FAQS-EEO & Discrimination Investigation Unit

The following Frequently Asked Questions are available. By clicking on the link you will find the answer.

Frequently Asked Questions (EEO & Discrimination Investigation Unit)

1. Who is eligible for services from the EEO office?

State agencies and state employees, (whether the employee is seasonal, probationary, temporary and/or permanent), may receive services from the EEO office.

2. What is Title VII?

Title VII prohibits unlawful employment practices such as:

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

3. What is a Protected Class?

A protected class is a group of persons who, historically, have been discriminated against in the workplace.

4. What are the protected classes?

Any of the following could be the basis of an EEO investigation in the State of Nevada: Sexual Harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age (against employees age 40 and older only), disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, genetic information (GINA) or gender identity and expression.

5. I’m a member of a protected class. Does that mean I get special privileges?

No, it means that you are entitled to be treated the same as any other state employee would be treated in your same situation. However, if your circumstance as a member of a protected class means that you need an accommodation in order to perform your job, that will be determined by your Agency HR.

6. If I’m a member of a protected class and I have trouble at work, is that discrimination?

Not necessarily, but it could be. It depends on why you are having the trouble. Being a member of a protected class does not allow an employee to refuse work assignments, or to neglect his/her duties as a diligent member of the state workforce in accordance with the requirements of his/her job. However, if you are having problems at work, or being treated differently because you are a member of a protected class, then it could be discrimination.

7. What is a “hostile work environment?”

A “hostile work environment” is defined as harassment, speech or conduct that is severe (harsh; unnecessarily extreme) or pervasive (spreading or spread throughout) enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive and is based on someone’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, genetic information, and/or gender identity and/or expression.  In other words, having a “mean” or “bad supervisor” may not be the best for the morale of your office but it does not create a “hostile work environment” unless the conduct or speech is aimed at people who are in a protected class.

8. Is a hostile work environment always a sign of discrimination?

Not in the legal sense of the word "discrimination." Conduct which creates a hostile work environment is illegal only if it is based upon the employee's protected status as a member of a protected class. In other words, not all harassing behavior breaks the law. It is not discrimination if one employee is rude to another employee just because they have had an argument. However, just because the conduct does not meet the legal definition of harassment or discrimination does not mean that it's appropriate workplace behavior Nevada has rules in place which protect employees from unprofessional and inappropriate conduct, even if that conduct does not constitute discrimination.

9. What does the Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Agency Coordinator at my agency do?

An agency coordinator or EEO rep./counselor has received special training in recognizing workplace discrimination and in advising an employee of his/her rights. An agency coordinator or EEO rep./counselor  has also attended classes in filing and investigating EEO complaints. The coordinator can act as the liaison between you and the person you are feeling you have been discriminated by.

10. What if I don’t want to tell anyone at my agency what is going on?

That is your right. You have several options. You can speak to an agency coordinator or you can contact the EEO Office directly.

11. What if it’s my boss who is harassing me?

You can contact the agency coordinator or HR representative in your agency, or you can contact the EEO Office directly. All such inquiries are held in confidence.

12. What if I laughed at some jokes about religion or sex before, but now I don’t think they are funny and I want them to stop?

If the conduct by your co-worker or boss is unwelcome to you now, then you can file an EEO complaint. However, it is always best to try and handle the situation informally first, if you can. If you can ask the person to stop the behavior, do so. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, perhaps you could ask your EEO coordinator or counselor or your supervisor to ask the person to stop the unwelcome behavior. If that does not work, then you can file an EEO complaint.

13. If I want to file an EEO complaint, what do I do?

Employees may file a complaint by submitting it through the NEATS system (link found on your home page once signed in), or by reporting it to their agency coordinator within their agency, or by completing form NPD-30 "Sexual Harassment or Discrimination Complaint Form" found on this website under the Forms link, or by calling the Harassment/Discrimination Hotline at (800)767-7381.

14. What is the procedure for filing an EEO Complaint?

When filing an EEO Complaint, you must fall under one of the protected classes. Once you establish you are being discriminated against based on one of the protected classes; you may start the complaint process as found under section VI. Procedure; in the State's Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

15. How long does it take to investigate an EEO Complaint?

The Harassment/Discrimination Investigation Unit completes most investigations within 30 days, however some investigations take longer due to complexity of issues, number of witnesses, and physical location of complainant, accused, and witnesses.

16. What if my complaint is not Title VII?

If an investigator had determined that your complaint is not Title VII, you may want to mediate your issues. You will find the contact information under the "Mediation" link.