Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by the Agency.
The Agency shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by EEOC in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791).
Who may file.
Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by this part may file a complaint. An authorized representative of such person may file a complaint on his or her behalf. Any person who believes that any specific class of persons has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by this part and who is a member of that class, or the authorized representative of a member of that class, may file a complaint.
The Chief, Assistant Administrator, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Civil Rights Compliance (AA/EEOCCR), shall hold in confidence the identity of any person submitting a complaint, unless the person submits written authorization otherwise, except to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes of this part, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or proceeding under this part, or to cooperate with the Office of Inspector General in the performance of its responsibilities under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.
When to file.
Complaints shall be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination, except when this deadline is extended by the AA/EEOCCR for good cause shown. For purposes of determining when a complaint is timely filed under this paragraph, a complaint mailed to the Agency shall be deemed filed on the date it is postmarked. Any other complaint shall be deemed filed on the date it is received by the Agency.
How to file.
Complaints may be delivered or mailed to the AA/EEOCCR Small Business Administration, 1441 L Street NW.—Room 501, Washington, DC 20416. Any other SBA official receiving a complaint under this part shall forward such complaint immediately to the AA/EEOCCR.
Notification to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
The agency shall promptly send to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board a copy of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4151-4157 is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps.
Acceptance of complaint.
The AA/EEOCCR shall accept a complete complaint that is filed in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section and over which the Agency has jurisdiction. The AA/EEOCCR shall notify the complainant and the respondent of receipt and acceptance of the complaint.
If the AA/EEOCCR receives a complaint that is not complete, he or she shall notify the complainant, within 30 days of receipt of the incomplete complaint, that additional information is needed. If the complainant fails to furnish the necessary information within 30 days of receipt of this notice, the AA/EEOCCR shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice.
If the AA/EEOCCR receives a complaint over which the Agency does not have jurisdiction, he or she shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate Government entity.
Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint the AA/EEOCCR shall complete the investigation of the complaint and attempt informal resolution. If no informal resolution is achieved, the AA/EEOCCR shall issue a letter of findings.
The AA/EEOCCR may require Agency employees to cooperate in the investigation and attempted resolution of complaints. Employees who are required to participate in any investigation under this section shall do so as part of their official duties and during regular duty hours.
The AA/EEOCCR shall furnish the complainant and the respondent with a copy of the investigative report and provide the complainant and respondent with an opportunity for informal resolution of the complaint.
If a complaint is resolved informally, the terms of the agreement shall be reduced to writing and made part of the complaint file, with a copy of the agreement provided to the complainant and respondent. The written agreement may include a finding on the issue of discrimination and shall describe any corrective action to which the complainant and respondent have agreed.
Letter of findings.
If an informal resolution of the complaint is not reached, the AA/EEOCCR shall, within 180 days of receipt of the complete complaint, notify the complainant, the respondent and the Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Compliance (OEEOC), of the results of the investigation in a letter sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and containing—
Findings of fact and conclusions of law;
A description of a remedy for each violation found;
A notice of the right of the complainant and respondent to appeal to the Director, OEEOC; and
A notice of the right of the complainant and respondent to request a hearing.
The letter of findings becomes the final Agency decision if neither party files an appeal within the time prescribed in paragraph (h)(1) of this section. The AA/EEOCCR shall certify that the letter of findings is the final Agency decision on the complaint at the expiration of that time.
Any notice of appeal to the Director, OEEOC, with or without a request for hearing, shall be filed by the complainant or the respondent in writing with the AA/EEOCCR within 30 days of receipt from him or her of the letter required by paragraph (g) of this section. The notice shall be accompanied by a certificate of service attesting that the party has served a copy of his or her notice of appeal on all other parties to the proceeding. The AA/EEOCCR may extend this time limit for good cause shown pursuant to the procedure in paragraph (h)(3) of this section.
If a timely notice of appeal without a request for hearing is filed, any other party may file a written request for hearing within the time limit specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section or within 10 days of his or her receipt of such notice of appeal, whichever is later.
A party may appeal to the AA/EEOCCR from a decision of the AA/EEOCCR that an appeal is untimely. This appeal shall be filed with the AA/EEOCCR within 15 days of receipt of the decision from the AA/EEOCCR.
Any request for hearing will be construed as a request for an oral hearing. The complainant's failure to file a timely request for a hearing in accordance with this part shall constitute waiver of the right to a hearing, but shall not preclude his or her submitting written information and argument to the AA/EEOCCR in connection with his or her notice of appeal.
Acceptance of appeal.
The AA/EEOCCR shall accept and process any timely filed appeal.
If a notice of appeal is filed but no party requests a hearing, the AA/EEOCCR shall promptly transmit the complaint file, the letter of findings and the notice of appeal to the AA/EEOCCR.
If a notice of appeal if filed and a party makes a timely request for a hearing, the AA/EEOCCR will transmit the notice of appeal, the request for hearing and the investigative file to the Office of Hearings and Appeals which office will assign the case to an administrative judge who will conduct a hearing in accordance with the procedures contained in 13 CFR part 134.
Where no request for a hearing is made, the AA/EEOCCR shall make the final Agency decision based on the contents of the complaint file, the letter of findings, the notice of appeal, and any responses to the notice of appeal filed by other parties. The decision shall be made within 60 days of receipt of the appeal or any response to the notice of appeal, whichever is applicable. If the Director, OEEOC, determines that he or she needs additional information from any party, he or she shall request the information and provide the other party or parties an opportunity to respond to that information. The AA/EEOCCR shall have 60 days from receipt of the additional information or responses to such additional information, whichever is later, to make the decision. The AA/EEOCCR shall transmit his or her decision in writing to the parties. The decision shall set forth the findings, remedial actions, and reasons for the decision.
Where a request for a hearing has been made, the administrative judge shall issue an initial decision, in writing, based on the hearing record, composed of the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and remedies, to the parties and to the AA/EEOCCR within 30 days after receipt of the hearing transcripts, or within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing if no transcript is made. This time limit may be extended with the permission of the AA/EEOCCR. The decision of the administrative judge shall be deemed to be the final decision of the Agency after 30 days, unless a party files a petition for review with the Director, OEEOC, pursuant to 13 CFR 134.228(a) or the AA/EEOCCR issues an order stating his or her decision to review the initial decision, pursuant to 13 CFR 134.228(a). See13 CFR 134.227(b).
Where a petition for review is filed or a review is ordered by the AA/EEOCCR the AA/EEOCCR shall make the final decision of the Agency based on information in the complaint file, the letter of findings, the hearing record, the initial decision, the petition for review, and any responses to the petition or order. The decision shall be made within 60 days of receipt of the petition for review, the order, or any responses to such petition or order, whichever is later. If the AA/EEOCCR determines that he or she needs additional information from any party, he or she shall request the information and provide the other party or parties an opportunity to respond to that information. The AA/EEOCCR shall have 60 days from receipt of the additional information or responses to such additional information, whichever is later, to make the decision. The AA/EEOCCR shall transmit his or her decision by letter to the parties. The decision shall set forth the findings, recommended remedial actions, and reasons for the decision. The decision shall adopt, reject, or modify the initial decision of the administrative judge. If the decision is to reject or modify the initial decision, the decision letter shall set forth in detail the specific reasons for the rejection or modification.
Any respondent required to take action under the terms of the decision of the Agency shall do so promptly. The AA/EEOCCR may require periodic compliance reports specifying:
The manner in which compliance with the provisions of the decision has been achieved;
The reasons any action required by the final decision has not been taken; and
The steps being taken to ensure full compliance.
The time limit cited in paragraph (f) of this section may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.
The Agency may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to other Federal agencies, except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated to another agency.
[53 FR 19760, May 31, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 2691, Jan. 29, 1996; 72 FR 50042, Aug. 30, 2007]