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frankgonzalez  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:37:12 PM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
I filed an informal complaint, and I did not sign any documents. I looked up the individual name, and they are a law firm. I don't want to deal with an agency that hires a lawyer as a eeo contractor. The agency is essentially paying a lawyer to use my words against me. The individual wrote down the complaint wrong in the email. I called to cancel the complaint, and the individual forcing me to sign a withdrawal form. I told them I am not signing anything. Then they said they are still going to investigate the complaint, the funny thing the individual wrote what I told them wrong. Also I never signed any documents agreeing to move forward, but they are contacting human resources to investigate my complaint?

Am I required by law to sign any documents?
Many agencies contract out counseling and investigations. My agency does so when there may be a conflict of interest (or even the appearance of one) for us GS types.

That said, you provided something in writing to initiate the complaint. Whether you sign or not sign anything the agency needs to do the informal counseling. If you want to withdraw your complaint, it needs to be in writing (or you could say you didn't withdraw it later on, and then it is a complainant said/counselor said issue) However, unless you waive anonymity, they cannot use your name in that inquiry (makes it very difficult in some cases to do anything as a counselor).

An outside law firm is probably as good as you can ask for. If they fail to do it properly, they could risk their law license. And they are not allowed by statute to represent the agency if they are the counselor and/or investigator (and this could extend to the whole firm). Solid case law where EEOC has slapped agencies with sanctions for not keeping a firewall between the counseling/investigation and the defense aspects.

You should not worry about the counselor. Simply correct the claim and send it back with the signed Rights and Responsibilities notice and your election of ADR (or not..your choice, but I always encourage trying ADR) and whether you wish to remain anonymous. They will finish counseling, and if you don't resolve the complaint in the informal stage, the counselor will issue you a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint letter with the requirements to file formal (ie how many days to file it, and to whom you send the formal complaint, etc).

The inquiry should include a longer interview to get more info from you on the who/what/when/where, etc and what you would like to resolve the complaint. Being reasonable on the resolution part increases the odds of getting it. ie Asking for training, a detail, etc when you were denied training or a detail makes sense. Asking for a promotion to GS15 from WG9 when the issue is your boss yelled at you....well, discussion will be simply, see you in court. The resolution needs to be tied to the issue raised for management to consider it...and even the judges need it to be related to the issue.

Just my $0.02 worth...albeit based on doing EEO stuff since 1996.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
FrankJr  
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:37:02 AM(UTC)
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Proceed with the process or risk loosing credibility. The issue isn't going to go away. I filed an EEO complaint and requested management be familiarized with the Department of Labor publication (job accommodation network) detailing accommodations for individuals with limitations related to (disability). For all practical purposes the request was for management to do what management was supposed to do at the time of identifying the disability to the EEO office. The ADR process ended without an hour to spare and involved the highest levels of management in HR and the business due to the delays. The complaint sat on the desk of the EEO manager for months due to incompetence. As noted, the outside law firm is the better option.
mallen  
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:22:52 PM(UTC)

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Think about it this way, would anyone actually put in WRITING "we are hiring this law firm to be our lackys and do an end run around the law by screwing over people who complain"? Of course not. They would put in writing, that the law firm is supposed to follow the law and honestly evaluate EEO complaints. The next question is, do you think the lawyers at the law firm care one way or another, enough to deviate from those written instructions? Probably not. So if I had to guess, I'd expect them to be fair and follow the letter of the law and their written instructions.
FrankJr  
#4 Posted : Saturday, January 25, 2020 7:01:02 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all, I just got an email stating that the supv HR Specialist did not want to resolve anything, and if I would like to move forward with a formal complaint.


What is the question. Safe to say the email states something else and the summary is the interpretation of the email. The process was started and now the process needs to end one way or another. Both the employee and the employer have obligations under the law. The employer is fulfilling the required obligations but the employee is not. The job of HR is to protect the employer and the management of the employer first and foremost. It would be to your advantage to familiarize yourself with the process.
frankgonzalez  
#5 Posted : Monday, January 27, 2020 4:48:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: FrankJr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all, I just got an email stating that the supv HR Specialist did not want to resolve anything, and if I would like to move forward with a formal complaint.


What is the question. Safe to say the email states something else and the summary is the interpretation of the email. The process was started and now the process needs to end one way or another. Both the employee and the employer have obligations under the law. The employer is fulfilling the required obligations but the employee is not. The job of HR is to protect the employer and the management of the employer first and foremost. It would be to your advantage to familiarize yourself with the process.


I requested for ADR, and received an email stating the supv HR Specialist did not want to resolve.
There is more than that.

You requested ADR, and the agency decided not to offer it.

After the counselor was told this, they ask the the agency (hopefully the settlement official vs the named responsible management official as the EEOC has stated that the RMO cannot be the settlement official!) if they are willing to resolve the complaint in some fashion. The agency said no. They are willing to take their chances at this time.

At this point, if you file formal, a full investigation should occur and be complete no later than 180 calendar days from the day they receive your formal complaint (DO NOT MISS THE DEADLINE!! Per 29 CFR 1614.107, Timeliness is a statutory reason to dismiss a complaint.)

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
thanks 1 user thanked frankgonzalez for this useful post.
FrankJr on 1/27/2020(UTC)
frankgonzalez  
#6 Posted : Monday, January 27, 2020 12:09:29 PM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
I see what you mean by there is more to the story from the agency side.

I didn't request for ADR, I was given several options to choose from by the EEO Counselor. I guess from a legal perspective, yes I requested by signing documents. I was explained that ADR is the best option to pick in resolving complaints, and followed their advice.

Unfortunately all I was told, supv HR Specialist does not want to resolve. I am not moving forward with the complaint. I am curious if eeo counselor offered me ADR, and it was not suppose to be offered to me. Why did they give me this option?
ADR is usually the best way to resolve complaints (but I am biased as I am a mediator). The complainants are asked if they are open to ADR as there is no reason to even try and ask the agency side (aka Management) if the complainant says no. If the complainant says they are interested, then the agency is asked if they want to offer ADR. At the agencies I have worked at, if the complaint was suitable for ADR, we had 100% ADR offer rates. We also had high resolution rates (70%+ resolved), but that was due to active engagement by my ofice with senior leaders.

I personally would file formal as that costs you nothing, and see what the investigation yields. If they dismiss the complaint, you said you weren't planning on filing formal any way and lost nothing. If they accept the complaint (and they can only dismiss one based on the limits laid out in 29 CFR 1614.107), then you may find new evidence you are not aware of or it may confirm your suspicions with evidence. The agency may decide to resolve the complaint as it doesn't make them look too good.

If they don't resolve it during the investigation stage, you can always withdraw or simply not proceed to the next stage (hearing in front the the EEOC AJ).

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
thanks 1 user thanked frankgonzalez for this useful post.
agrodude on 1/27/2020(UTC)
frankgonzalez  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 28, 2020 4:01:48 AM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Originally Posted by: Unknown User Go to Quoted Post
Thank you again Frank for the excellent information. I was thinking about it, but I got to stay focus on staying positive with my new job. I definitely agree its 50/50 that there might be evidence. I think the key thing is obtaining the resumes that were referred. I know someone who was referred and his resume had massage therapy experience on it nothing related to Biological Science. It may not be the location I want, but hopefully new doors will up when applying back in my hometown, especially through lateral transfer.
Referred is nothing. Being selected is something. And a selectee's resume in a complaint you were not selected would result in the resume of the selectee being required to be in the investigation report. Failure to do so would be something I would seek sanctions for at hearing as that goes to the essence of the case.

No matter what though...you do what is best for you. Only you know what that is!

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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