(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by the agency.

(b) Responsibility for the implementation and operation of this section shall be vested in the CCR Director/Special Assistant.

(c) The agency shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791) and HHS Instruction 1613-3. Part 1613 requires complainants to obtain pre-complaint counseling within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory act, and to file complaints within 15 days of the close of counseling. Responsibility for the acceptance, investigation, and the rendering of decisions with respect to employment complaints is vested in the Assistant Secretary for Personnel Administration.

(d) OCR shall accept and investigate all complete complaints for which it has jurisdiction. All complete complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. OCR may extend this time for good cause.

(e) If OCR receives a complaint over which it does not have jurisdiction, it shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate Federal government entity.

(f) OCR shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps.

(g) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, OCR shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigations in a letter containing—

(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and

(3) A notice of the right to appeal.

(h) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 60 days of receipt from the agency of the letter required by §85.61(g). OCR may extend this time for good cause.

(i) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the OCR Director/Special Assistant. Decisions on such appeals shall not be heard by the person who made the initial decision.

(j) OCR shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the request. If OCR determines that it needs additional information from the complainant, it shall have 60 days from the date it receives the additional information to make its determination on the appeal.

(k) The time limits cited in (g) and (j) above may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.

(l) The agency may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to a component agency or other Federal agencies, except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated.

[53 FR 25603, July 8, 1988; 53 FR 26559, July 13, 1988]

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