The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Questions and Answers for the New Management Directive 110

Q: What is EEOC Management Directive 110?

A: It is new guidance issued by the EEOC and is effective November 9, 1999. EEOC amended 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 to improve the federal sector EEO process. This guidance describes in detail the procedures that must be followed when processing complaints of discrimination filed by federal employees and applicants for federal employment alleging employment discrimination under the amended 1614 regulations.

Q: Will EEOC Management Directive 110 still apply to my case, since I filed my formal EEO complaint before the amended regulation became effective?

A: Yes. The new EEOC Management Directive 110 applies to all cases pending before agencies as of November 9, 1999 and to all hearings and appeals pending on that date.

Q: Is the new EEOC Management Directive 110 very different from the former EEOC Management Directive 110?

A: Yes. The revised MD explains all of the new regulatory changes, as well as some other changes to the process that are not reflected in the regulation.

Q: Is EEOC Management Directive 110 just for federal agency personnel?

A: No. It is for anyone who wants to know more about the federal sector EEO process.

Q: How do I get a copy of the new Management Directive 110?

A: In one of two ways:

Q: Why did EEOC add a section on fragmentation?

A: The EEOC hopes that by adding a section to the new MD-110 which addresses fragmentation, agencies will better understand how to review allegations in formal EEO complaints in order to prevent complaints from being "fragmented". Fragmentation is a term used to describe how an agency's processing of an EEO complaint can cause a valid legal claim to be broken down into less than a legally valid claim.

EEO Counseling

Q. Are there any changes in the EEO counseling process?

A. Yes. If the agency agrees to offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a case, the EEO counselor must tell the complainant that he or she can choose either to participate in the ADR program or to have counseling. The counselor will fully explain the agency's ADR program. The counselor will also provide in writing, the requirements for initiating a formal EEO complaint, if the dispute is not resolved through counseling or ADR.

Q: What are the new training requirements for EEO counselors?

A: All EEO counselors are required to receive at least eight hours of continuing Counselor training every year. Also, the EEOC requires that all new EEO Counselors receive a minimum of 32 hours of EEO Counselor training prior to assuming counseling duties.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Q: Are there new requirements for ADR that must be met by agencies?

A: Yes, the Commission now requires in 1614.102(b)(2) and in the new MD 110, that all agencies establish or make available an alternative dispute resolution program during both the pre-complaint process and the formal complaint process. Once an individual contacts an EEO counselor, the counselor will tell the individual that they can choose between participation in the ADR program or counseling, if the agency offers ADR in that particular case.

Q: What must an agency tell complainants about its ADR program?

A: Aggrieved individuals who seek EEO counseling under 1614.105 or who agree to participate in an agency's ADR program to resolve an EEO complaint must be fully informed of:

Amendment of Like and Related Claims

Q: How should the agency process new claims raised subsequent to the filing of a complaint under the new MD 110?

A: If a later claim is like or related to the prior complaint, then the agency must acknowledge receipt of the amendment to the complaint in writing and proceed to investigate the claim. If the later claim is not like or related to a previous complaint it must be processed as a separate complaint and consolidated with other complaints filed by the same complainant. At the hearing stage, the complainant may seek leave from the administrative judge to amend the complaint, if it is like or related to a previous complaint. The agency or the complainant may request the administrative judge to consolidate the complaint with new claims raised subsequent to filing of the hearing which are not like or related to a previous complaint.

Investigation

Q: Is there any change in the way complainants request hearings?

A: Yes. The agency is required to notify the complainant of the right to request a hearing directly to the EEOC district or field office.

Q: Are there training requirements for EEO investigators?

A: Yes. All EEO investigators are required to receive at least eight (8) hours of continuing training every year. All new EEO investigators must have completed at least thirty-two (32) hours of investigator training.

EEOC Hearing

Q: How does my file get to the EEOC once I have requested a hearing?

A: The agency must send a copy of the complaint file to the appropriate EEOC district or field office within 15 days of receipt of the complainant's request. The agency must still arrange for a hearing room and for the taking of a verbatim transcript under the new MD 110.

Q: How will the agency know if the complainant has requested a hearing?

A. The complainant must send a copy of the request to the agency. Additionally, EEOC will issue a docketing order to the parties once the hearing request is received from the complainant.

Administrative Judge's Decision

Q: Is there a change in the effect an AJ's decision has? Is the AJ's decision final?

A: Yes. An AJ's decision is final under the new regulations, if the agency does not appeal the decision within forty (40) days of issuance.

Q: Does the AJ have any additional authority under the new MD 110?

A: Yes. AJs have the authority to determine the amount of compensatory damages and attorney's fees to be awarded in appropriate cases. They also have additional authority to dismiss cases and to order additional discovery where the complaint file is inadequate or incomplete. AJs may also order sanctions for failure to cooperate during an investigation or for failure to comply with orders or requests.

The Appeal Process

Q: How has the appeal process changed?

A: Under the new regulations and the new MD-110, both the complainant and the agency may appeal a decision by an administrative judge on an individual complaint. The time for a complainant to appeal is still 30 days from receipt of the agency's final action or dismissal. The agency must file an appeal within 40 days of receipt of the AJ's decision if it decides not to fully implement the AJ's decision.

Agency Final Action

Q. What is an agency's final action?

A: An agency's final action is the agency's final determination regarding a complaint. For example, an agency final decision is a type of agency final action in cases where the agency dismisses a complaint. Another type of agency final action is the agency's order either appealing or fully implementing the AJ's decision.

Reconsideration

Q: What are the changes for consideration of Requests to Reconsider?

A: The two standards for granting a request to reconsider are: (1) the decision applied a clearly erroneous interpretation of material fact or law; or (2) the decision would have a substantial impact on the policies, practices, or operations of the agency.


This page was last modified on February 10, 2000.

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