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EEO Complaint Process

In accordance with the Chapter 123:1-49 of the Ohio Administrative Code, the Ohio Department of  Administrative Services, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action (AA/EEO) Unit,  has the responsibility to provide leadership and guidance to agencies in the conduct of affirmative action programs as well as issue procedures to implement the state EEO policy and programs.


The AA/EEO Unit is also responsible for ensuring non-discrimination against a state employee or candidate for state employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin (ancestry), military status (past, present or future), disability, age (40 years of age or older), genetic information, or sexual orientation, as those terms are defined in Ohio law, federal law and any current executive order of the governor of Ohio, in making any state government employment-related decisions including, but not limited to, hiring, layoff, termination, transfer promotion, demotion, rate of compensation, or eligibility for in-service training programs.


The State of Ohio is an equal opportunity employer and in accordance with the state of Ohio’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy you may file a complaint electronically with the equal opportunity division, or by U.S. Mail to the division, through an authorized representative, or with the agency EEO Representative within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the alleged improper conduct if:  


  • You are a state of Ohio employee or applicant or candidate for state employment
  • You believe that improper conduct occurred in the making of a state government employment-related decision

Please see below for complete complaint process information.

External EEO Discrimiantion Complaint Filing

As a state of Ohio employee or applicant you may also file a complaint of discrimination with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Internal EEO Discrimination Complaint Filing

A person may file a written complaint of discrimination with the agency EEO officer at any time within 30 days of the date that the events which are the subject of the complaint occurred. In such event, or when a person who has a disability which precludes his/her completion of the complaint form seeks to file a complaint, the EEO officer shall complete a Discrimination Complaint Form. The form shall also be completed by the officer when s/he initiates an investigation on his/her own initiative. Any person who is interviewed during the course of an investigation shall have the right to be accompanied by a representative of his or her choice. The EEO officer will make a written report of the investigation to the agency head. If the EEO officer concludes on the basis of the investigation that a violation of anti-discrimination laws or the agency's EEO policy has occurred, s/he shall recommend appropriate corrective action. The agency head or designee will review the EEO officer's report and take any corrective action that she or he deems appropriate.


Definitions of the different type of discrimination

Discrimination or harassment based on physical, tribal, ancestral, cultural, geographic or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group or stock including, but not limited to, persons having origins in any of the original people of the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia or Antarctica.   

Discrimination or harassment based on skin-tone, racial group or perceived racial group, race-linked characteristics (i.e. hair texture, color, facial features) or because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain color. Color discrimination can also occur in the absence of race discrimination when members of the same race are treated differently because of their skin color.

Discrimination or harassment based on years of age (40 years or over).   


Discrimination or harassment based on the religious nature of a practice or belief, which include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right or wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. 

Discrimination or harassment because of his or her sex, including making decision based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals on the basis of sex and discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.


Harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of an sexual nature when this conduct  explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.  Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.


Discrimination or harassment based on a persons’ actual or perceived homosexuality, bisexuality, or heterosexuality, by orientation or practice, by and between adults who have the ability to give consent.

Discrimination or harassment based on birthplace, ancestral, cultural, familial descent or lineage; linguistic characteristics common to a specific nationality; marriage to, or association with, persons of a national origin group; membership or association with organizations identified with, or promoting the interests of, a national origin group’s attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, or mosques generally associated with a national origin group; or a surname associated with a national origin group.   


Discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s genetic information which includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members (i.e. family medical history). Genetic information also includes an individual's request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or the participation in clinical research that includes genetic services by the individual or a family member of the individual, and the genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or by a pregnant woman who is a family member of the individual and the genetic information of any embryo legally held by the individual or family member using an assisted reproductive technology.


Discrimination or harassment based on a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity of the individual, including having a history of disability or being believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory and minor, even if the individual does not have such an impairment. 


Discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s past, present, or future service in the uniformed services.  This includes active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty for training, full-time national guard duty, the commissioned corps of the public health service, and any other category of persons designated by the president of the United States in time of war or emergency, and performance of duty or training by a member of the Ohio organized militia, and the period of time for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any duty in a uniformed service.


Terms and Conditions of Employment

Anti-discrimination protections apply to all of the terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to:

-- Promotions

-- Testing
-- Training opportunities
-- Hiring
-- Transfers
-- Work assignments
-- Discipline
-- Salary and benefits
-- Discharge
-- Performance evaluations
-- Working conditions 

Meeting with the EEO Professional

Any person who wishes to talk about a question or problem related to the agency's equal employment opportunity policy, or to file a complaint of discrimination, may contact their respective agency EEO officer or with the DAS/EOD AA/EEO unit.

A state of Ohio employee or applicant is not restricted to consulting only the EEO officer within their agency. They may also contact the DAS/EOD AA/EEO unit.

A state of Ohio employee or applicant has a right to meet privately with the EEO Officer during office hours, however, the employee should obtain supervisory approval for leaving his/her work assignment. An employee need not disclose the details of the purpose for meeting with an EEO professional to a supervisor. Reasonable leave requests to meet with an EEO professional during work hours cannot be denied by supervisors. Managers and supervisors shall allow employees to meet with EEO professionals at the earliest practicable time consistent with the operational needs of their units.

The EEO professional can arrange to meet with an employee during office hours or during the employee's lunch period. An employee or applicant may bring a representative of his or her choice to the meeting, provided advance notice is given to the EEO officer.

In addition, a person needing a sign language interpreter for a meeting concerning an EEO matter may request that the EEO officer provide one.

EEO Office Services

The EEO professional will interview the person seeking assistance to determine whether the person should receive assistance in the form of counseling, or the person wants to request mediation. The person may want to file an internal complaint of discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation or to file a formal complaint with an external agency.

The EEO professional also is responsible for arranging sign language interpreters and other alternate forms of effective communication with persons with disabilities to facilitate access to EEO services.

Agency EEO officers will discuss allegations and various options with the person seeking assistance which may include further actions the employee could take on his or her own behalf, i.e., referrals to other agencies which may be of assistance, or other informal assistance from the EEO officer.

Mediation is a voluntary process and may be declined by either party involved. The person seeking assistance may file a written request for mediation. A copy of the Request for Mediation form is attached. When a request for mediation has been made, the EEO officer shall attempt to help the parties involved resolve the matter in dispute. In this process, the EEO officer shall consult with the person who filed the request, the person named in the request, and other persons as appropriate.

Statutory Authority