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Privacy Act Systems - DOL/OASAM-17

SYSTEM NAME:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Files.

    Note: Records in this system are covered in conjunction with EEOC's government-wide system EEOC/GOVT-1.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    None.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Civil Rights Center, OASAM, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210. The Civil Rights Center maintains the primary system of records. However, Regional Civil Rights Offices maintain copies of complete or partial investigative reports and correspondence files, as well as settlement agreements and informal complaint forms. A portion of these complaint files are forwarded to and maintained in the Office of the Administrative Review Board (ARB).

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Individuals, classes of individuals, or representatives designated to act on behalf of employees, former employees, or applicants of the Department who have consulted with an EEO Counselor and/or who have filed a formal complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, and/or any basis covered by Executive Order 11478, as amended, because of a determination, decision, action, or the non-action administered against them by a departmental official, and individuals alleging reprisal for having previously participated in the EEO process.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    Information and/or documents pertaining to pre-complaint processing, informal resolutions, formal allegations of discrimination, and investigations of complaints of discrimination. These records contain complainants' names, addresses, job titles and descriptions, dates of employment; agencies involved; counselor's reports; initial and supplemental allegations; letters and notices to individuals and organizations involved in the processing of the complaint; materials placed into the record to support or refute the alleged decisions; determination or actions taken; statements of witnesses; related correspondence; investigative reports, instructions on actions to be taken in order to comply with the provisions of a decision, opinions, recommendations, settlement agreements, proposed and final decisions.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    Executive Order 11478, as amended; Secretary's Order 2-81 and 3-96; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; the Equal Pay Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §206(d); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 621; Sections 501, 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 791, 794(a) and 794(d); the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 1101; and 29 CFR Part 1614.

PURPOSE(S):

    These records are used to process, investigate and resolve discrimination complaints within the Department.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    The records in the complaint file are classified in three categories: correspondence, investigative, and transcripts. Records that are relevant and necessary may be disclosed:

  1. To the responding official (RO) consistent with the instructions in EEOC's Complaint Processing Manual which provides that during the investigative process the responding official shall have access to documents in the correspondence file and the investigative file in which the official is identified and charged with discrimination or other wrong-doing. Names of and identifying information on persons other than the complainant and the RO should be deleted from copies of the documents shown to the RO. If the Department issues a final decision on the complaint rejecting the complainant's allegations against the RO, the RO does not have access to the entire complaint file. If the Department's decision concludes or implies impropriety on the part of the RO, the entire complaint file, with names and identifying information deleted where appropriate, must be made available to the RO. If the Department takes or proposes adverse action or other disciplinary action against the RO, only the records upon which the decision is based, without deletions, must be made available for his or her review.

  2. To Federal agencies with jurisdiction over a complaint, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, for investigatory, conciliation or enforcement purposes.

  3. To a physician or medical official for the purpose of evaluating medical documents in complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

    None.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

    Records are maintained in manual and automated files.

RETRIEVABILITY:

    Manual files are indexed by complainant's name and by the office case number. Automated files are retrieved by: office case number; complainant's name; fiscal year; current status of complaint; region code; issue code; basis code; agency code; class action; relief code; EOS identification; Investigator identification.

SAFEGUARDS:

    Manual records are maintained in secured file cabinets or in restricted areas, access to which is limited to authorized personnel. Automated files are controlled by means of identification numbers and passwords known only to the employees of the Civil Rights Center who are authorized to have access to such files.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    Records are retained for a period of four years after the final disposition of a complaint, and then destroyed. An alphabetical record is kept of open complaints by name of the complainant, giving the basis of the complaint, the matter giving rise to the complaint, and the disposition.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

    Director, Civil Rights Center, OASAM, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    Individuals or organizations designated to act on behalf of individuals may write the system manager indicated above regarding the existence of records pertaining to them pursuant to 29 CFR 71.2. The inquirers should provide, as appropriate, their full name, the name of the employing agency and/or the agency in which the situation arose, if different than the employing agency, approximate date of filing complaint, region of complaint, complaint case number, the kind(s) of action(s) taken against them, and a notarized signature, or a notarized letter of consent when a person requests access on behalf of the individual who is the subject of the file.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    Individuals or organizations designated to act on behalf of an individual wishing to gain access to records covered by the Privacy Act, shall follow the guidelines prescribed by 29 CFR Part 71, summarized here under "Notification procedures."

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Individuals wishing to contest information in their files may, pursuant to 29 CFR 71.9, shall write the system manager at the specified address above, reasonably identifying the record pertaining to them, the information which is being contested in that record, the corrective action(s) being sought, and the reasons for the correction(s).

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    Individual to whom the record pertains; official documents relating to the processing of a complaint, the informal and formal allegations, appeals of departmental decisions; and respondent agency officials, employees, and other witnesses.

SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

    Under the specific exemption provided by 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (2), this system of records is exempted from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I) and (f). Information from the complaint file may be denied in anticipation of a civil action or proceeding, in instances where premature release of documents could hamper the decision-making process, where the release of personal information about another employee may result in an invasion of personal privacy, and where release of confidential statements could lead to intimidation or harassment of witnesses and impair future investigations by making it more difficult to collect similar information. Personal information about other employees that are contained in the complainant's file because of its use as comparative data such as: medical records, place and date of birth, age, martial status, home address and telephone numbers, the substance of promotion recommendations, supervisory assessments of professional conduct and ability, may be denied to the subject when it could cause embarrassment and/or harassment to the other employees.