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Preserving Access to the Legal System: Common Errors by Federal Agencies in Dismissing Complaints of Discrimination on Procedural Grounds

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Preserving Access to the Legal System: Common Errors by Federal Agencies in Dismissing Complaints of Discrimination on Procedural Grounds
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The results of the review of appellate reversal decisions over the five-year period revealed that the agencies studied primarily erred in applying two regulatory grounds for dismissal. In fact, 81% of all appellate reversals studied overturned agency dismissals on one of these two grounds. The grounds identified as the source of the most common problem areas for agencies were: (1) reversals for failure to state a claim under 29 C.F.R. § 1614.107(a)(1), that accounted for about 57% of the appellate reversals, and (2) reversals for failure to comply with applicable regulatory time limits under 29 C.F.R. § 1614.107(a)(2), that accounted for about 24% of the appellate reversals.

In addition, OFO collected information from the agencies identified in Table 2 regarding whether or not procedural dismissal decisions were issued by a central authority within an agency-wide EEO office or by decision-makers diffused across the agency’s field EEO programs. With the exception of the military agencies, all the identified agencies (Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Social Security Administration, Department of Transportation and the United States Postal Service) issued procedural dismissal decisions from a central authority within their agency-wide EEO program. By contrast, the Departments of the Air Force, Army and Navy used a system of diffused authority to issue procedural decisions from their field EEO programs. However, as Table 2 revealed, no clear correlation between whether or not dismissal decisions were issued centrally or by field installations and the reversal rates of those decisions was noted.

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EEOC Issues New Guide to Help Federal Agencies Advise Workers on Their Rights

September 5, 2014 Comments off

EEOC Issues New Guide to Help Federal Agencies Advise Workers on Their Rights
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released a new guide to help the federal government educate its employees on how to protect their rights to be free from employment discrimination.

The report, A Practical Guide to Providing Employees with Adequate Information about Their Rights under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws and Regulations, provides federal agencies various communication methods to ensure their employees and applicants for employment are fully aware of their rights under the equal employment opportunity laws and regulations.

As one of the many efforts to preserve access to the legal system under the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan / Federal Sector Complement Plan, the EEOC reached out to federal agencies, compiled their communication methods and has now issued this guide to share those methods with all federal agencies. The EEOC encourages agencies to utilize multiple communication methods, including electronic methods whenever possible.

EEOC Issues Part II of FY 2011 and Part I of FY 2012 Annual Report on Federal Work Force

August 22, 2014 Comments off

EEOC Issues Part II of FY 2011 and Part I of FY 2012 Annual Report on Federal Work Force
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released the second part of its Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part II: Work Force Statistics, Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 (Part II) and the first part of its Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part I: Complaints Processing Statistics FY 2012 (Part I).

Part II advises the President and Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity (EEO) in the federal sector and contains a summary of selected federal agency EEO program activities, including work force profiles of 65 agencies.

Agency profiles contained in Part II highlight work force participation rates by race, gender, national origin and individuals with targeted disabilities, as well as the breakdown for major occupational categories. The report covers the period from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

According to the latest data for FY 2011, there were more than 2.8 million women and men employed by the federal government across the country and worldwide. Of the total federal workforce, 56.19% were men and 43.81% were women. The overall participation rate for women fell slightly from 43.97% in FY 2010 after a period of steady gains.

Overall diversity in federal employment rose slightly in FY 2011, even as the total federal work force declined. According to the report, between FY 2010 and 2011 the work force participation rates increased for employees who are:

  • Hispanic or Latino, from 7.90% to 7.95%;
  • Asian, from 5.90% to 5.95%;
  • Black or African American, from 17.94% to 17.97%; and
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, from 0.36% to 0.38 %.

Additionally, the number of federal employees with targeted disabilities rose to 0.90% after a consecutive 10-year decline, followed by three years of holding steady at 0.88%. Targeted disabilities are considered the most severe impairments and include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and distortion of the limb and/or spine.

Social Media Is Part of Today’s Workplace but its Use May Raise Employment Discrimination Concerns

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Social Media Is Part of Today’s Workplace but its Use May Raise Employment Discrimination Concerns
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The use of social media has become pervasive in today’s workplace and, as a result, is having an impact on the enforcement of federal laws, a panel of experts told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a meeting held today at EEOC Headquarters in Washington. The meeting was convened to gather information about the growing use of social media and how it impacts the laws the EEOC enforces.

The use of sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can provide a valuable tool for identifying good candidates by searching for specific qualifications, panelists told the Commission. But the improper use of information obtained from such sites may be discriminatory since most individuals’ race, gender, general age and possibly ethnicity can be discerned from information on these sites.

EEOC Releases FY 2013 Enforcement And Litigation Data

February 20, 2014 Comments off

EEOC Releases FY 2013 Enforcement And Litigation Data
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released a comprehensive set of fiscal year 2013 data tables showing that the agency obtained the highest monetary recovery in agency history through its administrative process, increasing by $6.7 million to $372.1 million. The data tables also provide detailed breakdowns for the 93,727 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received. The fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Private Sector Bias Charges Hit All-Time High

January 30, 2012 Comments off

Private Sector Bias Charges Hit All-Time High
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received a record 99,947 charges of employment discrimination and obtained $455.6 million in relief through its administrative program and litigation in Fiscal Year 2011, the agency announced today. For the second year in a row, despite a record number of receipts, the Commission resolved more charges than it took in with 112,499 resolutions (7,500 more resolutions than FY 2010—an increase of 7%)—leaving 78,136 pending charges, a ten percent decrease in its inventory, the first year the agency has seen a reduction since 2002.

The FY 2011 data also show:

  • Due to EEOC’s enforcement programs in both the private and federal sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace during the past fiscal year.
  • Through its combined enforcement, mediation and litigation programs, the EEOC was able to obtain a record $455.6 million in relief for private sector, state, and local employees and applicants, a more than $51 million increase from the past fiscal year and continuing the upward trend of the past three fiscal years.
  • The mediation program reached record levels, both in the number of resolutions – 9,831 – which is 5% more than in FY 2010 (9,362), and benefits — $170,053,021– $28 million more than FY 2010.
  • The Commission filed 300 lawsuits and its litigation efforts resulted in $91 million of relief, representing the third year in a row that the relief obtained was greater than in the preceding year. Continuing to build on its commitment to systemic litigation, 23 of the lawsuits filed involved systemic allegations involving large numbers of people and an additional 67 had multiple victims (less than 20).
  • The Commission also filed 261 “merits” (merits suits include direct suits and interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of the statutes enforced by the Commission and suits to enforce administrative settlements) lawsuits.
  • EEOC’s public outreach and education programs reached approximately 540,000 persons.
  • In the federal sector, where the EEOC has different enforcement obligations, the Commission resolved a total of 7,672 requests for hearings, securing more than $58 million in relief for parties who requested hearings.  It also resolved 4,510 appeals from final agency determinations.

 

+ Enforcement and Litigation Statistics

EEOC Intake, Relief Obtained and Charges Resolved Hit Record Highs in 2011

November 20, 2011 Comments off

EEOC Intake, Relief Obtained and Charges Resolved Hit Record Highs in 2011
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finished fiscal year 2011 with a ten percent decrease in its pending charge inventory—the first such reduction since 2002, achieved the highest ever monetary amounts through administrative enforcement, and received a record number of charges of discrimination, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) filed today.

The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, the highest number of charges in the agency’s 46-year history. EEOC staff also delivered historic relief through administrative enforcement—more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. This is also the highest level obtained in the Commission’s history. The fiscal year ended with 78,136 pending charges—a decrease of 8,202 charges, or ten percent. In previous years, the pending inventory had increased as staffing declined 30 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2008.

+ Performance and Accountability Report FY 2011 (PDF)

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