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Responding to Complaints
Introduction
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At times, an agency will receive complaints about employees and the agency.  Complaints will range in complexity from harassment, hostile work environment, lawsuits, grievances and interoffice disputes, to complaints about the temperature, furniture or decorations in the office. Human Resources (HR) will have a role in responding to the majority of these complaints or to assist in preparing the agency’s response.
 
If an agency is notified of a complaint or pending complaint, the agency may be compelled to begin immediate retention of any documentation surrounding the complaint, including current, archived, electronic and hard copy documentation. There may be special considerations regarding requests for electronically stored information. DOJ Labor and Employment can advise your agency regarding retention and submission of information contained in this format.   
 
Regardless of the type of complaint, complaints need, and in some cases require a response. The type of complaint will dictate the response. It may be detailed or simple.  The agency response may determine if a minor complaint goes to a lawsuit, or the person registering the complaint is satisfied and drops the complaint.
 

Department of Justice (DOJ) Labor and Employment Section
Many times a complaint will require legal guidance from the DOJ Labor and Employment Section.  (This is different from the DOJ, Business Activity Section that advises agencies on business activities.) Calls to DOJ are at the agency’s expense. Call DOJ Labor and Employment at 503-947-4600 if the agency receives a complaint of harassment or discrimination, or receives notice of tort claims, lawsuits, BOLI and EEOC complaints.
See the following for more information:


 General Complaints
 Discrimination and Harassment
 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Grievances
 BOLI Complaints
 Tort Claims and Lawsuits