29 CFR § 33.12 - Complaint handling procedures.

§ 33.12 Complaint handling procedures.

(a) 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 DOL.


(1) Complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment shall be processed according to the procedures established in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791).

(2) Complaints based upon program inaccessibility in violation of section 504 will be governed by the procedures at §§ 33.9(b) and 33.11(e) of this part, as applicable.

(c) Responsibility for implementation and operation of this section shall be vested in the Director, Directorate of Civil Rights (DCR). Complaints may be delivered or mailed to the Director, Directorate of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210.

(d) All complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The Director may extend this time period for good cause.

(e) Where a complaint contains insufficient information, the Director shall seek the needed information from the complainant. If the complainant is unavailable after reasonable means have been utilized to locate him or her, or the information is not furnished within 30 days of the date of such request, the complaint may be dismissed upon notice sent to the complainant's last known address.

(f) If the Director receives a complaint over which the Department 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.

(g) The Director shall accept and investigate all complete complaints which are timely filed, are within the Department's jurisdiction, and state an allegation(s) which, if true, would violate section 504 or its implementing regulations.

(1) Where the Director determines that the complaint will be investigated, he or she will notify the complainant(s) and the appropriate Department official(s).

(2) Such notification will advise the parties that a determination on the merits of the complaint will be issued within 180 days of the date of notification unless the matter is resolved informally prior to that time.

(3) If, during the course of the investigation, the Department official states that he or she believes that resolution of the complaint would require a fundamental alteration of the program or undue financial and administrative burdens, the complaint will proceed in accordance with §§ 33.9(b) and 33.11(e) of this part, as applicable.

(h) At any time prior to the issuance of the determination the parties to the complaint may resolve the complaint on an informal basis. For this purpose, the Director shall furnish, to the extent permitted by law, a copy of the investigative file to the complainant and the appropriate Department official. If the complaint is resolved, the terms of the agreement shall be reduced to writing and entered as part of the official file by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (Deputy ASAM).

(i) If informal resolution is not achieved, the Deputy ASAM shall issue a determination on the merits which notifies the parties to the complaint of the results of the investigation and includes -

(1) The findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(2) A remedy and/or corrective action, as appropriate, for each violation found; and

(3) A notice of the right to appeal to the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (ASAM).


(1) An appeal of the Deputy ASAM's determination may be filed with the ASAM by any party to the complaint. Such appeal must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the determination. The ASAM may extend this time for good cause.

(2) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the ASAM. The ASAM's determination shall be based upon the written record which may include, but is not limited to, the determination made by the Deputy ASAM, the investigative file, and any other materials submitted by the parties pursuant to a request from the ASAM.

(k) The ASAM shall notify all parties of his or her determination on the appeal within 90 days of the receipt of the appeal. The ASAM's determination represents the final administrative decision by the Department.

(l) The time limits cited in paragraphs (g)(2) and (k) of this section may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.

(m) The Department 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.

(n) The Director shall respond to requests by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board for information on the status of any complaint alleging that buildings that are subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), or section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 792), are not readily accessible and usable to individuals with handicaps.

[52 FR 11606, Apr. 9, 1987; 52 FR 23967, June 26, 1987]

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