Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of complaints can I file with OEPE?

    If you are an employee of DHS you may file complaints regarding adverse personnel actions, hostile work environment, sexual harassment (including same sex), and harassment (workplace bullying).

    If you are an applicant for employment with DHS you may file a complaint for failure to hire.

    All complaints must be based on your belief that the discriminatory action was taken because of your age, ancestry, color, creed, marital status, mental or physical disability, national origin, race; religious affiliation, belief or opinion; sex, or sexual orientation.

    You cannot, however, file a complaint with OEPE and file a grievance on the same issue. You must chose to file either a complaint with OEPE, or to file a grievance.

  2. Where can I file a complaint if I am not an employee of DHS, but receive services from DHS, and believe that one of DHS’s employee’s has discriminated against me?

    If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your age, ancestry, color, creed, marital status, mental or physical disability, national origin, race; religious affiliation, belief or opinion; sex, or sexual orientation, you may contact OEPE at 410-767-7861 or at If you do not believe that you have been discriminated against, but would like to file a complaint, you may contact the Constituent Services Unit of DHS at 1-800-332-6347.

  3. How do I file a complaint with OEPE?

    You may call the office at 410-767-7861 and request a complaint form. You may also send an email to to request a Customer Complaint form.

  4. How long can I wait to file after the discriminatory act?

    You must file within 30 calendar days of the alleged act, or within 30 calendar days of the date you knew or reasonably should have known that an act of discrimination had occurred.

  5. What happens after I file a complaint?

    Your complaint will be assigned to an investigator who will interview you, your witnesses (if any), the Respondent and the Respondent’s witnesses (if any), and review any other pertinent evidence such as personnel files. The investigator will then analyze all of the collected evidence and issue a written determination of Probable Cause or No Probable Cause.

  6. What can I do if I disagree with the determination?

    If you are an employee, as the Complainant (the person filing the charge), you may appeal, in writing, to the Department of Budget and Management, Office of Personnel Services and Benefits, Employee Relations Division, Room 608, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Your appeal must be made within ten (10) calendar days of your receipt of the determination.

  7. Where else can I file a complaint?

    You may file a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR), 6 St. Paul Street, 9th floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, (410) 767-8600; or the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Baltimore District Office, 31 Hopkins Plaza #1432, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, (410) 209-2237.

    Please check with these agencies regarding any other rights you may have under their respective statutes.

  8. What if I am retaliated against for filing a complaint?

    Federal and State law, as well as, State and Departmental policy prohibits persons from being retaliated against for either filing a complaint of discrimination, or cooperating with an investigation of such a complaint. If you believe that you are being retaliated against you should contact the OEPE immediately.

  9. What should I do if I need to be accommodated for a disability?

    An employer is only required by law to make reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability.

    Employees – please contact either your local ADA liaison or OEPE to speak with the ADA Coordinator.

  10. How is disability defined?

    Under the ADA an individual with a disability is defined as a person who has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Whether or not an impairment qualifies as a disability under the ADA is determine on a case by case basis.

  11. How is major life activity defined?

    Under the ADA a major life activity is defined as activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty such as, walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, working, etc.

  12. What is the definition of a qualified individual with a disability?

    EEOC’s technical guidelines on the ADA defines qualified individual with a disability as, an individual with a disability who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.

  13. Are complaints kept confidential?

    Complaints are reported on a need to know basis. The Respondent has a right to know that a complaint has been filed against him or her, and who made the complaint. Witnesses are asked to respect the confidential nature of investigations. Employees of the OEPE are required to maintain confidentiality.