By regulation, complainants and their representatives have the right to a reasonable amount of duty time to prepare and pursue an EEO complaint.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations require managers and supervisors to allow complainants who are employees "a reasonable amount of official time, when in official duty status, to prepare their EEO complaint and to respond to agency and EEOC requests for information". EEOC Management Directive (MD)-110, defines "reasonable" as "whatever is appropriate under the circumstances of the complaint". For example, an employee may need additional time to meet with his/her representative, participate in settlement negotiations, meet with an EEO Investigator, etc. Although the actual number of hours approved will vary according to the circumstances of the case, managers and supervisors must consider the need for employees to be available to perform work on a regular basis. In this regard, it is important that the employee and the supervisor arrive at a mutual understanding as to the amount of official time to be used prior to the employee's use of such time. The following guidance is provided to all managers and supervisors.