Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Forest Glen: 301-319-6410
1520 Freedman Drive, Room 209
Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702
The Equal Employment Opportunity Office assists the commands of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Detrick organizations, and the Raven Rock Mountain Complex in their commitment to equal employment opportunity through implementation of strong equal employment opportunity and affirmative employment programs without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, or physical or mental disability.
The office is responsible for processing discrimination complaints, managing the Special Emphasis Programs, which includes the Federal Women's Program, the Black Employment Program, Asian American/Pacific Islander Employment Program, American Indian/Alaska Native Employment Program, Hispanic Employment Program, and the Individuals with Disabilities Program. It provides Prevention of Sexual Harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity, Complaints Processing, No Fear Act, Special Emphasis Program Manager and Reasonable Accommodation Training, and Non-EEO (workplace) Mediation.
EEO Complaints Process
- Individual Contacts the EEO Office within 45 calendar days of alleged discriminatory event.
- EEO Counselor is assigned to conduct an inquiry or Alternative Dispute Resolution is offered, where appropriate.
- Counselor has 30 calendar days to conduct a pre-complaint inquiry or attempt a resolution. The internal resolution period is up to 90 calendar days if ADR is elected.
- If resolution fails, aggrieved may file a formal complaint within 15 calendar days of final interview.
- Equal Employment Officer accepts or dismisses complaint.
- If complaint is accepted, the Equal Employment Manager requests an investigation in their Office of Complaints Investigation (OCI).
- Investigation conducted within 180 calendar days. Report of investigation issued.
- Complainant may request Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) head. Final Army decision.
- After EEOC hearing, EEOC recommends decision to Army.
- Army accepts, rejects, or modifies EEOC's decision.
- Complainant may appeal Army's decision to the EEOC.
- Complainant may file civil action with or without appeal.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counseling is necessary because it provides a means for resolving individual employment problems related to equal opportunity - quickly and informally. EEO counselors are appointed by the installation commander and report to a Chief EEO counselor who reports directly to the commander. The EEO counselors are key to the program's success because they:
- Are the first contact for employees or applicants who believe they have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability.
- Serve as a conduit through which employees can make known - anonymously, if they prefer - their favorable or unfavorable reactions to EEO, personnel, and other employee related problems.
- Function as the eyes and ears of the commander and can identify EEO problems that require the commander's immediate attention.
Call the EEO Office at 301-619-2224 to obtain a current list of EEO Counselors and their phone numbers.
Mediation, the Army's preferred method of Alternative Dispute Resolution, entails bringing a neutral third party, the mediator, into the process to help negotiate an agreement.
The Mediator is a trained neutral person who assists aggrieved parties in resolving work place discrimination disputes. A mediator makes primarily procedural suggestions regarding how parties can reach agreement. Occasionally, a mediator may suggest some substantive options as a means of encouraging parties to expand the range of possible resolutions under consideration. A mediator works with parties individually, or in caucuses, to explore acceptable resolution options or develop a proposal that might move the parties close to resolution.
Mediators differ in their degree of directiveness or control in their assistance in disputing parties. Regardless of how directive the mediator is, the mediator performs the role of catalyst that enables the parties to initiate progress toward their own resolution of issues in dispute.
Mediators are obtained through the EEO Office by calling 301-619-2224. All mediators have met the minimum training and qualification requirements.
Mediators are strictly prohibited from discussing cases with anyone outside the mediation process, including other officials who might be involved in deciding the case. This is designed to assure that no one who might be involved in possible later adjudication will have any knowledge of what happens during mediation. Also, nothing from the mediation process will be added to the record, unless both parties agree subsequently.
What's the difference between Counseling and Mediation?
How are EEO Counseling and Mediation Similar?
- The primary goal of EEO counseling and mediation is to resolve disputes.
- EEO counseling and mediation both use neutral third parties to resolve disputes.
- Settlement agreements resulting from EEO counseling and mediation are negotiated based on the interests of the parties and not the merits of the complaint.
- Settlement agreements achieved in EEO counseling and mediation are enforced by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management (OEODM).
- EEO Counselors and mediators are trained to perform their jobs.
- EEO counseling and mediation are subject to standards of confidentiality.
- If EEO counseling and mediation are unsuccessful in resolving a dispute, the right to file a formal complaint is retained.
How are EEO Counseling and Mediation Different?
- EEO counseling results in a written report if a precomplaint is not resolved. There is no written record of mediation.
- EEO counseling involves all witnesses with relevant information in a dispute. Mediation involves only the parties in dispute.
- EEO Counselors may be called as witnesses in subsequent legal proceedings. Mediators cannot be called as witnesses.
- The standard of confidentiality is stricter in mediation than in EEO counseling.
- While the regulations governing the EEO complaint process provide a time frame of up to 90 calendar days for the completion of EEO counseling and mediation, mediation is usually completed more quickly than EEO counseling.
What Happens if You Elect Traditional EEO Counseling?
If you decide to have EEO counseling, the EEO Counselor will:
- Contact you to listen to your concerns and obtain from you a proposal for resolving your precomplaint.
- Contact witnesses to determine what facts are relevant to the case.
- Determine what documents are needed to complete a limited inquiry into the matter.
- Inform a management official of your resolution proposal.
- Explore other resolution options and present them to you.
- Conduct a final interview summarizing the information obtained during the inquiry if it is not possible to resolve the precomplaint.
- After the final interview is conducted, you will receive a letter giving you the right to file a formal complaint within 15 calendar days of your receiving the letter.
Must You File a Complaint to Get a Mediator?
No. We can help you resolve your conflict without filing a complaint! For a Non-EEO Mediation, one NOT related to any of the Title VII Bases (National Origin, Race, Age, Disability, Color, Sex, Religion, Retaliation or Genetics), contact the Mediation Program Manager who will do the intake. The mediation dates and times will be decided and the collateral duty mediators scheduled at the convenience of all parties.