Have you ever been afraid to speak up for fear of losing your job? Discrimination complaints are on the rise at federal agencies, but many employees are still afraid to complain for fear of retaliation, according to a new EEOC report. In particular, the EEOC found that the Bureau of Prisons had an unusually poor track record, citing “widespread fear of retaliation among BOP employees.” The Washington Post‘s Joe Davidson unpacks the report in more detail:
EEOC officials decided to send questionnaires to all BOP employees after receiving reports suggesting that “BOP employees have an unusually heightened fear of retaliation,” according to a report the EEOC issued in November.
That’s an unusual level of fear compared with other federal agencies. According to the report, almost two-thirds of fiscal 2003 EEO complaints at the Bureau of Prisons included allegations of retaliation, compared with 40 percent government-wide. By 2007, the gap had narrowed to 47.5 percent for BOP and 42.5 percent government-wide, but employees and union officials say the problem remains.
The report is especially troubling given that prison employees are already working in hostile conditions. Moreover, an agency’s culture doesn’t change overnight. It can be incredibly difficult to combat the fear and abuses that the EEOC found in their survey. Have you ever been afraid of retaliation? If you were a manager, what would you to do rectify this situation?
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