After reviewing the written complaint, the CO must discuss it in depth with the complainant to ensure that he or she has sufficient information to understand the complaint allegations. Before proceeding with the on-site investigation, the CO should contact each complainant to establish a mutually agreeable time and place to conduct an interview. The CO should conduct the interview in person, either in the OFCCP office or at an off-site location, unless compelling circumstances preclude doing so. In these instances, the CO may conduct the interview by telephone. If the complainant resides outside the area covered by the field office, the CO and his or her supervisor should coordinate with the regional office where the complainant is located. If no personal interview takes place at any time during the investigation, the CO should record this fact and the reason for it. The CO must follow the procedures for conducting interviews, explained below in FCCM 6I02.
The CO should prepare an Interview Plan containing specific questions tailored to obtain detailed information regarding the allegations and to identify sources of evidence necessary to support or refute the complainant’s allegations. In addition to the types of allegation-specific questions discussed in FCCM 6I03, some examples of the types of information to consider are:
- Name(s) of contractor official(s) who participated in the alleged discrimination, and those who were decision makers involved in the alleged adverse action;
- Name(s) of employee(s) or others who may have witnessed the alleged act(s) of discrimination;
- Detailed circumstances surrounding the act(s) (e.g., dates, locations, description of actions taken or failure to take action when needed, possible witnesses);
- Description of the contractor’s personnel policies and practices related to the employment action at issue;
- Explanation of why the complainant believes that the act(s) was discriminatory;
- Explanation from the contractor to the complainant for any action taken by the contractor;
- Documentation related to the allegations of discrimination, such as personnel policies, job advertisements, job descriptions, written disciplinary warnings, performance appraisals; and
- Data and documents necessary to conduct appropriate comparative or statistical analyses.
After conducting this interview, the CO will assess the complaint allegations to determine the sufficiency of the information provided by the complainant to support the complaint allegations (e.g., is the complainant protected, is there evidence that discrimination may have occurred, was the contractor aware of the complainant’s protected status, was there an adverse action). Because each complaint is based on a unique set of factual circumstances, the CO should gain an understanding of the nature of each allegation and why the complainant(s) believes that discrimination occurred.