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What does the EEO counseling process involve?

Equal Employment Opportunity counseling is conducted pursuant to 29 C.F.R. section 1614.105, which provides that aggrieved persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or in retaliation for having participated in activity protected under various civil rights statutes, must consult an EEO Counselor prior to filing a complaint, in order to try to informally resolve the matter.

EEO counseling is an essential part of the federal system for processing and resolving employee and applicant EEO concerns. The opportunity for informal resolution at an early stage is an important feature of the counseling stage. If resolution is not achieved, the counselor plays a vital role in ensuring prompt and efficient processing of the discrimination complaint.

The EEO Counselor serves as a neutral party whose primary function is to mediate and conciliate the issues presented in an informal manner, as quickly as possible and with the minimum possible interference with the operations of the workplace. The Counselor's role does not include a determination of either the existence or non-existence of illegal discrimination nor the making of value judgements.

Steps in the Counseling Process

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