Class Complaints Information
Class complaints allow large numbers of affected individuals with a common characteristic, or characteristics, of race, color, sex (including transgender, sex stereotyping), religion, national origin, age, or disability, to challenge discriminatory agency policies and practices. A class action complaint may also be brought on the basis of retaliation/reprisal. Class complaints are similar to individual complaints in that both complaints must begin by initiating the EEO Counseling process.
In order to bring a class action, there must be a class agent. A class agent acts as a representative for the class during the processing of the complaint. If an individual wishes to act as a class agent in a class complaint, he or she must initiate EEO Counseling within 45 days of discriminatory practices that affected him or her. A class action brought by a class agent includes all unnamed and unidentified persons who are members of the class and have been subject to the same discriminatory policies and practices.
An individual may move to certify his or her complaint as a class complaint at any reasonable point in the process when it becomes apparent that there are class implications to the claim or claims raised in an individual complaint. An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Administrative Judge will make the determination on whether or not the complaint meets the prerequisites of a class complaint.
The formal requirements for filing a class complaint are set forth at 29 C.F.R. § 1614.204(a):
(2) A class complaint is a written complaint of discrimination filed on behalf of a class by the agent of the class alleging that:
(i) The class is so numerous that a consolidated complaint of the members of the class is impractical;
(ii) There are questions of fact common to the class;
(iii) The claims of the agent of the class are typical of the claims of the class;
(iv) The agent of the class, or, if represented, the representative, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
(3) An agent of the class is a class member who acts for the class during the processing of the class complaint.