The Office of Civil Rights, has established a formal mediation program to resolve allegations of workplace discrimination and/or harassment raised through the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) pre-complaint process.
The objective of this program is to resolve allegations early and at the lowest possible level. Early resolution benefits the agency by creating a more hospitable workplace for all. Other benefits for the agency include reduction of the significant costs associated with processing complaints.
The first step in initiating the EEO complaint process is for the aggrieved person to contact an EEO Counselor. In accordance with 29 CFR 1614, contact with an EEO counselor must be made within 45 days of the alleged act of discrimination or harassment or the effective date of a personnel action. During the initial interview the counselor will let the employee know that they have the option of mediation or counseling as appropriate. The mediation process is voluntary for both parties.