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Conflict Complaints Division


Crystal Gist


Crystal Gist is Director of the Conflict Complaints Division within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in Washington, DC. In this capacity, she is primarily responsible for the overall direction, management, and processing of conflict of interest and highly sensitive Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints of discrimination for USDA.


Who We Are

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), through the Conflict Complaints Division (CCD), provides a wide range of services to management and staff employees of the Office of the Secretary, Departmental Management, staff offices and USDA mission areas and agencies.

What We Do

  • Management and administration of the EEO complaint process, electronic case file management, and tracking and reporting systems for serviced offices.
  • Monitoring the compliance of settlement agreements.
  • Drafting Final Agency Decisions (FADs) for conflict cases.
  • Program support in the areas of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Management Directive - 715 (MD-715), EEO Training and dissemination of informational and educational materials for serviced offices.
  • Preparation of the Corporate Services No Fear Act Report to Congress (No Fear Report) and the EEO-462 Report to the EEOC.
  • Conducting EEO training for Departmental Management offices, subcomponents and non-Departmental Management staff offices.; and
  • Advice, guidance and technical assistance on creation of a positive work environment free from discrimination.

What Constitutes A Conflicts Case?

CCD will process complaints when it is determined a named individual has sufficient involvement in the facts of the matter so as to create a conflict of interest for their Civil Rights office to process the complaint. CCD will assess if complaints meet the conflict of interest criteria and reserves the right to return complaints to the agencies when it determines that no actual conflict exists. Please contact CCD at

Filing a Discrimination Complaint with Conflict Complaints Division

Upon receipt of a Notice of Right to File (NRF) from an EEO counselor, you or your authorized representative must write a letter detailing the allegations of discrimination. You or your authorized representative must sign the letter.   Incomplete information may delay the processing of your complaint.

Persons with disabilities who wish to file a formal complaint with CCD, who require alternative means for communication of information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Please send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail, fax or email using the information on the OASCR "Contact Us" page.

Contact Us

To inquire about filing an EEO complaint, please contact the Conflict Complaints Division at

To inquire about the status of your formal complaint, please contact us

Federal EEO Processing Timeframe: Quick Facts

  • The complainant must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 days from the day the discrimination occurred.
  • A formal complaint must be filed within 15 days from the date the complainant receives the NRF letter from the EEO Counselor.
  • The Agency has 180 days from the day the complainant filed their complaint to complete the investigation or 120 days if the case is a "mixed case." (Please see the MSPB link below to determine MSPB jurisdiction.)
  • Timeframes for amended and consolidated cases will be extended.
Supplementary Links

EEOC Federal Sector EEO Complaint Overview

Find Your Nearest EEOC Field Office

MSPB Jurisdiction (Mixed Cases)

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