Equal Employment Opportunity Program
SPAWAR is committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants for employment are provided equal employment opportunity (EEO) regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information so that all can compete on a fair and level playing field and have an opportunity to achieve their full potential.
The SPAWAR EEO Program provides applicants and employees a full range of services to include processing discrimination complaints and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. The information below provides information on the federal EEO complaint process and on reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Federal Sector EEO Complaint Process
If you are a federal employee or job applicant, the law protects you from discrimination because of your race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The law also protects you from retaliation if you oppose employment discrimination, file a complaint of discrimination or participate in the EEO complaint process (even if the complaint is not yours.)
There are also federal laws and regulations and Executive Orders (which are not enforced by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)) that prohibit discrimination on bases such as marital status, parental status or political affiliation.
If you are an employee or job applicant and you believe that you have been discriminated against, you have a right to file a complaint.
The first step is to contact an EEO counselor where you work or where you applied for a job. You can contact a SPAWAR EEO Counselor at the following telephone numbers:
SPAWAR Headquarters: (619) 553-5700
SSC Pacific: (619) 553-5700
SSC Atlantic: (843) 218-5508
PEO C4I: (619) 553-5700
PEO EIS: (843) 218-5508
PEO Space Systems: (619) 553-5700
Generally, you must contact the EEO counselor within 45 calendar days from the day the discrimination occurred.
In most cases the EEO counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program (i.e. mediation).
If you do not settle the dispute during counseling or through ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint with the EEO office. You must file within 15 calendar days from the day you receive notice from your EEO counselor about how to file.
Filing a Formal Complaint
Once you have filed a formal complaint, the EEO office will review the complaint and decide whether or not the case should be dismissed for a procedural reason (for example, your claim was filed too late).
If the complaint is not dismissed, it will be investigated by the Department of Defense, Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service, Investigation and Resolution Division. The investigation must be conducted within 180 calendar days from the day you filed your complaint.
When the investigation is finished, you will be issued a notice giving you two choices: either request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or ask that the Department of the Navy issue a decision as to whether the discrimination occurred.
Agency Issues a Decision (Final Action)
If you ask for a decision from the Department of the Navy and no discrimination is found, or if you disagree with some part of the decision, you can appeal the decision to EEOC or challenge it in federal district court.
Requesting a Hearing
If you want to ask for a hearing, you must make your request in writing within 30 calendar days from the day you receive the notice from the EEO office about your hearing rights. If you request a hearing, an EEOC administrative judge will conduct the hearing; make a decision and order relief if discrimination is found.
Once the Department of the Navy receives the administrative judge's decision, the Department of the Navy will issue what is called a final order which will tell you whether the Department of the Navy agrees with the administrative judge and if it will grant any relief the judge ordered. The Department of the Navy will have 40 calendar days to issue the final order. It will also contain information about your right to appeal to EEOC, your right to file a civil action in federal district court, and the deadline for filing both an appeal and a civil action.
Filing an Appeal of the Agency's Final Order
You have the right to appeal a Department of the Navy’s final order (including a final order dismissing your complaint) to EEOC Office of Federal Operations. You must file your appeal no later than 30 calendar days after you receive the final order.
EEOC appellate attorneys will review the entire file, including the agency's investigation, the decision of the administrative judge, the transcript of what was said at the hearing (if there was a hearing) and any appeal statements.
If the Department of the Navy disagrees with any part of the administrative judge's decision, it must appeal to EEOC.
Request for Reconsideration of the Appeal Decision
If you do not agree with the EEOC's decision on your appeal, you can ask for a reconsideration of that decision. A request for reconsideration is only granted if you can show that the decision is based on a mistake about the facts of the case or the law applied to the facts. You must ask for reconsideration no later than 30 calendar days after you receive our decision on your appeal.
Once EEOC has issued a decision on the appeal, the Department of the Navy also has the right to ask EEOC to reconsider that decision.
Once we have made a decision on your request for reconsideration, the decision is final.
Filing a Lawsuit
You must go through the administrative complaint process before you can file a lawsuit. There are several different points during the process. However, when you will have the opportunity to quit the process and file a lawsuit in court, including:
After 180 calendar days have passed from the day you filed your complaint, if the Department of the Navy has not issued a decision and no appeal has been filed
Within 90 calendar days from the day you receive the Department of the Navy’s decision on your complaint, so long as no appeal has been filed
After the 180 calendar days from the day you filed your appeal if the EEOC has not issued a decision, or
Within 90 calendar days from the day you receive the EEOC's decision on your appeal.
Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
What is Reasonable Accommodation?
Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.
An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship -- that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense.
Applicants, as well as employees, are entitled to reasonable accommodation if they are a qualified individual with a disability. For example, an employer may be required to provide a sign language interpreter during a job interview for an applicant who is deaf or hearing impaired, unless to do so would impose an undue hardship.
If you think you will need a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions, you should inform the employer that an accommodation will be needed. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation only for the physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual with a disability of which they are aware. Generally, it is the responsibility of the employee or applicant to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed.
How to Request an Accommodation
If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation you can contact the EEO 0ffice where you work or where you applied for a job. You can contact the appropriate EEO Office at the following telephone numbers:
SPAWAR Headquarters: (619) 221-7303
SSC Pacific: (619) 553-5700
SSC Atlantic: (843) 218-5508
PEO C4I: (619) 221-7303
PEO EIS: (843) 218-5508
PEO Space Systems: (619) 221-7303