Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1614, governs the EEO process. As of November 1999, Part 1614 of the federal sector equal employment opportunity complaint processing regulations was revised to make the procedures for processing complaints more effective. This revised regulation requires all federal agencies for the first time to establish or make available Alternative Dispute Resolution programs. The counseling process and the procedures for requesting a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge (AJ) are also revised. AJs now have the authority to dismiss complaints and issue decisions on complaints when a hearing is requested. The revised regulation also includes changes to the class complaint procedures, appeal procedures, and attorney's fees provisions.
1. TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 (as amended)
This was one of the first laws designed to fight discrimination. This law made it illegal for employers to deny anyone a job on the bases of race, color, religion, sex age, sexual identity or national origin. It also prohibited discrimination in firing, promotion, training and other privileges of employment. The Act was amended in 1972 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to extend coverage to federal employees. It was again amended in 1991 to include the right for complainants to have a jury trial and to obtain compensatory damages.
2. AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA)
This law was passed in 1967 and specifically prohibited discrimination in employment based on age (40 years or older). The ADEA also allows a person alleging age discrimination to have the option to either: (1) seek resolution through the EEO complaint process; or, (2) file a civil action in district court. If the EEO Complaint process is elected, all administrative remedies must be exhausted before a complainant can file a suit in US District Court.
3. EQUAL PAY ACT (EPA)
This law was enacted in 1963. It prohibited different rates of pay for men and women doing similar work provided that there would be equal pay for similar work (similar effort, similar skill, similar responsibility, and similar working conditions).
4. REHABILITATION ACT (as amended)
The "Rehab" Act was enacted in 1973. It prohibits discrimination due to a physical or mental disability. It further requires agencies to make reasonable accommodations for known physical or mental limitations of a qualified disabled applicant or employee, with some exceptions. For further information about disability, reasonable accommodation and the Rehabilitation Act, see Diversity Team.
Executive Order No. 11478 (1998) was signed by the President on May 28, 1998 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Note: Until this Executive Order is implemented into law by Congress, the Agency is responsible for issuing a final decision and the complainant has no EEOC privileges (hearings or appeals).