Although both federal employees and private sector employees can file Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, complaints for discrimination, the procedures for handling both are different. Both claims receive an investigation, however, a private sector claim receives a “right to sue” letter upon competition of the investigation and dismissal of the claim. A federal claimant receives a decision on his claim and has an administrative appeal process in place to handle disputes prior to filing a law suit in Federal District Court. The private sector claimant does not require an appeal process as the “right to sue” letter allows him to file a court case immediately on his claim.

Step 1.

Fill out the written “Notice of Appeal/Petition.” The form is available on the EEOC website. The statement needs to detail the reasons you believe the decision is in error. Copy the petition, statement and final decision.

Step 2.

Mail the original petition, written statement and final decision to The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Operations via certified mail. The address is on the bottom of the petition form. Send a copy off all documents to the agency charged with the discrimination. It must have a postmark of no later than 30 days from the date of the decision.

Step 3.

Call the Office of Federal Operations to determine receipt of status of your appeal.

Step 4.

Prepare a “Request for Reconsideration” if you do not agree with the decision. There is no designated form for this process. Compose a written statement or brief entitled “Request for Reconsideration.” Include all supporting documents as evidence. Copy the brief with your evidence. You can only request the reconsideration if the decision was based on a factual error that you can prove.

Step 5.

Send the original “Request for Reconsideration” and documents to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Operations. Send a copy to the agency charged with the discrimination. There is a 30 day time limit.

Step 6.

Review the decision on your request. File a lawsuit in district court if you disagree with the decision.


Consult an attorney for legal advice for the specifics of your case.