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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 9, 2022

Q&A: A conversation with a civil rights complaint manager

What is a complaint manager?

As a complaint manager for the Civil Rights Directorate, my role includes tracking, maintaining, and reporting on discrimination complaints. I also help ensure that our work quality meets the high standards set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

Who can enter the Coast Guard’s EEO/EO complaint process?

Current or former military members, current or former civilian employees, and applicants for employment can enter the EEO/EO complaint process.

What is the difference between EEO and EO?

EEO and EO are two different programs that allow people to enter the complaint process. EEO is for civilians and EO is for the military.

What is an EEO/EO complaint?

Complaints of discrimination are based on race, color, religion, sex (which includes gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or reprisal. Not all of these categories (such as age, disability, and genetic information) apply to military members because of occupational requirements.

What can I claim in an EEO/EO complaint?

Claims can encompass things such as assignments, awards, disciplinary actions, or harassment.

If a person thinks they have been discriminated against, how can they make a complaint?

First, they must contact their Civil Rights Service Provider (CRSP) within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action or event. Next, the CRSP will provide an in depth discussion of the complaint process and try to resolve the issue or enlist the aid of a mediator. If resolution isn’t possible, the CRSP will provide the person with information on filing a formal complaint.

What should I do if I file a complaint and feel that I am being retaliated against?

Retaliation is illegal! If you believe that you are being retaliated against for participating in protected EEO/EO activity, you may start a new complaint or add the claim to an open complaint.

Where can I find more information about the complaint process?

You can contact your servicing CRSP or find more information in the USCG Civil Rights Manual.

For more Civil Rights news and information, subscribe to the “On Deck” monthly newsletter through GovDelivery. Read archived copies of the newsletter in the Civil Rights Directorate’s newsroom.