Appealing Final Agency Decision

    To appeal the Final Agency Decision (FAD) to the EEOC Office of Federal Operations (OFO), you need to send
    the EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition (which should be enclosed with the Final Agency Decision or the
    judge's Order, if applicable) within 30 calendar days of your receipt of the Final Agency Decision (FAD).  

    Final Agency Decision (FAD) and, if applicable, the judge's decision, must accompany your appeal form.  The
    appeal form must be also copied to Agency's EEO Director.

    The appeal request form (EEOC Form 573) (together with supporting brief) should be sent to:

    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    Office of Federal Operations
    PO Box 77960
    Washington, DC  20013

    Appeals may be hand delivered or FedEx'ed to:

    Robert J. Barnhart, Director,
    Compliance and Control Division
    Office of Federal Operations
    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    One NOMA Station
    131 M Street, NE, Suite 5SW12G
    Washington, D.C. 20507-0004

    You can fax the appeal (and the supporting brief if less than 10 pages) to: 202-663-7022.

    VOICE No. - 202-663-4599
    FAX No. - 202-663-7022
    TTY No. - 202-663-4593

    A brief supporting your appeal may be submitted later and separately but within 30 days of your appeal.  No
    extension will be granted.

    Exception:  If you are appealing Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decision (on the issues of
    discrimination only), you must submit the appeal form with the supporting brief.  No extension may be granted.  

    You may also appeal the Final Agency Decision which is rendered based on an arbitration decision involving
    discrimination claims.

    Within a few days (or sometimes more than 25 days) of filing an appeal, you will receive an acknowledgment
    letter from OFO specifying the (appeal) file date and the OFO appeal/file number.  All submissions to OFO
    thereafter must contain the OFO appeal/file number.   

    The file date is the date you mailed or faxed your appeal (Form 573).

    In lieu of appealing to OFO, you can file a complaint to appropriate US District Court in your area within 90 days of
    receipt of Final Agency Decision.   See a sample of Court Complaint.

    Appeal Brief

    Within 30 days from the date of filing the appeal (Form 573), you may send an appeal brief in support of your
    appeal to OFO at the address indicated above.  A copy of the appeal brief should also be sent to the Director of
    the Agency's EEO office.  (Exception:  If you are appealing Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decision (on
    the issues of discrimination only), you must submit the appeal form together with the supporting brief.  No
    extension may be granted for filing the brief separately later.  No separate brief (filed after submitting the appeal)
    may be accepted.  See 29 C.F.R. Section 1614.304(b)(3))

    The 30 day deadline within which to file a brief (after sending the appeal form 573) used to be extended upon
    request for an extension.  As of August 2017, no more extension will be granted.  

    The appeal brief should contain the facts omitted or misrepresented, attachments of relevant or omitted evidence,
    and, if not already submitted with the appeal, a copy of the Final Agency Decision and the Judge's Decision you
    are appealing.  See a sample of appeal brief.  You can argue any procedural flaws on the part of the
    administrative judge (if you had a hearing) or by the Agency EEO investigative staff and/or omission by Agency of
    evidence you presented earlier during the investigation period.  

    In the Conclusion section in the brief, you may ask for a determination against Agency for
    discrimination/retaliation (if applicable) and for appropriate remedy.  You may also ask for the case to be
    remanded back to the Agency for further/proper investigation or may ask (if you had a hearing) to re-open the

    You can also report any valid and relevant complaint (supported by evidence) against the EEOC administrative
    judge or about the EEO Director's or staff's mishandling of your case.  

    Agency Response

    Agency must file its response to your appeal brief within 30 days of receipt.  A copy of Agency's response must be
    sent to you as well.  You can reply to Agency's Response within short period of time for the OFO to consider.

    If the EEOC judge ruled in your favor and ordered full or appropriate remedy, Agency may issue the Final Agency
    Decision in deviation from the ruling and would appeal the judge's decision to OFO.  Agency has 30 days to
    appeal from the date of Final Agency Decision; and 30 days thereafter to file a support brief.  You have 30 days
    within which to respond to Agency's appeal brief or 60 days from Agency's appeal if no brief follows Agency's

    OFO Decision

    The OFO decision in response to your appeal and Agency's response (if any) may take several months or even
    up to two years or more sometimes.  It has been said that OFO triages the case for quick decision or for longer
    decision period.  

    If your appeal is successful, OFO may remand the case back to the Agency EEO office for further investigation, for
    EEOC hearing, or for resolution with ordering of the appropriate remedy.  Otherwise, OFO will uphold the Final
    Agency Decision.

    Within 90 days of receipt of OFO's decision, you may appeal it by filing a civil lawsuit at the federal district court.  If
    no decision is rendered by OFO 180 days after your appeal, you may also file a civil action at the appropriate
    federal district court.

    For questions, you can call OFO and asked for the Attorney of the Day: 202-663-4519 or 4599.

    OFO Web Search

    All OFO decisions can be looked up by name, case no, type of discrimination, etc. at:

    OFO lacks enforcement power, as EEOC fails to follow Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  For example, if
    OFO upholds AJ's decision in your favor and AJ's Order on the remedy awards, Agency may still refuse to comply
    with the Order with no adverse consequences whatsoever; because OFO lacks enforcement power.  In rare
    cases, Agency will scorn at AJ's decision and refuse compliance ordered by AJ or OFO (upon appeal).  OFO
    merely monitors a voluntary compliance on the part of the Agency for remedies OFO ordered for the complainant.  
    Such is the reality of the federal EEO at the highest and ultimate adjudicative level - at OFO.

    See an AJ's testimony at EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan meeting held in July 2012.

    Request for Reconsideration

    The final step within the federal EEO complaint process is the step to exercise your right to request a
    Reconsideration by OFO (at the same address specified above), if and after OFO decides to uphold the Final
    Agency Decision (FAD) against you after your appeal.  

    The request for reconsideration must accompany any brief at the time of submitting the request.  The opposing
    party has 20 days (from the date of service, not receipt) to reply.

    The Reconsideration serves a limited purpose, however.  OFO will only reconsider if there were misinterpretation
    of material facts and misapplication of law.  No factual dispute already adjudicated will be reconsidered.  

    In lieu of appealing to Office of Federal Operations (OFO), you can file a civil law suit in a US District Court within
    the 90 days of receipt of the Final Agency Decision (FAD).  See a sample of Court Complaint.

    When filing at the US District Court, you must identify the appropriate department or agency head as the
    defendant, as well as his/her official title.  You will need an attorney to file at the civil courts or you may represent
    yourself (pro se).

    Note on attorneys:  Attorney fees may range anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 or more.  Their hourly rates
    may vary between $175 to $675 per hour, depending on the location in the country.  They may charge for every
    email issued (even with one sentence) and every phone call you make.   Many attorneys may settle or drop out
    before going to a trial after receiving the fee, contrary to what they may say initially.  The amount of fees the
    attorneys charge does not always correlate with the quality of services they offer.  Be an alert consumer/client.  
    Attorney misconduct or malpractice may be reported to attorney discipline board or attorney ethics board in your
    state.  More on attorneys.

    Free Court-Appointed Attorneys

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, § 706 (f)(1)(B), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1)(B), provides:

    Upon application by the complainant and in such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court
    may appoint an attorney for such complainant and may authorize the commencement of the action without
    the payment of fees, cost, or security.

    If you qualify financially, the U.S. District Court may appoint a free attorney for you.  Consult with the Court Clerk
    when you file a law suit at a U.S. District Court.

    Disclaimer: All information contained in this page is subject to change and updates.  EEO 21, LLC,  is not responsible for any
    errors or misrepresentation.
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