Have a Question?
 What Is The Difference Between EEO & EO? 

It is important to understand that Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Equal Opportunity (EO) are separate programs that deal with harassment and unlawful discrimination, and they function independently of each other. 

The EEO program is for civilians, and the EO program is for soldiers and their family members. 

The EEO program provides services to current civilian employees, former employees, and applicants for employment in accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 690-600. 

The EO program provides services to military personnel and their families in accordance with AR 600-20. 

EEO and EO are independent programs governed by different regulations.

 What Is The EEO Process?

The EEO Process is made up of two stages, informal and formal. 

The informal stage is the first step of the EEO process. An EEO Counselor is assigned and will conduct an inquiry that does not exceed 30 days (Please note: the Counselor is a neutral party and will not advocate for either the Aggrieved or the Agency). During the inquiry, the Counselor speaks with the Aggrieved and the Responsible Management Official(s) with the goal of resolving the complaint at the lowest level. During the final interview, the Counselor informs the Aggrieved they will be issued a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination (NORF). 

If the Aggrieved feels that the matter has not been resolved then the Aggrieved may file a formal complaint of discrimination within 15 calendar days after receipt of the NORF. 

The EEO Director then has 15 calendar days to accept or dismiss the formal complaint. The EEO Director must accept the EEO complaint unless it meets one or more dismissal criteria outlined in 29 CFR 1614.107. 

If the formal complaint is accepted, the EEO Director will then request an Investigation to be conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD) Investigations and Resolutions Division (IRD). IRD takes sworn testimony and a Report of Investigation (ROI) is issued. The ROI is sent to the Complainant along with a letter outlining the Complainant’s Options, which include either requesting a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge or a Final Agency Decision (FAD) based on the record (complaint file).

 Is there a Policy that Governs the Army EEOC?

Yes, there is. You can view the policy here.

 Can managers discipline employees who have filed EEO complaints or counsel those employees if there are performance problems? 

Yes, but the important key is that management must not discipline or take adverse action against an employee because of that employee’s participation in EEO or other protected activity.

Before issuing discipline, stop and ask yourself if you would still be issuing the action if the employee had not filed the EEO complaint.

If you normally speak with your employees in person about work issues, don’t alter or cease communication with the employee after the complaint has been filed

 What is Reprisal and Protected Activity?

Reprisal is retaliation against an individual for participation in “protected activity” such as:
  • Filing an EEO complaint or other legal or administrative claim involving allegations of discrimination
  • Participating as a witness, EEO counselor, or representative in an EEO complaint
  • Participating in EEO programs and activities
  • Affiliation or membership with organizations that oppose discrimination

 EEO Definitions

  • Discrimination - Any act or failure to act, impermissibly based in whole or in part on a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, and/or reprisal, that adversely affects privileges, benefits, working conditions, results in disparate treatment, or has a disparate impact on employees, former employees or applicants for employment. 
  • Pre-complaint - A matter of alleged discrimination which an aggrieved person brings to the attention of an EEO official/counselor before a formal discrimination complaint is filed. 
  • EEO counselor - An individual designated by the Army to perform EEO counselor duties, working under the direction of the EEO officer, who makes informal inquiries and seeks resolution of pre complaints. 
  • Aggrieved Person - An Army employee, a former Army employee, an applicant for Army employment, or certain contract employee who files an informal EEO complaint of discrimination. 
  • Complainant - An Army employee, a former Army employee, an applicant for Army employment, or certain contract employee who files a formal EEO complaint of discrimination.

 Training Provided By EEO

Introduction to EEO - This one hour training is designed to provide all employees a basic understanding of the EEO complaints process and the laws and regulations governing the EEO program. 

Disability and Reasonable Accommodation - This one hour training is designed to provide a basic understanding of the laws concerning individuals with disabilities in the work place, the new Army procedures for providing reasonable accommodations for individual with disabilities, and management/employee responsibilities in the reasonable accommodation process. 

EEO for Managers and Supervisors - This interactive workshop ranges from 90-180 minutes and is for anyone who manages or supervises civilians. This training is designed to provide a clear understanding of leadership responsibilities with respect to EEO in the workplace, management’s role in the complaints process, the benefits of participating in Mediation, and the laws concerning individuals with disabilities and reasonable accommodations in the work place. 

Training Online:
• Anti-Harassment/Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) 
• Introduction to EEO
• EEO for Managers and Supervisors
• Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)