All workers, regardless of employment status, are entitled to meet with an EEO Counselor to discuss their rights and responsibilities, or the informal complaints process.
However, unlike informal complaints, the formal EEO complaint process is generally not available to contractors; there are limited circumstances under which a contractor can file a formal EEO complaint. The most common situation in which a contractor may file a formal EEO complaint is when the contractor believes that he or she has been discriminated against by a federal employee who has a legally-defined level of supervisory control over the contractor’s day to day functions. This level of control is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Contractors who believe they have been discriminated against and are unsure whether or not they may file a formal EEO complaint are encouraged to contact an NIH EEO Counselor, or their employer’s EEO office, within 45 days of the discriminatory act.
We cannot accept formal EEO complaints against an employee of another organization, such as an employee of a private contracting company. If a contractor believes that he or she has been discriminated against by an employee of his or her private contracting company, the contractor should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, or the contracting company’s EEO office.