The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Questions and Answers: EEOC National Contact Center

What is the EEOC National Contact Center?

The EEOC is creating a National Contact Center to provide the public with 24-hour access to EEOC and information about equal employment rights and responsibilities. The EEOC National Contact Center is a contractor operated facility that will provide the public with a centralized point of access for reaching the EEOC and offer several choices for communicating with the EEOC, such as phone, TTY, e-mail, facsimile, and standard mail.

What information will I be able to obtain from the National Contact Center?

The National Contact Center will provide immediate access to customer service representatives from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, who will be able to provide you with the status of your private sector charge of discrimination or your federal sector EEO complaint. They will answer questions about:

Alternatively, an automated system will provide 24 hour access to general EEOC information.

Will I be able to file a charge of employment discrimination with the National Contact Center?

No. All charges of discrimination must be filed with an EEOC field office. If you contact the National Contact Center wishing to file a charge, a customer service representative will assist you in identifying whether your inquiry may be covered by the laws the EEOC enforces, and will transmit your information to the appropriate EEOC field office, which will contact you to complete the process of filing a charge.

Will I still be able to file a charge directly with an EEOC office?

Yes. You may contact the EEOC by telephone, TTY or postal mail. Phone numbers and addresses are listed on EEOC's contact page.

If I am a federal employee or applicant, will I be able to access information about my complaint?

If a federal sector complaint has not reached the EEOC, you may be directed to the agency where the complaint was filed. If the complaint is at the hearings stage, the customer service representative will be able to provide you with the status of your complaint. If the complaint is on appeal to the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations, the customer service representative will connect you with an EEOC staff person in that office.

What will happen if the National Contact Center representative cannot answer my question?

Customer service representatives will be trained to identify calls involving complex issues and to transfer these calls to an officer at the appropriate EEOC field office. Each field office and the headquarters Offices of Federal Operations, Field Programs and Legal Counsel will have a hotline to the National Contact Center. Representatives will also be able to assist you by making appropriate referrals to other agencies and organizations.

When will the National Contact Center be open for business?

The National Contact Center will begin taking calls in the spring of 2005.

Who will operate the EEOC's National Contact Center?

Pearson Government Solutions has been awarded the contract to operate the National Contact Center for the EEOC as a pilot project for two years. Pearson serves 27 government programs in five major contact centers in the United States. The center will be located in Lawrence, Kansas.

How many customer service representatives will be available to respond to inquiries from the public?

Pearson will have up to 36 full time customer service representatives dedicated to the EEOC's contact center. The National Contact Center will, as needed, add additional customer service representatives to ensure prompt responses to the public during periods of high call volume.

What are the qualifications of the National Contact Center's customer service representatives?

Pearson's customer service representatives are diverse and well qualified with an average of 23 months of customer service experience, including experience providing information for other federal agencies. Fifty-eight percent of Pearson's customer service representatives have college degrees or some college education.

What training will the customer service representatives receive prior to taking calls?

Customer service representatives will be trained, tested, and certified on their knowledge of EEOC information and their skills in providing assistance in sensitive situations. EEOC staff have developed substantive training materials and will be conducting initial and ongoing training for the customer service representatives.

How will I contact the National Contact Center?

EEOC will publish toll-free (1-800) numbers for voice and TTY, which will go directly to the National Contact Center. From 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday - Friday, you will have the choice of immediate access to a customer service representative, or use of an automated system. At all other times, you will have access to the automated system only. We will also publicize an e-mail address for the Contact Center.

Will the National Contact Center handle written correspondence?

Yes. The National Contact Center will assist EEOC in rapidly responding to written, fax and e-mail inquiries.

What languages will the National Contact Center be capable of handling?

The National Contact Center will have English and Spanish speaking customer service representatives. In addition, the center's automated system will provide information in both English and Spanish. If someone needs assistance in a language other than English or Spanish during center hours, the EEOC's National Contact Center will be capable of providing assistance in as many as 150 languages through a language interpretation service.

This page was last modified on October 7, 2004.

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