An informal complaint is any complaint or allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, religion, gender, age, national origin or any other form of discrimination, to include sexual harassment which are not criminal in nature. Depending on the severity of the behavior, the CO can recommend that the individuals involved attempt to us the Informal Resolution System to resolve their conflict.
Personnel should always consider using the informal method whenever possible, as this is the most expeditious mean to attempt resolution and restore the trust necessary for unit cohesion.
The Informal Resolution System (IRS) works in the following manner:
- Direct Approach. By either approaching the offending party in person tactfully pinpointing the behavior that is offending, asking the person to cease the behavior or in writing.
- Informal Third Party. Requesting assistance from another person to intervene on your behalf to help resolve the conflict. This person is normally a friend, co-worker, command EO representative or EO Advisor.
*It is important to note that if the complainant chooses to request assistance from someone outside of his/her immediate chain of command, this should not be adversely looked upon as “jumping the chain of command.” There are numerous reasons why someone would venture outside of their chain of command when requesting assistance with an EO complaint (i.e. the alleged offender is in their immediate chain of command, desire to have an impartial “outsider’s” opinion, the “old” chain of command did not address the issue when brought before them).
- Training Information Resources (TIR). Request training or resource materials for presentation to the work place in the areas of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behavior. These materials are a good method of communicating to offending persons in the workplace, in a non-threatening way, that the behavior is inappropriate. The TIR includes videos, books, lesson plans, posters and other materials. You can request TIR from your local Equal Opportunity Advisor.