Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

English Poster

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion (OCRDI)
Counseling and Resolution Branch

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counseling/Mediation Program


If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact APHIS’ Counseling and Resolution Branch

for assistance at:

(301) 851-4200 or (800) 342-7231.

or via e-mail at

How to File a Discrimination Complaint

Who?  Any present or former APHIS employees or applicants for employment may request EEO counseling or mediation if been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, parental or familial status, political beliefs, receipt of public assistance, age (40+), marital status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, involvement in protected EEO complaint activity, or in retaliation of past EEO activity.

When?  An aggrieved person must initiate contact with an EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the date of' the alleged discrimination.  Class action problems must be presented by an agent of the class within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act or, if a personnel action is involved, within 45 calendar days of its effective date. An EEO counselor will explain appropriate regulatory guidelines affecting class action complaints.

How? A request for counseling may be verbal or written and should include all of the following information:

• Your name, address, and telephone number.
• A brief description of the problem and the date on which it arose.
• Your request for anonymity during the EEO counseling process if you so desire.

Where?  Contact the Counseling and Resolution Branch at (301) 851-4200 or (800) 342-7231 for information. Our address is USDA, APHIS, OCRDI, 4700 River Road, Unit 92, Riverdale, MD 20737.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-5964 (voice and TTY).

An EEO counselor or mediator will assist you with traditional EEO counseling or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and try to resolve the matter within 30 days.  If the counselor is unable to resolve the matter within 30 days through traditional EEO counseling, and you agree to an extension, the time may be extended up to an additional 60 calendar days.   When an aggrieved person elects to participate in ADR, the processing period is 90 days.   If the matter is not resolved by the conclusion of the counseling process, the EEO counselor or mediator will advise you of the procedures for filing a formal complaint.  If you have general questions regarding EEO complaint procedures, contact the Counseling and Resolution Branch staff at the number listed above.

Complementary Content