January 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm #175605
Do You Know about equal employment opportunity (EEO) in the federal government?
How much do you know about the federal sector EEO process?
What about workforce diversity?
Want to learn more?
Follow the U.S. EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) on Twitter @EEOC_OFO for daily updates -- or check out the EEOC website.
Feds need to be aware of their employment rights, just as agencies need to be aware of their employer responsibilities.The EEOC provides leadership and guidance to federal agencies on all aspects of the federal government's EEO program.
EEOC assures federal agency and department compliance with EEOC regulations, provides technical assistance to federal agencies concerning EEO complaint adjudication, monitors and evaluates federal agencies' affirmative employment programs, develops and distributes federal sector educational materials and conducts training for stakeholders, provides guidance and assistance to our Administrative Judges who conduct hearings on EEO complaints, and adjudicates appeals from administrative decisions made by federal agencies on EEO complaints.
You have federally protected rights to be free of unlawful discrimination and harassment at work.
DID YOU KNOW?
January 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm #175623
DIGEST OF EEO LAW: check out the new EDITION covering EEOC decisions on a range of federal sector cases.
This publication includes feature articles on timely issues in equal employment opportunity (EEO) law, as well as summaries of recent Commission decisions and federal court cases, as they affect federal government employees.
Commission Federal Sector decisions are currently available on the EEOC website. This edition of the EEO Law Digest covers:
- Class Complaints
- Compensatory Damages
- Agency Processing
- Attorneys Fees
- Settlement Agreements
- Stating a Claim
- Summary Judgment
- ARTICLE: Compliance with Commission Decisions: An Overview
January 28, 2013 at 12:31 am #175621
I have worked government 25 years. I get another position and a new supervisor and was harrassed to death. The Union rep was from my agency, they did not represent me well. I felt they were in collaboration with the agency head person. They were afraid of loosing their jobs. Which some did, it is so much corruption going on in some agencies. Equal Employment is weak in government if you do not have other people in the agency to come forth! You have to go thru your chain of command first. But,the majority of the cases never get their due to Fear!
January 28, 2013 at 1:56 am #175619
Obama's inagural speech and the recent call for input to the Federal Sector Complement Plan (FCP) bodes well for positive changes ahead for the Feds. The EEOC's recent report shows that age, retaliation and black-African American complaints are up across the board. The employee viewpoint survey results are posted on the partnership for public service's Best Places to Work website. These rankings are game changing in that they show the ratings by demographic and can help to support complaints and lawsuits, whereas in the past the only data the complainant had was personnel records (privacy protected and impossible to access) and witnesses (weak/ not good for showing patterns of abuse and trends).
In addition, there was a recent settlement in Calif (at a hospital in Sacramento) for $168 M for a single victim of workplace harassment. Although punitive damages are not available to the Feds, the mental anguish/compensatory damages were awarded at $39M. For ONE victim. This was not a class action settlement.
January 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm #175617
Thanks so much for your informative comments, Evangelene. You raise and excellent point: retaliation/reprisal in one the top EEO complaints by federal employees. Further information about retaliation is avaiable on EEOC's website here. Information on the EEO complaint process may be found here.
As you may know, the EEOC is developing a Federal Sector Complement Plan to its Strategic Enforcement Plan. The Commission is seeking public comment on federal sector improvements and priorities. The deadline for public comments ends today (entended). Thus, please consider sending an official comment via email to [email protected]. Here is the news release with additional information:
EEOC News Release
Jan. 14, 2013
EEOC Seeks Public Comment on Federal Sector Priorities
Agency's New Strategic Enforcement Plan Calls for Federal Sector Complement
WASHINGTON - The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it is seeking public comment regarding its priorities in its federal sector program as part of the agency's recently approved Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2016 (SEP).
The SEP mandated that the agency "determine how enforcement priorities for the federal sector will be reflected in the federal sector case management system." In addition, the plan "should address how enforcement priorities will be incorporated into the forthcoming integrated data system, which will be used to identify and address potentially discriminatory policies or practices in federal agencies."
EEOC is asking for public input as it prepares the Federal Sector Complement Plan (FCP) to the SEP. EEOC's Offices of Federal Operations and Field Programs are jointly developing the FCP, which will address at least three major areas:
Determining how the EEOC's federal sector program will implement the SEP priorities.
Identifying specific federal sector enforcement priorities and strategies for addressing them.
Recommending strategies to improve communication, oversight, and consistency across the federal sector.
The Commission approved the SEP to establish national enforcement priorities and better integrate enforcement responsibilities. The SEP grew out of the EEOC's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016, which the Commission approved on February 22, 2012. The SEP is the result of unprecedented public and staff input, including a Commission meeting at which more than 30 stakeholders testified.
EEOC encourages input from individuals, advocacy groups, agency stakeholders, employers, and other interested parties. The Commission will carefully review each submission for possible inclusion in the FCP. Suggestions may be sent via email to [email protected] and must be submitted by the end of the day (Eastern Time) on Monday, January 28, 2013. Each submission should contain contact information.
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available at http://www.eeoc.gov.
January 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm #175615
Thanks for your comments on this topic, Megan, which are always insightful and helpful. The fight against unlawful employment discrimination is an ongoing battle in both the public and private sectors. In the private sector, there have been nearly 100,000 new discrimination charge filings each of the past few years -- which is record breaking. See today's news release on FY 2012 private sector enforcement results here. The EEOC has also been successful in obtaining a record amount of monetary relief for victims, in additon to remedial relief -- such as changes in employer practices and policies, as well as training, court oversight of settlements via consent decree, and other remedial measures depending on the specific case and issues.
The EEOC's Strategic Plan, Strategic Enforcement Plan, and Federal Sector Complement Plan (which is taking shape) will be instrumental in identifying specific enforcement priorities and actions, which will increase efficiency and effectiveness in both the federal sector EEO process and the private sector charge process (which includes state and local government entities).
The EEOC's mission and challenge remain the same nearly 50 years after the Commission's creation by Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964: to root out and eradicate unlawful employment discrimination not only through strong enforcement, but also education, outreach, training and technical assistance.
The EEOC is increasing transparency and citizen engagement in the spirit of Open Government. Proactive prevention continues to be the best medicine to stop discrimination before it starts.
Thanks again, Megan, for your helpful input and feeback.
January 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm #175613
Thanks, yes I have done my homework. For anyone considering filing discrimination or harassment charges, get ready for a long hard road ahead. I would recommend reading my personal blog first. The information and documentation on filing charges with EEO is daunting since it is scattered, written in legalese and extensive. I've distilled it down to the key info, with links back to the original content.
January 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm #175611
Megan: while it's true that some EEO cases may take longer to resolve than others -- depending on the specific issues involved and other factors -- it's likewise true that many potential and formal EEO complaints are resolved early in the process through settlements and mediation, for example. This is an important point to remember. To wit:
Consider these stats:
- Of the 17,124 complaints closed in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, 29 percent were resolved through settlements prior to a formal determination.
- Many of these resolutions contained favorable outcomes for the complainant, including monetary and non-monetary benefits.
- Additionally, in FY 2010, of 40,563 instances of pre-complaint counseling, 55 percent of potential complaints were resolved by settlement or withdrawal before a complaint was formally filed.
Further, let's remember that EEOC does not initially investigate EEO complaints -- investigations and processing of complaints are first handled by the EEO office of the agency involved. Each EEO office is independent of the U.S. EEOC. Each EEO office is budgeted and staffed by its respective agency. This is different than the private sector process, in which discrimination charges (allegations) are directly filed with, and handled by, EEOC field offices nationwide.
Regarding the federal sector process, please note EEOC strongly encourages early resolution of cases both before and after a formal complaint is filed. Many agencies use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques, such as mediation -- which saves time, money and often results in mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties. EEOC is a strong propoent of ADR in the fed sector process.
Lastly, please note that it takes time and resources for agencies to conduct pre-complaint counseling and investigations, as well as appeals and hearings before EEOC administrative judges. However, EEOC is continually seeking new ways to streamline the federal sector process to make it more effective, fair, expeditious, and less costly for all parties involved.
This is an ongoing Commission priority which is being further addressed by the Federal Sector Complement Plan to the EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan.
Again, thank you for your helpful and informative feedback, Megan.
January 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm #175609
Yes that is true in most cases, but we are also seeing an increase in "mobbing" which is strategic harassment. The mobsters do not want to settle, so ADR is a waste of time.
For a mobbing incident, the best bet is an investigation by a 3rd party investigator, and then, once the key documentation is in place, an escalation to the Administrator and Deputy of the agency or department. There will be a final investigative report which can be used internally to determine whether a settlement or an EEOC hearing is in the best interest of the agency.
January 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm #175607
Yes it it important to stick it out to the end with EEO. One tactic of managment is to scare you into submission, then to fire you. The Union does its best, but with bullying or harassment, the grievance process is not designed for multiple charges over a short period of time. EEO is really the best process for harassing manager(s). The only downfall is that it must be discriminatory. If not, there is really little recourse.
However the good news is that even a weak discrimination complaint can turn into a rock solid retaliation complaint. It pays to file early and fast. No value in delaying in hopes of an early settlement.
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