24 CFR 7.32 - Representation and official time.
(a) At any stage in the processing of an EEO complaint, including the counseling stage under 29 CFR 1614.105 and during participation in the EEO ADR Program, the Complainant shall have the right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of Complainant's choice, except as limited by 29 CFR part 1614.
(b) If the Complainant is an employee of the Department, the Complainant shall have a reasonable amount of official time, if otherwise on duty, to prepare the complaint and to respond to Department and EEOC requests for information if the Complainant is otherwise in active duty status. If the Complainant is an employee of the Department and the Complainant designates another employee of the Department as the Complainant's representative, the representative shall have a reasonable amount of official time, if otherwise on duty, to prepare the complaint and respond to Department and EEOC requests for information.
(c) The Department is not obligated to change work schedules, incur overtime wages, or pay travel expenses to facilitate the choice of a specific representative or to allow the Complainant and representative to confer. The Complainant and the Complainant's representative, if employed by the Department and otherwise in a pay status, shall be on official time, regardless of their tour of duty, when their presence is authorized or required by the Department or the EEOC during the investigation, informal adjustment, or hearing on the complaint.
(d) In cases where the representation of a Complainant or the Department would conflict with the official or collateral duties of the representative, the EEOC or the Department may, after giving the representative an opportunity to respond, disqualify the representative.
(e) Unless the Complainant states otherwise in writing, after the Department has received written notice of the name, address and telephone number of a representative for the Complainant, all official correspondence shall be with the representative with copies to the Complainant. When the Complainant designates an attorney as representative, service of all official correspondence shall be made on the attorney and the Complainant, but time frames for receipt of materials shall be computed from the time of receipt by the attorney. The Complainant must serve all official correspondence on the designated representative of the Department and shall notify the Department of any changes of the representative and Complainant's address.
(f) The Complainant shall at all times be responsible for proceeding with the complaint and cooperating in the entire EEO complaint process, whether or not the Complainant has designated a representative.
(g) Witnesses who are Federal employees, regardless of their tour of duty and regardless of whether they are employed by the Department or some other Federal agency, shall be in a duty status when their presence is authorized or required by EEOC or Department officials in connection with an EEO complaint.