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Equal Employment Opportunity

Your Protections

Get Support

Filing a Complaint

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Additional Resources

Contact Us

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws protect FEMA employees, former employees, and job applicants from discrimination or harassment.

Please note the information on this page is for FEMA employees and applicants for employment at FEMA. For all others with questions about filing an employment discrimination complaint, please visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.

Your EEO Protections

FEMA’s Anti-Discrimination Statement declares that FEMA cannot and will not tolerate discrimination based on the protected bases of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy)
  • National origin
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Reprisal/retaliation

Protection against certain forms of discrimination, such as on the bases of marital status, parental status, or political affiliation, is enforced by federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, and not enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

FEMA also will not tolerate any type of harassment — either sexual or nonsexual — of any employee or applicant for employment.

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FEMA’s EEO policies comply with the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002. Learn more about the No FEAR Act.

Get EEO Support

If you are a FEMA employee or have applied for a job at FEMA and you believe FEMA has discriminated against you based on a protected category, you have a right to file a complaint.

Protected Categories

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy)
  • National origin
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Reprisal/retaliation

Protection against certain forms of discrimination, such as on the bases of marital status, parental status, or political affiliation, is enforced by federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, and not enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

If you are a FEMA employee or have applied for a job at FEMA and believe FEMA discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint.

Filing an EEO Complaint

If you are a FEMA employee or have applied for a job at FEMA and believe FEMA discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint.

To file an EEO complaint, you must contact and initiate an informal EEO complaint with an EEO counselor. Employees and applicants must contact an EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of when the incident occurred, or in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To file an EEO complaint at FEMA:

  1. Contact an EEO Counselor through the Office of Civil Rights. You can reach the Office of Civil Rights by phone (202-212-3535) or email.
  2. The Office of Civil Rights will assign you an EEO Counselor. The EEO Counselor serves as a neutral party whose main role is to explore options for resolution of the issues involved.
  3. During counseling, the EEO Counselor will advise you in writing of your rights and responsibilities, explain the complaint process, and conduct a limited inquiry into the allegations presented. This inquiry may involve interviews with employees, management officials, or persons the counselor determines may have some firsthand knowledge of the allegations. Counseling is normally completed within 30 calendar days.

    The period for counseling may be extended for an additional 60 calendar days upon the written request of the employee and the agreement of the servicing EEO office.
  4. In most cases, the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. If resolution is not achieved, the counselor plays a vital role in ensuring prompt and efficient processing of the discrimination complaint.

If a resolution is not made, you will be given a Notice of Right to File a Formal Discrimination Complaint. You must file with the Office of Civil Rights at FEMA Headquarters within 15 calendar days after your notice is received.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a voluntary, informal, and confidential process used by FEMA to try to resolve EEO complaints at the earliest possible opportunity.

In traditional administrative avenues, EEO resolutions are not determined by people in the conflict. ADR, by contrast, helps the parties involved in the complaint manage the conflict. ADR allows parties the opportunity to improve communication and reach mutually agreeable terms to resolve their issues and concerns.

How ADR Works

During the ADR process, a neutral mediator will facilitate a meeting and help all parties communicate clearly, consider creative ways to reach a resolution, and explore realistic terms for resolution. The mediator does not make judgments or determinations on EEO cases; rather, they help the parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Additional Resources

Contact Us

For questions about EEO or to report discrimination, please contact FEMA’s Office of Civil Rights.

202-212-3535  
fema-ocr-eeo@fema.dhs.gov