignments, training and career development, benefits, and separation. NASA supports employee exercise of rights under EEO law. Reprisal against individuals who engage in protected activity will not be tolerated. NASA supports the rights of employees to exercise all available rights under the civil rights statutes. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codee/policy.html
  • What purpose does the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) serve?
    To ensure the effective implementation of the NASA and JSC equal opportunity policy, which is to provide equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment, regardless of their race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a parent; to help reduce and to ensure against discrimination; and to promote the full realization of equal opportunity through a continuing affirmative employment program and diversity management

    The Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination enforced by EEOC are:

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

    The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

    Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments.

    Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 , which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and

    The Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

    In addition to the above laws which are enforced by the EEOC the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978(CSRA) prohibits discrimination and reprisal against federal employees. The CSRA contains a number of prohibitions, known as prohibited personnel practices, which are designed to promote overall fairness in federal personnel actions. The CSRA prohibits any employee who has authority to take certain personnel actions from discriminating for or against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. It also provides that certain personnel actions cannot be based on attributes or conduct that do not adversely affect employee performance, such as marital status and political affiliation.

    The CSRA also prohibits reprisal against federal employees or applicants for whistle-blowing, or for exercising an appeal, complaint, or grievance right. The CSRA is enforced by both the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

    How are whistleblowers protected?
    http://www.osc.gov/documents/pubs/post_wbr.htm

    In addition to the discrimination prohibitions covered by the above laws, Executive Order (EO) 11478 as amended by EO 13087 and 13152 states that it is the policy of the Government of the United States to prohibit discrimination in employment because of sexual orientation, or status as a parent.
  • What is reasonable accommodation?
    Assuring that all employees or applicants for employment are provided the needed resources (within reason) to perform the task of the job.


  • Does OEOD process complaints that are not enforceable by EEOC?
    Yes, we can handle the complaint through the informal process towards resolution but the complaint will not continue through the formal process. The EEO counselor will discuss other grievance avenues such as Merit Systems Protection Board, Union, and Office of Special Counsel.
     
  • Who can file a discrimination complaint with the OEOD?
    Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against because of their age, race, gender, color, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a parent, should contact OEOD as soon as possible. Employees are encouraged to review the, complaint process , prior to contacting OEOD.


  • What if I am a contractor?
    Contractor employees can file a discrimination complaint with JSC if certain criteria are met. They may also file with their company or directly with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). To determine if you meet the criteria to file a complaint with JSC, please contact OEOD at 281-483-0607.
     
  • How long can I wait to file a complaint?
    Generally you have 45 days to contact OEOD from the day of the incident. The EEO counselor can provide additional information.


  • Who is a formal complaint of discrimination filed against?
    It is filed against the current Agency Administrator.
  • What happens after I contact OEOD with a complaint?
    After the incident is reported to OEOD, you will be assigned a counselor who will explain the entire complaints process and your rights and responsibilities.

  • What is the difference between the informal process and the formal process?
    The processing of an EEO discrimination complaint dealing with the employment practices of a federal government organization begins with what is called the informal complaint process (also called the pre-complaint process). During the informal process, an EEO counselor will meet with you to discuss your concerns and will provide you with information concerning your rights and responsibilities with regard to the EEO discrimination complaint process. During the informal process there will be opportunities to explore and possibly achieve resolution to the EEO issue(s) through either counseling or possibly "ADR." There are time constraints placed on the length of the informal process. If no resolution of your issue(s) is achieved during the informal process, you will be advised of your right to file a formal EEO discrimination complaint with the Agency.

    The formal complaint process begins once you send your complaint to the Agency at NASA Headquarters Complaints Division. You will first receive notification that the Agency received your complaint, then the Agency will perform a jurisdictional* review of your complaint and inform you if your complaint is accepted or dismissed by the Agency. If your complaint is accepted, an investigation will begin and you may be offered "ADR" in an effort to resolve your issue(s). You will receive a copy of the investigation report once it is completed. At that point you may request a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge or request a final decision from the Agency. In either case, you should receive some type of final action notification from the Agency. If you disagree with the final agency action you may file an appeal to the EEOC or file a civil action. There are time restrictions associated with different parts of the formal process, and both you and the Agency have appeal rights along the way. A flow chart of the EEO discrimination complaint process may be found at this link

    * Jurisdictional – within the timeframes dictated by EEOC guidelines.
     
  • Can I anonymously file a complaint?
    Yes, in most cases you have the right to remain anonymous during the initial phase of the discrimination complaints process. In certain cases, such as harassment where prompt and effective action is required by the Center, your anonymity will be protected to the extent possible and information will be shared only on a need to know basis. The EEO counselor can provide more information on this subject.

    Also, if the complaint is not resolved at the informal phase, it can proceed to the formal phase if you choose to file a formal complaint. If it proceeds to the final phase, you will send your complaint to the NASA Headquarters Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, where your identity can no longer be kept confidential.
  • Are discrimination complaints kept confidential?
    Yes, in most cases (see question above for exceptions) complaints brought to the OEOD will be kept confidential between you, the EEO counselor, EO Director and if you elect ADR counseling, the ADR Program Manager.
     
  • What does Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mean?
    ADR refers to a variety of approaches used to resolve conflict outside of some formal administrative or legal forum. Many of these approaches involve the use of a neutral individual such as a mediator who can assist disputing parties in resolving their disagreements. The techniques or methods used in ADR include approaches such as arbitration (binding or non-binding), conciliation, cooperative problem-solving, dispute panels, facilitation, fact-finding, mediated arbitration, mediation, mini-trials, Ombuds, peer review, and settlement conferences. ADR increases the disputing parties' opportunities to resolve their issues prior to or during some formal administrative procedure or litigation (which can be very costly and time-consuming). In the EEO complaints arena at NASA, the term ADR is normally used to mean mediation. Mediation is a process entered into voluntarily by each of the parties to a dispute. This process involves the disputing parties and an impartial and neutral "third party" (the mediator) who is acceptable to each of the disputing parties. The objective of mediation is to assist the parties in voluntarily reaching an acceptable resolution to the issues in dispute.

  • Can ADR be offered again during the formal stage of the process?
    Yes, any time during the formal process NASA headquarters can offer ADR again and will arrange for ADR. If you decide to elect ADR during the formal stage, the formal investigation will continue unless a resolution is reached.
     
  • Can I appeal a decision?
    Yes, you have appeal rights during the formal stage. Initially after your complaint and the counselor's report are reviewed, Headquarters will notify you in regards to whether your complaint was accepted or rejected. If accepted, the formal investigation process will begin. If the complaint is rejected, Headquarters will send a letter explaining the reasons the complaint was denied and will inform you of your appeal rights should you decide to do so.

  • What constitutes a reprisal?
    Disparate, unfair treatment as a result of filing an EEO complaint, or participating in protected activity.
     
  • Can I withdraw a complaint made to the EO Office?
    Yes, you may withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process.
Image Token: 
[image-36]
Image Token: 
[image-51]
Page Last Updated: September 25th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator