Aggrieved persons must be made aware of administrative and civil action time limitations which potentially may bar an aggrieved person's ability to file appeals and civil actions. The time limits specified throughout this Management Directive are stated in calendar days.
All parties should be aware that attorney's fees may be awarded at the administrative level and beyond under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16, and under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, see 29 U.S.C. § 791, but that attorney's fees are not available at the administrative level under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 633a, or the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).
Finally, the agency must advise complainants that they can request that a U.S. District Court appoint counsel for them after they file suit in that court.
The following time limits apply for filing an appeal to the Commission:
See § 1614.401(c). Appeals described in § 1614.401(c) must be filed within thirty (30) days of receipt of the dismissal or final decision.
Notice to the EEO Director of noncompliance is a prerequisite to the filing of an appeal alleging breach of a settlement agreement.(1)
In addition to providing for appeals to the Commission by complainants alleging breach of a settlement agreement, § 1614.504(a) provides that a complainant may file an appeal alleging agency noncompliance with a final action through which the agency has accepted the decision of an Administrative Judge. The complainant first must present his/her allegations of noncompliance to the EEO Director. The complainant thereafter may appeal:
A petition to EEOC to consider a final MSPB decision on a mixed case appeal or on the appeal of a final decision on a mixed case complaint, under § 1614.303 and § 1614.304, must be in writing and must include:
At the time the agency issues its final decision on a mixed case complaint the agency shall advise the complainant of the right to appeal the decision to the MSPB (not the EEOC) within thirty (30) days of receipt of the agency's final decision provided at § 1614.302(d)(3).
A complainant who has filed a non-mixed individual complaint, an agent who has filed a class complaint, or a claimant who has filed a claim for individual relief in a class action complaint may file a civil action in an appropriate United States district court:
Regardless of whether the individual complainant pursued any administrative complaint processing, a complainant may file a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction within two years or, if the violation is willful, within three years of the date of the alleged violation of the Equal Pay Act. Recovery of back wages is limited to two years prior to the date of filing suit, or to three years if the violation is willful; liquidated damages in an amount equal to lost back wages may also be awarded. The filing of an administrative complaint does not toll the time for filing a civil action.
Filing a timely civil action under any of these statutes terminates Commission processing of an appeal. § 1614.409. If a civil action is filed after an appeal has also been filed, the parties are requested to notify the Commission of this event in writing.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 did not extend the time limit for filing a civil action in mixed case complaints. See § 1614.310, which sets forth the statutory rights to file a civil action in mixed case complaints.
Consistent with the court's holding in Hilliard v. Volcker, 659 F.2d 1125 (D.C. Cir. 1981), it is the Commission's policy to require all federal agencies subject to the Management Directive to inform complainants, in writing, of their statutory right to request court appointment of counsel for representation in connection with the filing of civil actions that arise under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act.
In Hilliard, the court held that agencies must inform complainants unsuccessful in the administrative process that, in the event they file a civil action, the court has discretionary authority to appoint counsel for them. A litigant who fails to request counsel should not be penalized because an agency has been remiss in its duty to inform the complainant of the court's authority.
Therefore, all federal agencies subject to 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 must include the following language in every final action or final decision on complaints which allege discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and/or disability:
Within 30 days of your receipt of the final action or final decision (as appropriate), you have the right to appeal this final action or final decision to:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Office of Federal Operations
P.O. Box 77960
Washington, DC 20013
You also have the right to file a civil action in an appropriate United States district court. If you choose to file a civil action, you may do so
-- within 90 days of receipt of this final action or final decision (as appropriate) if no appeal has been filed, or
-- within 90 days after receipt of the EEOC's final decision on appeal, or
-- after 180 days from the date of filing an appeal with the EEOC if there has been no final decision by the Commission.
You must name the person who is the official agency head or department head as the defendant. Agency or department means the national organization, and not just the local office, facility, or department in which you might work. Do not name just the agency or department. In your case, you must name as the defendant. [The Administrative Judge or agency must supply the name of the proper person.] You must also state the official title of the agency head or department head. Failure to provide the name or official title of the agency head or department head may result in dismissal of your case.
If you decide to file a civil action, under Title VII or under the Rehabilitation Act, and if you do not have or cannot afford the services of an attorney, you may request that the Court appoint an attorney to represent you and that the Court permit you to file the action without payment of fees, costs, or other security. The grant or denial of the request is within the sole discretion of the Court. Filing a request for an attorney does not extend your time in which to file a civil action. Both the request and the civil action MUST BE FILED WITHIN NINETY (90) CALENDAR DAYS of the date you receive the final action or final decision (as appropriate) from the agency or the Commission.
Chapter 9| Table of Content| Chapter 11
1. As a prerequisite to the agency determination, § 1614.504 provides :
If the complainant believes that the agency has failed to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement or final decision, the complainant shall notify the EEO Director, in writing, of the alleged noncompliance within 30 days of when the complainant knew or should have known of the alleged noncompliance.
2. The Commission will only accept petitions for review of final MSPB decisions.
This page was last modified on December 12, 2008.
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