U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2022
For the purpose of this part:
(a) Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or his designee.
(b) Cooperative Extension Service means the Cooperative Extension Service of each Land-Grant University.
(c) President means the President or chief executive of each Land-Grant University or his designee.
(d) Discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.
(e) Employment includes hiring, assignment, transfer, promotion, compensation, discipline, and discharge and all other conditions, terms and privileges of employment.
(f) Program means a comprehensive Equal Employment Opportunity plan submitted by a President in satisfaction of the requirements of § 18.3.
(a) Purpose. This part provides a cooperative procedure involving the President and Secretary to assure that the Cooperative Extension Service provides equal opportunity in employment to each individual without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.
(b) Applicability. The regulations in this part apply to every Land-Grant University operating a Cooperative Extension Service.
(c) Coverage. This part applies to all positions in all units of the Cooperative Extension Service but does not apply to employees provided by county and other political subdivisions in support of Cooperative Extension Service programs.
(a) Submission. Within 90 days after the effective date of this part, the President shall furnish to the Secretary a positive continuing program to assure that employment is provided without discrimination.
(b) Development. The President and the Secretary may consult with each other at any time regarding the development and evaluation of the program in order to better effectuate the purpose of this part. The program may be a part of a general program establishing employment procedures for employees of the university and may cover other rights and privileges of employees.
(c) Concurrence. The Secretary may concur with the program proposed by the President. If the Secretary does not concur with the proposed program, he shall inform the President and make suggestions for improvement. The President will have 30 days thereafter to furnish a satisfactory proposal.
(d) Amendment. After concurrence has been obtained on the program, the President may make recommendations to amend the program to improve its effectiveness and furnish them to the Secretary for concurrence. If the Secretary, at any time finds that a program, as implemented, does not achieve the purposes described in § 18.2, he shall confer with the President concerning needed improvements and changes. The President will furnish a satisfactory amendment to the Secretary within 30 days for concurrence.
(e) Effective date. The program or amendments to it shall be made effective by the President not later than 30 days from the date of concurrence.
A satisfactory program shall include:
(a) A statement of policy prohibiting discrimination in employment;
(b) An administrative procedure enforcing that policy;
(c) A positive affirmative action plan designed to assure equal opportunity in employment;
(d) A procedure for identifying and eliminating employment practices tending to create or continue discrimination in employment;
(e) A procedure for evaluating the success of the program;
(f) Adequate provision for publicizing the program including dissemination of information to all those covered by these regulations;
(g) A procedure for prompt processing of complaints assuring no less than minimum rights prescribed in § 18.5;
(h) Adequate provisions for the protection of complainants, employees, witnesses, and representatives from interference, harassment, intimidation and reprisal;
(i) A procedure for the informal resolution of complaints; and,
(j) A procedure for recording receipt and disposition of all complaints. A report of the receipt and a report of the disposition of all formal complaints will be sent promptly to the Secretary.
A procedure shall be provided for the filing of a formal written complaint if a complainant is not satisfied with the result of informal procedure or if the complainant does not desire to follow the informal procedure. A complaint procedure shall contain the following minimum provisions for the processing of formal complaints.
(a) Elements of the formal complaint. The formal complaint shall be in writing and state the name and address of the complainant; the basis of the claim; and indicate whether the alleged discrimination was based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.
(b) Time limits for processing. The procedure will include time limits for the orderly processing of complaints.
(c) Who may file. A complaint may be filed by an employee, a former employee, or an applicant for employment who believes that discrimination in employment has been practiced against him or that an employment practice in the Cooperative Extension Service has or will result in discrimination in employment against him. An employee, a former employee, or an applicant for employment, or an organization may file a complaint of general discriminatory practices: Provided, however, That upon request of the President, the complainant shall furnish to him names of individuals who are adversely affected by those practices.
(d) Right of representation. A complainant may designate in writing, an individual or an organization to represent him in the processing of his complaint, and is entitled to the advice of counsel at his expense at all stages of the proceeding. If the representative designated by the complainant is an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or of a Cooperative Extension Service, such employee, as well as an employee-complainant, shall have a reasonable amount of official time with pay, if he is in a pay status, for the purpose of appearing at any hearing on the complaint or conciliation effort. The rights and privileges set forth in this paragraph shall also be available to any person whose alleged conduct is the cause of the complaint.
(e) Where filed. The procedure shall clearly state the persons, and their locations, with whom complaints may be filed. It shall also state that complaints may be filed with the Secretary. Complaints filed with the Secretary shall be promptly forwarded to the President or his designee for processing.
(f) When filed. A complaint shall be submitted within 90 days of the conduct giving rise to the complaint. The President may extend the prescribed time limit for good cause shown by the complainant.
(g) Hearing. A complainant or the President may request a hearing which shall be transcribed or recorded. The hearing shall be conducted promptly during regular working hours in the county where the alleged discrimination occurred or at a time and place agreed to by the President and the complainant. The President, the complainant and any person whose alleged conduct is the cause of the complaint shall have the right to call and cross-examine witnesses under oath. The hearing shall be provided by the President, and shall be conducted by an impartial board or hearing officer who shall promptly submit a proposed decision including findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations for action to the President.
(h) Decision by the President. The President shall review the entire file on the complaint, including the record of the hearing if a hearing was held, and shall promptly:
(1) Remand to the hearing board or officer for further action; or
(2) Make a decision on the complaint; or
(3) Otherwise dispose of the complaint.
Within 6 months of the program going into effect and thereafter at least annually, the President shall submit a summary report to the Secretary on implementation and operation of the program. The Secretary may request additional reports as he deems advisable.
A university conducting a Cooperative Extension Service will be in violation of this part:
(a) If the President fails to file a program in which the Secretary concurs under § 18.3, or fails to file an appropriate amendment in accordance with § 18.3(d);
(b) If after concurrence in the President's program the Secretary finds that a university has failed to administer such program according to its terms;
(c) If the Secretary finds that any officer of the university has intimidated, coerced, or improperly pressured a complainant, employee, representative, or witness exercising the rights given him by this part or any program adopted pursuant thereto, and that corrective action has not been taken.
(a) When the Secretary finds that any noncompliance with this part has occurred, he may initiate action to refuse to authorize payment of funds for the Cooperative Extension Service, or take other appropriate action provided by law.
(b) The remedies available to the Secretary under this part, and remedies made available to any person under a program adopted pursuant to this part do not exclude any others which may be available under law.