As a federal employee, it is important to understand your rights when it comes to EEO violations and the process for bringing an EEO complaint.

If you are facing workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you have a right to file an EEO complaint.

The EEO complaint process typically involves three steps:

  1. EEO Counseling;
  2. The Formal Complaint;
  3. The EEOC hearing.

After the completion of the formal complaint investigation, the next step is to request a hearing in the EEOC. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this process.

Step-by-Step Guide to the EEOC Hearing Process

1. Requesting an EEOC Hearing

  • Following your formal complaint, after you receive a Report of Investigation (ROI) you can file a request for a hearing in the EEOC.
  • You must request a hearing within 30 calendar days of receiving the ROI.
  • The request should be in writing and directed to the EEOC office specified in the notice you received with your ROI.

2. Acknowledgment and Assignment:

  • The EEOC will acknowledge your request and assign an Administrative Judge (AJ) to your case.
  • The AJ will oversee the hearing process and decide your case.

3. The EEOC Hearing Process

  • The AJ will hold an initial conference to set a schedule for the case. Both parties will have the opportunity to submit motions, request discovery, and exchange evidence.
  • During discovery, both parties gather additional evidence to support their case. This can include interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admission, and depositions. The discovery process is essential for building a strong case.

4. The Pre-Hearing Conference

  • The AJ will schedule a pre-hearing conference to clarify the issues and discuss the evidence that will be presented at the hearing.
  • Prepare for the pre-hearing conference by organizing your evidence, identifying witnesses, and formulating your arguments.
  • You and the Agency will submit a prehearing statement identifying the issues and evidence to be presented.

5. The Hearing:

  • The hearing is similar to a trial – a formal proceeding where both parties present their evidence and arguments.
  • Witnesses may be called to testify, and cross-examination is conducted.
  • The AJ will preside over the hearing and rule on all evidentiary objections.

6. Post-Hearing Submissions:

  • After the hearing, both parties may be allowed to submit post-hearing briefs.
  • These documents summarize the evidence and arguments presented, highlighting key points for the AJ’s consideration.

7. The AJ’s Decision:

  • The AJ will issue a decision based on the evidence and testimony presented during the hearing.
  • The decision will include findings of fact, conclusions of law, and any remedies if the AJ finds discrimination or retaliation.

8. Post-Hearing Process and Options:

  • If the AJ finds in your favor, the agency must implement the decision unless they appeal.
  • Either party can appeal the AJ’s decision to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO). The appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days of receiving the AJ’s decision.
  • If no appeal is filed, the agency will issue a Final Agency Decision (FAD) based on the AJ’s decision. If the FAD is not satisfactory, you can appeal to the OFO or file a lawsuit in federal court.

9. Filing a Lawsuit:

  • If you choose to file a lawsuit, you must do so within 90 calendar days of receiving the FAD or the OFO’s decision on appeal.
  • Filing a lawsuit transfers the case to the federal court system, where it will be adjudicated in the same process as any other federal civil case.

Importance of the EEOC Hearing and Legal Guidance
The EEOC hearing process can be very daunting and complex. It is extremely difficult for most federal employees to navigate this process without an attorney.

An experienced federal employment attorney can provide valuable guidance, advocate for you, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

The attorneys of Bramnick Creed, LLC have a deep knowledge of federal employment law and extensive experience in representing federal employees. For more information about our federal employment practice or to contact us, go to our website at or contact Attorney Joe Creed at (301) 945-7800 or