Labor GLOBE: DOL Statement on Redress Procedures

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of the Assistant Secretary
for Administration and Management
Washington, D.C. 20210
AUG 10 1994

Directorate of Civil Rights
SUBJECT: Procedures for Filing EEO Complaints Based on Sexual Orientation
The Secretary's revised EEO Policy Statement was distributed to all Department of Labor (DOL) employees on August 2. It supports the President's commitment to provide for a Federal workforce that is based on inclusion and equal opportunity for all its workers. It also reflects his desire that all employees of the Department be protected from discrimination in any form including sexual orientation.

Federal civil rights laws do not specifically address discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 2302 (b)(10), prohibits any employee who has authority to take personnel actions from discriminating for or against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of conduct which does not adversely affect either the employee's own job performance or the performance of others.

The DOL has signed a Memoranda of Understanding with Local 12 and the National Council of Field Labor Locals, AFGE, AFL-CIO, which provide that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited at DOL. Employees who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation may now elect either to file a grievance on that issue or to file an EEO complaint with the Directorate of Civil Rights (DCR).

Any employee who files an EEO complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, can be assured that DCR will process the complaint in accordance with its existing internal complaint procedures. An employee will be provided counseling and if resolution cannot be achieved, will be informed of the right to file a formal complaint. If the complaint is timely filed and accepted, an investigation will be conducted. Upon completion of the investigation, the complainant will be given a copy of the complaint file and can request that a final decision be issued by DOL. However, based on existing Federal civil rights laws, a complainant cannot pursue an EEO complaint of sexual orientation discrimination outside DOL. This means that a complainant does not have a right to a hearing or appeal rights to other agencies or to the courts from the final decision issued by DOL. Further, although compensatory damages cannot be provided as a remedy, other remedies, such as attorney fees and back pay, may available in limited situations.

If an employee wishes to complain about a matter which is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board, (MSPB) he or she should be aware that filing an EEO complaint alleging sexual orientation discrimination will not preserve his or her MSPB appeal rights.

If you have any questions, please contact DCR or your Regional Civil Rights Officer.

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