Pre-Complaint Stage of the NRC's Equal Employment Opportunity Alternative Dispute Resolution Program

Aggrieved persons may elect to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) during the pre-complaint stage of the Employment Discrimination Complaint Process established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In such instances, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor remains the complainant's first point of contact to initiate a claim of employment discrimination. The complainant must seek counseling within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory decision or action.

The counselor will explain distinctions in the ADR process compared to traditional counseling. The counselor will provide the aggrieved person a copy of relevant documents used in the ADR process, including the Discrimination Complaint Process Pamphlet, which explains the aggrieved person's rights and responsibilities in the ADR process.

For additional information about the pre-complaint stage of the NRC's ADR Program, see the following topics on this page:

Questions regarding ADR in the agency's EEO Program should be directed to Rhonda C. Dorsey, ADR Coordinator, (301-415-2254, TDD/301-415-5244) or Stephen Smith, Program Manager, Civil Rights Program (301-415- 0192, TDD/301-415-5244), in the NRC's Office of Small Business and Civil Rights (SBCR), or by email to EEO Programs.

Making an Election

If the aggrieved person elects to pursue a resolution through EEO counseling, the counselor will have 30 calendar days from the date the aggrieved person sought EEO counseling to complete the inquiry. The aggrieved person may agree, in writing, to extend EEO counseling up to an additional 60 calendar days, for a total of 90 calendar days. If the matter is resolved by the counselor within 30 calendar days or within the agreed upon period of extension, an agreement, stating the terms and conditions, will be signed by the appropriate parties. If the matter is not resolved within 30 calendar days or within the agreed upon period of extension the EEO counselor will conduct the final interview and provide the aggrieved person a written Notice of Right to File a Formal Discrimination Complaint (NRTF), or if applicable a formal grievance through the NRC/National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) Negotiated Grievance Procedure or a mixed-case appeal through the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The NRTF will advise the aggrieved person of applicable procedures and time limits to exercise his rights.

If the aggrieved person elects to pursue a resolution through ADR, the aggrieved person must complete a Request to Participate in ADR, and submit it to the EEO counselor. During mediation, parties will sign an Agreement to Participate in Mediation Form. The form explains the process, rights and responsibilities of all parties [i.e., aggrieved person, management official, ADR coordinator, agency official, representative(s), and mediator] who are involved in the coordination, participation, and attendance of mediation. The ADR process will conclude within 90 calendar days from the date the aggrieved person sought counseling.

Resolution During ADR

If a mutually acceptable resolution is reached, the terms of the agreement will be reduced to writing in accordance with applicable Federal statutes and regulations and agency policies. The ADR Coordinator will monitor and ensure compliance with the agreement. If the aggrieved party believes the agency has failed to comply with any terms of the agreement, he may contact the Director of the NRC’s Office of Small Business and Civil Rights, and make an election consistent with the non-compliance provision set forth in the agreement.

No Resolution During ADR

If the matter is not resolved during ADR, the mediator will notify the ADR Coordinator that a resolution was not reached. The ADR Coordinator will complete the EEO Counseling/ADR Intake form indicating that an agreement was not reached and forward it to the EEO counselor. The ADR Coordinator will also refer the aggrieved person back to the EEO counselor for the final interview and issuance of the NRTF. If a formal complaint is filed, the EEO counselor will prepare a report to be issued to the aggrieved person (hereinafter complainant). All discussions and resolution activity that occur during the ADR process are confidential and will not be included in the report. The report will only include information from the EEO Counseling/ADR Intake form, information obtained during the period the individual participated in traditional EEO counseling, and a statement that the aggrieved person elected to pursue a resolution through the agency's ADR process but resolution was not successful.