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e-CFR data is current as of July 10, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter XIVPart 1603 → Subpart A


Title 29: Labor
PART 1603—PROCEDURES FOR PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE COMPLAINTS OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION UNDER SECTION 304 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE RIGHTS ACT OF 1991


Subpart A—Administrative Process


Contents
§1603.101   Coverage.
§1603.102   Filing a complaint.
§1603.103   Referral of complaints.
§1603.104   Service of the complaint.
§1603.105   Withdrawal of a complaint.
§1603.106   Computation of time.
§1603.107   Dismissals of complaints.
§1603.108   Settlement and alternative dispute resolution.
§1603.109   Investigations.

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§1603.101   Coverage.

Section 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 applies to employment, which includes application for employment, of any individual chosen or appointed by a person elected to public office in any State or political subdivision of any State by the qualified voters thereof:

(a) To be a member of the elected official's personal staff;

(b) To serve the elected official on the policymaking level; or

(c) To serve the elected official as an immediate advisor with respect to the exercise of the constitutional or legal powers of the office.

[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 72 FR 5616, Feb. 7, 2007]

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§1603.102   Filing a complaint.

(a) Who may make a complaint. Individuals referred to in §1603.101 who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, or retaliated against for opposing any practice made unlawful by federal laws protecting equal employment opportunity or for participating in any stage of administrative or judicial proceedings under federal laws protecting equal employment opportunity may file a complaint not later than 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged discrimination.

(b) Where to file a complaint. A complaint may be filed in person, by mail or by facsimile machine to any Commission office or with any designated agent or representative of the Commission. The addresses of the Commission's District, Field, Area and Local offices appear in 29 CFR 1610.4.

(c) Contents of a complaint. A complaint shall be in writing, signed and verified. In addition, each complaint should contain the following:

(1) The full name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint;

(2) The full name and address of the person, governmental entity or political subdivision against whom the complaint is made (hereinafter referred to as the respondent);

(3) A clear and concise statement of the facts, including pertinent dates, constituting the alleged unlawful employment practices (See 29 CFR 1601.15(b)); and

(4) A statement disclosing whether proceedings involving the alleged unlawful employment practice have been commenced before a State or local FEP agency charged with the enforcement of fair employment practice laws and, if so, the date of such commencement and the name of the agency.

(d) Amendment of a complaint. Notwithstanding paragraph (c) of this section, a complaint is sufficient when the Commission receives from the person making the complaint a written statement sufficiently precise to identify the parties and to describe generally the alleged discriminatory action or practices. A complaint may be amended to cure technical defects or omissions, including failure to verify the complaint, or to clarify and amplify its allegations. Such amendments, and amendments alleging additional acts that constitute discriminatory employment practices related to or growing out of the subject matter of the original complaint, will relate back to the date the complaint was first received. A complaint that has been amended after it was referred shall not be again referred to the appropriate state or local fair employment practices agency.

(e) Misfiled complaint. A charge filed pursuant to 29 CFR part 1601 or part 1626, that is later deemed to be a matter under this part, shall be processed as a complaint under this part and shall relate back to the date of the initial charge or complaint. A complaint filed under this part that is later deemed to be a matter under 29 CFR part 1601 or part 1626 shall be processed as a charge under the appropriate regulation and shall relate back to the date of the initial complaint.

[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 71 FR 26829, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

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§1603.103   Referral of complaints.

(a) The Commission will notify an FEP agency, as defined in 29 CFR 1601.3(a), when a complaint is filed by a state or local government employee or applicant under this part concerning an employment practice within the jurisdiction of the FEP agency. The FEP agency will be entitled to process the complaint exclusively for a period of not less than 60 days if the FEP agency makes a written request to the Commission within 10 days of receiving notice that the complaint has been filed, unless the complaint names the FEP agency as the respondent.

(b) The Commission may enter into an agreement with an FEP agency that authorizes the FEP agency to receive complaints under this part on behalf of the Commission, or waives the FEP agency's right to exclusive processing of complaints.

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§1603.104   Service of the complaint.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission shall promptly serve the respondent with a copy of the complaint.

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§1603.105   Withdrawal of a complaint.

The complainant may withdraw a complaint at any time by so advising the Commission in writing.

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§1603.106   Computation of time.

(a) All time periods in this part that are stated in terms of days are calendar days unless otherwise stated.

(b) A document shall be deemed timely if it is delivered by facsimile not exceeding 20 pages, in person or postmarked before the expiration of the applicable filing period, or, in the absence of a legible postmark, if it is received by mail within five days of the expiration of the applicable filing period.

(c) All time limits in this part are subject to waiver, estoppel and equitable tolling.

(d) The first day counted shall be the day after the event from which the time period begins to run and the last day of the period shall be included unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday, in which case the period shall be extended to include the next business day.

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§1603.107   Dismissals of complaints.

(a) Where a complaint on its face, or after further inquiry, is determined to be not timely filed or otherwise fails to state a claim under this part, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint.

(b) Where the complainant cannot be located, the Commission may dismiss the complaint provided that reasonable efforts have been made to locate the complainant and the complainant has not responded within 30 days to a notice sent by the Commission to the complainant's last known address.

(c) Where the complainant fails to provide requested information, fails or refuses to appear or to be available for interviews or conferences as necessary, or otherwise refuses to cooperate, the Commission, after providing the complainant with notice and 30 days in which to respond, may dismiss the complaint.

(d) Written notice of dismissal pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section shall be issued to the complainant and the respondent. The Commission hereby delegates authority to the Program Director, Office of Field Programs, or to his or her designees, and District Directors, or to their designees, to dismiss complaints.

(e) A complainant who is dissatisfied with a dismissal issued pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section may appeal to the Commission in accordance with the procedures in subpart C of this part.

[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 28744, May 27, 1999]

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§1603.108   Settlement and alternative dispute resolution.

(a) The parties are at all times free to settle all or part of a complaint on terms that are mutually agreeable. Any settlement reached shall be in writing and signed by both parties and shall identify the allegations resolved. A copy of any settlement shall be served on the Commission.

(b) With the agreement of the parties, the Commission may refer a complaint to a neutral mediator or to any other alternative dispute resolution process authorized by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, 5 U.S.C. 571 to 583, or other statute.

(c) The Commission may use the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, other federal agencies, appropriate professional organizations, employees of the Commission and other appropriate sources in selecting neutrals for alternative dispute resolution processes.

(d) The alternative dispute resolution process shall be strictly confidential, and no party to a complaint or neutral shall disclose any dispute resolution communication or any information provided in confidence to the neutral except as provided in 5 U.S.C. 584.

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§1603.109   Investigations.

(a) Before referring a complaint to an administrative law judge under section 201 of this part, the Commission may conduct investigation using an exchange of letters, interrogatories, fact-finding conferences, interviews, on-site visits or other fact-finding methods that address the matters at issue.

(b) During an investigation of a complaint under this part, the Commission shall have the authority to sign and issue a subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses, the production of evidence and access to evidence for the purposes of examination and the right to copy. The subpoena procedures contained in 29 CFR 1601.16 shall apply to subpoenas issued pursuant to this section.

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