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 §1614.204   Class complaints.                                          
  
     (a) Definitions.  (1) A class is a group of employees, former     
 employees or applicants for employment who, it is alleged, have been  
 or are being adversely affected by an agency personnel management     
 policy or practice that discriminates against the group on the basis  
 of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or handicap.
                                                                       
     (2) A class complaint is a written complaint of discrimination    
 filed on behalf of a class by the agent of the class alleging that:   
     (i) The class is so numerous that a consolidated complaint of the 
 members of the class is impractical;                                  
     (ii) There are questions of fact common to the class;             
     (iii) The claims of the agent of the class are typical of the     
 claims of the class;                                                  
     (iv) The agent of the class, or, if represented, the              
 representative, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of   
 the class.                                                            
     (3) An agent of the class is a class member who acts for the class
 during the processing of the class complaint.                         
     (b) Pre-complaint processing.  An employee or applicant who wishes
 to file a class complaint must seek counseling and be counseled in    
 accordance with  1614.105.                                            
     (c) Filing and presentation of a class complaint.  (1) A class    
 complaint must be signed by the agent or representative and must      
 identify the policy or practice adversely affecting the class as well 
 as the specific action or matter affecting the class agent.           
     (2) The complaint must be filed with the agency that allegedly    
 discriminated not later than 15 days after the agent's receipt of the 
 notice of right to file a class complaint.                            
     (3) The complaint shall be processed promptly;  the parties shall 
 cooperate and shall proceed at all times without undue delay.         
     (d) Acceptance or dismissal.  (1) Within 30 days of an agency's   
 receipt of a complaint, the agency shall:  Designate an agency        
 representative who shall be any of the individuals referenced in      
  1614.102(b)(3), and forward the complaint, along with a copy of the  
 Counselor's report and any other information pertaining to timeliness 
 or other relevant circumstances related to the complaint, to the      
 Commission.  The Commission shall assign the complaint to an          
 administrative judge or complaints examiner with a proper security    
 clearance when necessary.  The administrative judge may require the   
 complainant or agency to submit additional information relevant to the
 complaint.                                                            
     (2) The administrative judge may recommend that the agency dismiss
 the complaint, or any portion, for any of the reasons listed in       
  1614.107 or because it does not meet the prerequisites of a class    
 complaint under  1614.204(a)(2).                                      
     (3) If the allegation is not included in the Counselor's report,  
 the administrative judge shall afford the agent 15 days to state      
 whether the matter was discussed with the Counselor and, if not,      
 explain why it was not discussed.  If the explanation is not          
 satisfactory, the administrative judge shall recommend that the agency
 dismiss the allegation.  If the explanation is satisfactory, the      
 administrative judge shall refer the allegation to the agency for     
 further counseling of the agent.  After counseling, the allegation    
 shall be consolidated with the class complaint.                       
     (4) If an allegation lacks specificity and detail, the            
 administrative judge shall afford the agent 15 days to provide        
 specific and detailed information.  The administrative judge shall    
 recommend that the agency dismiss the complaint if the agent fails to 
 provide such information within the specified time period.  If the    
 information provided contains new allegations outside the scope of the
 complaint, the administrative judge shall advise the agent how to     
 proceed on an individual or class basis concerning these allegations. 
     (5) The administrative judge shall recommed that the agency extend
 the time limits for filing a complaint and for consulting with a      
 Counselor in accordance with the time limit extension provisions      
 contained in   1614.105(a)(2) and 1614.604.                           
     (6) When appropriate, the administrative judge may recommend that 
 a class be divided into subclasses and that each subclass be treated  
 as a class, and the provisions of this section then shall be construed
 and applied accordingly.                                              
     (7) The administrative judge's written recommendation to the      
 agency on whether to accept or dismiss a complaint and the complaint  
 file shall be transmitted to the agency and notification of that      
 transmittal shall be sent to the agent.  The administrative judge's   
 recommendation to accept or dismiss shall become the agency decision  
 unless the agency accepts, rejects or modifies the recommeded decision
 within 30 days of the receipt of the recommended decision and         
 complaint file.  The agency shall notify the agent by certified mail, 
 return receipt requested, and the administrative judge of its decision
 to accept or dismiss a complaint.  At the same time, the agency shall 
 forward to the agent copies of the administrative judge's             
 recommendation and the complaint file.  The dismissal of a class      
 complaint shall inform the agent either that the complaint is being   
 filed on that date as an individual complaint of discrimination and   
 will be processed under subpart A or that the complaint is also       
 dismissed as an individual complaint in accordance with  1614.107
 . In 
 addition, it shall inform the agent of the right to appeal the        
 dismissal of the class complaint to the Office of Federal Operations  
 or to file a civil action and include EEOC Form 573, Notice Of        
 Appeal/Petition.                                                      
     (e) Notification.  (1) Within 15 days of accepting a class        
 complaint, the agency shall use reasonable means, such as delivery,   
 mailing to last known address or distribution, to notify all class    
 members of the acceptance of the class complaint.                     
     (2) Such notice shall contain:                                    
     (i) The name of the agency or organizational segment, its         
 location, and the date of acceptance of the complaint;                
     (ii) A description of the issues accepted as part of the class    
 complaint;                                                            
     (iii) An explanation of the binding nature of the final decision  
 or resolution of the complaint on class members;  and                 
     (iv) The name, address and telephone number of the class          
 representative.                                                       
     (f) Obtaining evidence concerning the complaint.  (1) The         
 administrative judge notify the agent and the agency representative of
 the time period that will be allowed both parties to prepare their    
 cases.  This time period will include at least 60 days and may be     
 extended by the administrative judge upon the request of either party.
  Both parties are entitled to reasonable development of evidence on   
 matters relevant to the issues raised in the complaint.  Evidence may 
 be developed through interrogatories, depositions, and requests for   
 admissions, stipulations or production of documents.  It shall be     
 grounds for objection to producing evidence that the information      
 sought by either party is irrelevant, overburdensome, repetitious, or 
 privileged.                                                           
     (2) If mutual cooperation fails, either party may request the     
 administrative judge to rule on a request to develop evidence.  If a  
 party fails without good cause shown to respond fully and in timely   
 fashion to a request made or approved by the administrative judge for 
 documents, records, comparative data, statistics or affidavits, and   
 the information is solely in the control of one party, such failure   
 may, in appropriate circumstances, caused the administrative judge:   
     (i) To draw an adverse inference that the requested information   
 would have reflected unfavorably on the party refusing to provide the 
 requested information;                                                
     (ii) To consider the matters to which the requested information   
 pertains to be established in favor of the opposing party;            
     (iii) To exclude other evidence offered by the party failing to   
 produce the requested information;                                    
     (iv) To recommend that a decision be entered in favor of the      
 opposing party;  or                                                   
     (v) To take such other actions as the administrative judge deems  
 appropriate.                                                          
     (3) During the period for development of evidence, the            
 administrative judge may, in his or her discretion, direct that an    
 investigation of facts relevant to the complaint or any portion be    
 conducted by an agency certified by the Commission.                   
     (4) Both parties shall furnish to the administrative judge copies 
 of all materials that they wish to be examined and such other material
 as may be requested.                                                  
     (g) Opportunity for resolution of the complaint.  (1) The         
 administrative judge shall furnish the agent and the representative of
 the agency a copy of all materials obtained concerning the complaint  
 and provide opportunity for the agent to discuss materials with the   
 agency representative and attempt resolution of the complaint.        
     (2) The complaint may be resolved by agreement of the agency and  
 the agent at any time as long as the agreement is fair and reasonable.
                                                                       
     (3) If the complaint is resolved, the terms of the resolution     
 shall be reduced to writing and signed by the agent and the agency.   
     (4) Notice of the resolution shall be given to all class members  
 in the same manner as notification of the acceptance of the class     
 complaint and shall state the relief, if any, to be granted by the    
 agency.  A resolution shall bind all members of the class.  Within 30 
 days of the date of the notice of resolution, any member of the class 
 may petition the EEO Director to vacate the resolution because it     
 benefits only the class agent or is otherwise not fair and reasonable.
  Such a petition will be processed in accordance with  1614.204
 (d) and
 if the administrative judge finds that the resolution is not fair and 
 reasonable, he or she shall recommend that the resolution be vacated  
 and that the original class agent be replaced by the petitioner or    
 some other class member who is eligible to be the class agent during  
 further processing of the class complaint.  An agency's decision that 
 the resolution is not fair and reasonable vacates any agreement       
 between the former class agent and the agency.  An agency decision on 
 such a petition shall inform the former class agent or the petitioner 
 of the right to appeal the decision to the Office of Federal          
 Operations and include EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition.      
     (h) Hearing.  On expiration of the period allowed for preparation 
 of the case, the administrative judge shall set a date for hearing.   
 The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with 29 CFR 1614.109
  (a) 
 through (f).                                                          
     (i) Report of findings and recommendations.  (1) The              
 administrative judge shall transmit to the agency a report of findings
 and recommendations on the complaint, including a recommended         
 decision, systemic relief for the class and any individual relief,    
 where appropriate, with regard to the personnel action or matter that 
 gave rise to the complaint.                                           
     (2) If the administrative judge finds no class relief appropriate,
 he or she shall determine if a finding of individual discrimination is
 warranted and, if so, shall recommend appropriate relief.             
     (3) The administrative judge shall notify the agency of the date  
 on which the report of findings and recommendations was forwarded to  
 the agency.                                                           
     (j) Agency decision.  (1) Within 60 days of receipt of the report 
 of findings and recommendations issued under  1614.204
 (i), the agency 
 shall issue a final decision, which shall accept, reject, or modify   
 the findings and recommendations of the administrative judge.         
     (2) The final decision of the agency shall be in writing and shall
 be transmitted to the agent by certified mail, return receipt         
 requested, along with a copy of the report of findings and            
 recommendations of the administrative judge.                          
     (3) When the agency's final decision is to reject or modify the   
 findings and recommendations of the administrative judge, the decision
 shall contain specific reasons for the agency's action.               
     (4) If the agency has not issued a final decision with 60 days of 
 its receipt of the administrative judge's report of findings and      
 recommendations, those findings and recommendations shall become the  
 final decision.  The agency shall transmit the final decision to the  
 agent within five days of the expiration of the 60-day period.        
     (5) The final decision of the agency shall require any relief     
 authorized by law and determined to be necessary or desirable to      
 resolve the issue of discrimination.                                  
     (6) A final decision on a class complaint shall, subject to       
 subpart D of this part, be binding on all members of the class and the
 agency.                                                               
     (7) The final decision shall inform the agency of the right to    
 appeal or to file a civil action in accordance with subpart D of this 
 part and of the applicable time limits.                               
     (k) Notification of decision.  The agency shall notify class      
 members of the final decision and relief awarded, if any, through the 
 same media employed to give notice of the existence of the class      
 complaint.  The notice, where appropriate, shall include information  
 concerning the rights of class members to seek individual relief, and 
 of the procedures to be followed.  Notice shall be given by the agency
 within 10 days of the transmittal of its final decision to the agent. 
     (l) Relief for individual class members.  (1) When discrimination 
 is found, an agency must eliminate or modify the employment policy or 
 practice out of which the complaint arose and provide individual      
 relief, including an award of attorney's fees and costs, to the agent 
 in accordance with  1614.501.                                         
     (2) When class-wide discrimination is not found, but it is found  
 that the class agent is a victim of discrimination,  1614.501
  shall   
 apply.  The agency shall also, within 60 days of the issuance of the  
 final decision finding no class-wide discrimination, issue the        
 acknowledgement of receipt of an individual complaint as required by  
  1614.106(d) and process in accordance with the provisions of subpart 
 A of this part, each individual complaint that was subsumed into the  
 class complaint.                                                      
     (3) When discrimination is found in the final decision and a class
 member believes that he or she is entitled to individual relief, the  
 class member may file a written claim with the head of the agency or  
 its EEO Director within 30 days of receipt of notification by the     
 agency of its final decision.  The claim must include a specific,     
 detailed showing that the claimant is a class member who was affected 
 by a personnel action or matter resulting from the discriminatory     
 policy or practice, and that this discriminatory action took place    
 within the period of time for which the agency found class-wide       
 discrimination in its final decision.  The period of time for which   
 the agency finds class-wide discrimination shall begin not more than  
 45 days prior to the agent's initial contact with the Counselor and   
 shall end not later than the date when the agency eliminates the      
 policy or practice found to be discriminatory in the final agency     
 decision.  The agency shall issue a final decision on each such claim 
 within 90 days of filing.  Such decision must include a notice of the 
 right to file an appeal or a civil action in accordance with subpart D
 of this part and the applicable time limits.