OFCCP’s regional offices are responsible for “perfecting” complaints and ensuring that a notice is sent to the employer against whom a complaint is filed with the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice.306 As such, all complaints received by OFCCP are sent to the appropriate regional office.
306. The regulations at 41 CFR 60-1.21 to 60-1.24; 60-300.61; 60-741.61 and 60-742.5 address timeliness issues and the initial processing of a complaint.
Whenever any OFCCP field office receives a complaint, the office must immediately stamp the date of receipt on the complaint, and enter the date and time of receipt into office records. The receiving office, if not a regional office, must immediately send the complaint to the regional office that has geographic jurisdiction over the employer or employer’s establishment. COs responsible for complaint perfection use the receipt date to determine whether the complaint was filed on time. Complainants filing under VEVRAA may also file through the DOL’s VETS or through the Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) at the local employment service office, who will transfer the complaint to OFCCP.307
307. If the complainant files with VETS or the LVER and alleges discrimination prohibited by VEVRAA, OFCCP will use the date the complaint arrived at that office to determine timeliness.
Any individual or group may file a complaint. A third party (e.g., a family member, personal representative, or union representative) may also file a complaint on behalf of an individual or a group. As explained in subsection 6D04, a third party may represent the complainant or complainants during the investigation with proper documentation. When a third party files a complaint, the complaint need not identify by name the person(s) on whose behalf the complaint is filed. However, the third party must then separately provide OFCCP the name, address and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the complaint is filed, in addition to any other information required by OFCCP’s regulations, such as documentation of protected veteran status. OFCCP will make every effort to obtain this information during the complaint perfection time frame.
Within 10 calendar days of receiving a complaint, the regional office must also ensure that a letter is sent to the employer against whom the complaint is filed explaining the date, location and circumstances of the allegations (also known as the “10-Day Notice Letter”).308 This letter is sent regardless of whether the perfection process is complete. The particular wording of the letter will depend on whether the complaint has been perfected, whether OFCCP is investigating part or all of the complaint allegations, and whether OFCCP is referring the complaint in whole or in part to EEOC.309 If the complainant has already filed a Section 503 or Executive Order 11246 complaint with the EEOC or if EEOC has transferred the complaint to OFCCP, no 10-Day Notice Letter is required because EEOC sends a similar 10-day notice for complaints it receives.
The regional office must also ensure that the complainant is notified that the 10-Day Notice Letter was sent to the employer,310 and that EEOC is notified when OFCCP is referring a complaint, in whole or in part.311
308. FCCM 6D02 describes procedures for corresponding with the employer and complainant.
309. See Letter L-11 – 10-day Notice to Employer/Contractor.
310. See Letter L-12 – 10-day Notice to Complainant.
311. See Letter L-13 – Referral Letter to EEOC (Full or Partial Transfer of Complaint).
The regional office will ensure the complaint is perfected within 15 calendar days of receiving the complaint unless good cause is show for an extension. During complaint perfection, the CO determines the timeliness of the complaint; contract coverage;312 whether the allegations are covered by any of the laws OFCCP enforces; whether to retain, refer or bifurcate the complaint; and whether all the required elements of a complaint are present.
Complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or based on compensation inquiries, discussions or disclosures, must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination unless the time for filing is extended for good cause. If the complaint alleges a violation based on disability or status as a protected veteran, it must be filed within 300 days unless the time for filing is extended for good cause. When determining whether to extend the time for filing for good cause, the CO must consult with his or supervisor. 313
The CO should encourage complainants to complete and sign the OFCCP complaint form authorized by the OMB, Form CC-4, “Complaint Involving Employment Discrimination by a Federal Contractor or Subcontractor” (“Complaint Form”).314 When completed, the Complaint Form contains all the required components of a complaint. However, a complainant is not required to use the Complaint Form in order to file a written complaint, as long as whatever document the complainant submits to OFCCP includes the components described below.
During complaint perfection, COs must ensure the following components are included in the written complaint:
- Name, address and telephone number or email address of the complainant;
- Name and address of the employer allegedly committing the discrimination;
- Description of the alleged discriminatory acts, including the basis or bases of discrimination; and
- Signature of the complainant or the complainant’s representative.
Additionally, VEVRAA requires the alleged victim to submit evidence that he or she is a protected veteran. Evidence will usually be a copy of the veteran’s “DD-214” form, which is issued by the Defense Department to each veteran upon their separation from the military.315 If any medical information is needed during perfection or the investigation of the complaint, the CO must request that the complainant sign an authorization to release medical information.316
If a CO, after reviewing a complaint, needs clarification or additional information from the complainant to perfect the complaint, they should contact the complainant immediately. Upon completion of complaint perfection, the regional office will determine whether OFCCP will retain and investigate all or part of the complaint allegations for investigation, refer the entire complaint to EEOC, or close the complaint administratively.317
312. To view OFCCP’s jurisdictional thresholds, see https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/taguides/jurisdiction.htm.
313. A few of the possible examples of what might be good cause include, the existence of some extraordinary circumstance that prohibited the complainant from filing before the deadline such as a significant health issue, military deployment, incarceration or possibly being unaware of the discrimination.
314. See Figure F-5 – Complaint Form. Complainants can find the Complaint Form on the OFCCP website where it is available in several languages.
315. The DD-214 is the veteran’s report of separation from the military and contains information such as the date of release from active duty, type of separation, e.g., honorable, reason for separation and any decorations, medals, badges or campaign awards. See http://dd214.us/ for more information about the DD-214.
316. See Letter L-14 – Authorization for Release of Medical Information.
317. See FCCM 6L04 for procedures on closing complaints administratively.