45 CFR 1225.9 - Complaint procedure.
(a) EO Director.
(1) The EO Director must accept a complaint if the process set forth above has followed, and the complaint states a charge of illegal discrimination. The agency will extend the time limits set herein (a) when the complainant shows that he or she was not notified of the time limits and was not otherwise aware of them, or (b) the complainant shows that he or she was prevented by circumstances beyond his or her control from submitting the matter in a timely fashion, or (c) for other reasons considered sufficiently by the agency. At any time during the complaint procedure, the EO Director may cancel a complaint because of failure of the aggrieved party to prosecute the complaint. If the complaint is rejected for failure to meet one or more of the requirements set out in the procedure outlined in § 1225.8 or is cancelled, the EO Director shall inform the aggrieved party in writing of this Final Agency Decision; that the Peace Corps or ACTION will take no further action; and of the right, to file a civil action as described in § 1225.21 of this part.
(2) Upon acceptance of the complaint and receipt of the Counselor's report, the EO Director shall provide for the prompt investigation of the complaint. Whenever possible, the person assigned to investigate the complaint shall occupy a position in the agency which is not, directly or indirectly, under the jurisdiction of the head of that part of the agency in which the complaint arose. The investigation shall include a thorough review of the circumstances under which the alleged discrimination occurred, and any other circumstances which may constitute, or appear to constitute discrimination against the complainant. The investigator shall compile an investigative file, which includes a summary of the investigation, recommended findings of fact and a recommended resolution of the complaint. The investigator shall forward the investigative file to the EO Director and shall provide the complainant with a copy.
(3) The EO Director shall review the complaint file including any additional statements provided by the complainant, make findings of fact, and shall offer an adjustment of the complaint if the facts support the complaint. If the proposed adjustment is agreeable to all parties, the terms of the adjustment shall be reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and made part of the complaint file. A copy of the terms of the adjustment shall be provided the complainant. If the proposed adjustment of the complaint is not acceptable to the complainant, or the EO Director determines that such an offer is inappropriate, the EO Director shall forward the complaint file with a written notification of the findings of facts, and his or her recommendation of the proposed disposition of the complaint to the appropriate Director. The aggrieved party shall receive a copy of the notification and recommendation and shall be advised of the right to appeal the recommended disposition to the appropriate Director. Within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of such notice, the complainant may submit his or her appeal of the recommended disposition to the appropriate Director.
(b) Appeal to Director. If no timely notice of appeal is received from the aggrieved party, the appropriate Director or designee may adopt the proposed disposition as the Final Agency Decision. If the aggrieved party appeals, the appropriate Director or designee, after review of the total complaint file, shall issue a decision to the aggrieved party. The decision of the appropriate Director shall be in writing, state the reasons underlying the decision, shall be the Final Agency Decision, shall inform the aggrieved party of the right to file a civil action as described in § 1225.21 of this part, and, if appropriate, designate the procedure to be followed for the award of attorney fees or costs.