Equal Employment Opportunity
Promote an inclusive work environment that ensures equal employment opportunity, fosters a culture that values diversity and empowers individuals to participate constructively to their fullest potential in support of IMCOM’s mission. The Garrison EEO Officer serves as the principle advisor to the Garrison Commander on all EEO related issues and concerns.
The Affirmative Employment Program is guided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Management Directive (MD) 715. This policy guidance is used to establish and maintain effective programs of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for all federal employees as required by Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. The MD-715 requires the EEO Office to conduct periodic (annual) self-assessments of their EEO policies and practices to ensure free and open workplace competition. An important component of MD-715 is the establishment of six essential elements for structuring model EEO programs at federal agencies.
- Demonstrated commitment from agency leadership - Fort Sill EEO conducts semi-annual EEO council meetings and seminars with all the major commands to discuss the state of their workforce and any EEO trends within their commands. Another demonstration of this commitment is by ensuring employees meet their annual EEO training requirements and letting MACOM commanders know if they have any EEO deficiencies.
- Integration of EEO into the agency's mission — EEOC looks to ensure that EEO is integrated into the agency's mission and that EEO issues are considered when establishing goals and objectives for the workforce. For instance, the Fort Sill EEO manager serves as one of the garrison's goal champions for workforce environment and evaluates the Fort Sill's workforce activities to ensure that EEO principles match with the Fort Sill strategic plan.
- Management and program accountability — EEOC looks at programs to ensure that managers are held accountable for the work environment and that the agency takes prompt action when wrong doing is found.
- Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination — EEOC ensures that the EEO office is running a complaint process within regulatory guidelines and that through training, education, and leadership by example, we have a zero tolerance policy enforced.
- Efficiency — The EEO office is evaluated on efficiency. EEOC ensures the EEO office meets all regulatory timeframes for activities through inspections and staff assistance visits.
- Responsiveness and legal compliance — The EEO program is evaluated on how responsive the EEO leadership is to the commission when they send out directives and mandate actions. EEOC ensures the EEO Office is in compliance with negotiated settlement agreements and timeliness of processing EEO complaints.
These six elements serve as the foundation upon which each agency builds its program. Agencies are directed to evaluate managers based on their efforts to prevent discrimination and to track disciplinary actions taken against managers found guilty of violating EEO policies.
The success of an agency's EEO program ultimately depends on individual decisions made by individual agency managers. Therefore, agency managers constitute an integral part of the agency's EEO program. The EEO office serves as a resource to these managers by providing direction, guidance and monitoring of key activities to achieve a diverse workplace free of barriers to equal opportunity. To correct deficiencies identified in the self-assessment report, the EEO office creates program objectives to aide managers in their efforts to overcome the identified deficiencies. Typically, Fort Sill's MD 715 report addresses objectives to improve the participation rates of women and minorities in higher grade positions and improve the participation rates of individuals with disabilities in the workforce.
It is the policy of the Department of Army (DA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees and applicants for employment in every aspect of their employment and working conditions. Important aspects of an effective equal employment opportunity program are a vigorous affirmative action program and a discrimination processing system which facilitates the early informal resolution of complaints raised. This table provides specific information on how the administrative EEO process works. Complaints of discrimination may be filed by any DA or DoD employee or applicant for a DA or DoD job who believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of: race, color, religion, national origin, sex (includes sexual harassment), age (40 and up), disability (physical and mental), reprisal, or genetics.Pre-Complaint Process:
- Filing: Complainant (employee or applicant) must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action.
- Counseling: The EEO counselor will try to resolve the matter informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial interview with the complainant. Counseling may be extended up to 60 additional days, upon agreement of complainant and EEO office, or if an established Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure is utilized.
- Filing: Complainant may file a written formal complaint with the EEO office, servicing EEO office or agency head, within 15 calendar days after the final interview with the EEO counselor.
- Acceptance/Dismissal: If the complaint is accepted by the EEO Officer, an investigator will be assigned to collect all relevant information pertaining to the complaint. If portions of the complaint are dismissed, the complainant will be provided, in writing, the reason(s) for dismissal and informed of his/her right to appeal the decision.
- Investigation: The IRD (Investigations Resolutions Division - EEO Investigations and Resolutions) is required to complete the investigation within 180 days from the filing of the formal complaint, with a possible extension of 90 additional days, upon mutual agreement. After the investigation, complainant may request a final Army decision or a hearing by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (complainant may also request a hearing after 180 days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, if the investigation has not been completed.)
- Final Army Decision: If complainant requests a Final Army Decision, the DA Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Complaints Review Agency (EEOCCR) or the applicable DoD agency head will issue the department's decision on the complaint. The decision, based on information in the investigative file, is issued within 60 days.
- EEOC Hearing: If complainant requests a hearing by EEOC, an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) conducts a hearing and submits his/her findings and conclusions within 180 days of the request. If the agency does not issue a final order within 40 days of receipt of the AJ's decision, the AJ's decision shall become the final action of the agency.
- Appeals: Complainant, if dissatisfied with the final Army decision, may appeal to EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) or file a civil action in a U.S. district court.
- Right to file a civil action: Complainant, if dissatisfied with OFO's decision, may request reopening and reconsideration by EEOC or may file a civil action in a U.S. district court. Complainants who raise a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may bypass the administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with EEOC at least 30 days before filing a civil action in court.
- EEO Process vs. Union Process: Employees covered by bargaining agreements may use the union grievance procedures or the EEO complaint process but not both.
- Class Complaints: The EEO office will provide counseling in "class" complaints. The EEO officer will designate a counselor for "class" complaints as in the informal process. Formal class complaints will be processed by the agency's headquarters EEO office
Additional information pertaining to the EEO complaint process may be obtained from the:
USAG Equal Employment Opportunity Office
1670 Craig Rd,
Fort Sill, OK 73527,
Telephone: (580) 442-4024
Federal sector: www.eeoc.gov/federal/
Background: On July 26, 2000, Executive Order 13164 was issued. The order required federal agencies to establish effective procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation. The order helps implement the requirement of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that agencies provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities. It is an important part of the government's national policy to create additional employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Reasonable accommodation is a change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that would enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three general categories of RA:
- Modifications or adjustments to a job application process to permit an individual with a disability to be considered for a job (e.g., providing application forms in alternative formats like large print or Braille)
- 2. Modifications or adjustments necessary to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job (e.g., providing sign language interpreters, special computer keyboards, or voice amplification devices)
- 3. Modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., removing physical barriers in an office).
A reasonable accommodation applies to employees for non-work related long-term or permanent disabilities. The reasonable accommodation process is an interactive and flexible process between employees and management officials.
Positive steps taken by an employer which contribute toward greater employment opportunities for minorities, females, the elderly, and the disabled. In federal employment, extra effort must be made to include qualified women, minorities, employees over 40, and the disabled at grade levels and in job categories where they are under-represented.
Affirmative Action Plans/Affirmative Employment Plan
Written plans for programs required by Executive Order 11478 and other laws and regulations. AAP's may contain studies which show how the work force at the activity has been used, and may include goals and timetables for increasing the representation of protected class members in those areas where they have been under represented.
The first step taken by an employee who believes he or she has been discriminated against. A complaint is an allegation of illegal discrimination that is handled through an administrative procedure. A complaint may result when an employee believes he or she has been unfairly treated because of race, color, etc. The allegation itself is not proof that illegal discrimination has taken place. The investigation that follows the filing of a complaint will determine if illegal discrimination has, in fact, occurred. A person who files a complaint is called a complainant.
Class Complaint/Class Action
A complaint stated or filed by a group of people who feel that personnel or management policies or practices discriminate against them as a group. Members of the group believe that the characteristic they share -- race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disabilities the basis for the discrimination. For example, a class may be made up of women who believe they have been consistently discriminated against at GSA because of their sex. In such a case, all female employees, past and present, and all female applicants would be included in the complaint. When a class complaint goes to court, it becomes a class action. As with complaints by individuals, illegal discrimination may or may not have occurred.
The word discrimination is often used to mean illegal discriminatory acts. Discrimination simply means noticing the differences between things or people that are otherwise alike, and making decisions based on those differences. We discriminate when we buy one product over another, when we choose our friends, and when we make personnel decisions based on merit related factors. All these forms of discrimination are legal and necessary. However, some types of discrimination in employment have been made illegal. Illegal discrimination is unfavorable treatment of a person by category, class, or group rather than objective treatment on the basis of merit. Under EEO law, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, genetics, or mental/physical disability. Discrimination can be intentional or unintentional. See Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact.
Inconsistent application of rules and policies to one group of people over another. Discrimination may result when rules and policies are applied differently to members of protected classes. Disciplining Hispanic and Afro-American employees for tardiness, while ignoring tardiness among other employees, is an example of disparate treatment. Such inconsistent application of rules often leads to complaints.
Under EEO law, less favorable effect for one group than for another. Disparate impact results when rules applied to all employees have a different and more inhibiting effect on women and minority groups than on the majority. For example, nonessential educational requirements for certain jobs can have a disparate impact on minority groups looking for work, as they often been limited in their access to educational opportunities.
A group of people who share a common religion, color, or national origin. Irish-Americans, Mexican-Americans, German-Americans, Italian-Americans, Hindus, Moslems, and Jews are examples of ethnic groups. Some members of ethnic groups participate in the customs and practices of their groups, while others do not. Discrimination based on these customs and practices may be illegal under EEO law. See Minority.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The goal of laws which make some types of discrimination in employment illegal. Equal employment opportunity will become a reality when each U.S. citizen has an equal chance to enjoy the benefits of employment. EEO is not a guarantee of employment for anyone. Under EEO law, only job related factors can be used to determine if an individual is qualified for a particular job. Ideally, EEO laws and Affirmative Action programs combine to achieve equal employment opportunities. See EEO law, Affirmative Action, and Affirmative Action Plan/Affirmative Employment Plan.
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
Six laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, genetics, physical handicap and mental handicap in any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. The six EEO laws are: The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Pregnancy Disability Act of 1978. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended. The Civil Rights Act of 1991. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
Essential to job performance. The knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience necessary to perform a particular job. Tests are job related if they test whether an applicant or employee can perform the job in question. A rule or practice is job related if it is necessary for the safe and efficient performance of a particular job. For example, a rule prohibiting employees from wearing loose, flowing clothing around high speed rotating equipment is job related. However, the same rule applied in an office with no rotating equipment is not job related, and may have a disparate impact on some ethnic minorities.
Labor Force / Labor Market
Labor Force describes all civilians who are at least 16 years old and are employed or looking for work. The labor market is a group within the labor force whose members could fill a particular job. To be considered part of the labor market for a GS-5 clerical position, for instance, an individual must meet all minimum job-related requirements for that grade and classification. For most jobs, employers can find enough applicants in the local labor market. For jobs that have high minimum qualifications, employers may need to tap the national labor market to find enough applicants.
The rules established by the Office of Personnel Management that the federal government follows in hiring, promoting, and all terms and conditions of employment. One of those rules states that the selection and advancement shall be made on the basis of an applicant's or employee's ability, knowledge, and skills in fair and open competition.
The smaller part of a group. A group within a country or state that differs in race, religion or national origin from the dominant group. According to EEOC guidelines, minority is used to mean four particular groups who share a race, color or national origin. These groups are: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black (except Hispanic), Hispanic/Latin, and the many people with origins in Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East make up the dominant white population. It should be noted that women are not classified as a minority. However, they are considered as having "minority status" as far as the law is concerned.
A target number of qualified women and minorities hired and advanced within a given period of time through an Affirmative Action Program. A numerical goal is not a quota, as it may not be reached within the time frame. It does not permit the hiring or advancement of unqualified employees. Numerical goals provide a standard which allows an activity to measure the effectiveness of its Affirmative Action Program. When numerical goals are reached, the percent of women and minority group members working at appropriate grade levels and classifications will be closer to their percentage in the labor market.
This Latin term translates as "on first view", or "at first appearance". In EEO cases, complainants present evidence and arguments to support a claim of discrimination. If those arguments cannot be rebutted with additional evidence, the claim will be supported by the court within further argument. Thus, a prima facie case is established. In the EEO area, statistics of under utilization have been sufficient to make a prima facie case for discrimination.
The groups protected from the employment discrimination by law. These groups include men and women on the basis of sex; any group which shares a common race, religion, color, or national origin; people over 40; and people with physical or mental handicaps. Every U.S. citizen is a member of some protected class, and is entitled to the benefits of EEO law. However, the EEO laws were passed to correct a history of unfavorable treatment of women and minority group members.
Fixed hiring and promotion rates based on race, sex, or other protected class standards which must be met at all costs. In extreme cases, the courts have assigned quotas to some employers who have continued to practice illegal discrimination. The agency or any other employer cannot use quotas to meet their affirmative action goals unless a court orders it. Quotas are considered discriminatory against males and other non minority people.
Adjustments and changes an employer must make in the work schedule or work environment to meet the needs of his employees. These changes could be made to allow a handicapped worker to perform his or her job. Widening doorways, installing access ramps, and lowering work tables are all considered reasonable accommodations for handicapped workers. Schedule changes that allow employees time off for religious observances are also reasonable accommodations. Adjustments or changes are considered reasonable, if they do not have a bad effect on work flow or production.
Inadequately represented in the work force of a particular activity. This term is used to describe the extent to which women and minorities are represented in particular grade levels and job categories. The percentage of women and minorities in the labor market is used as a standard to determine under representation. For example, suppose there are 100 GS-12's at an agency; three of them or 3% are black. However, the black labor market for GS-12 positions at that particular activity is 15%. In this case, blacks are under represented at the GS -12 level.
To use less than fully; below potential use. This term is often applied to categories of employees who are working at jobs that do not make use of their skills and abilities, although they may have been hired for those skills and abilities. When an employee is consistently assigned to "dead end" jobs, he or she may be under utilized because they are often seen as able to perform only limited tasks.
Any employee, former employee, or applicant for employment covered by the AR 690-600, Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaints, who believes that he or she has been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetics, and/or reprisal in an employment matter subject to the control of the Army may file an individual complaint of discrimination. A representative designated in writing by the complainant may also file the complaint for the complainant. However, the complainant must sign the formal complaint.
Q: How Is a Charge of Discrimination Filed?
A charge may be filed by mail or in person.
Q: Where Do I Go to File a Charge of Discrimination?
Your local Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office or any EEO Office.
Q: What Information Must Be Provided to File a Charge?
The complaining party's name, address, and telephone number, the name, address, and telephone number of the respondent employer, employment agency, or union that is alleged to have discriminated, and number of employees (or union members) if known, a short description of the alleged violation (the event that caused the complaining party to believe that his or her rights were violated), and the date(s) of the alleged violation(s. Federal employees or applicants for employment should see the fact sheet about Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing.
Q: What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Charge of Discrimination?
Within 45 calendar days from the date of the matter, or the date the individual became aware of, or reasonably should have become aware of, the discriminatory event or personnel action.
Q: What Remedies Are Available When Discrimination Is Found?
The "relief" or remedies available for employment discrimination, whether caused by intentional acts or by practices that have a discriminatory effect, may include: back pay, hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, reasonable accommodation, or other actions that will make an individual "whole" (in the condition he/she would have been but for the discrimination). Remedies also may include payment of attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
Q: What Is EEOC and How Does It Operate?
EEOC is an independent federal agency originally created by Congress in 1964 to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Commission is composed of five Commissioners and a General Counsel appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners are appointed for five-year staggered terms; the General Counsel's term is four years. The President designates a Chair and a Vice-Chair. The Chair is the chief executive officer of the Commission. The Commission has authority to establish equal employment policy and to approve litigation. The General Counsel is responsible for conducting litigation. EEOC carries out its enforcement, education and technical assistance activities through 50 field offices serving every part of the nation. The nearest EEOC field office may be contacted by calling: 1-800-669-4000 (voice) or 1-800-669-6820 (TTY). Information about EEOC and the laws it enforces also can be found at the following internet address: http://www.eeoc.gov.
Q: What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
Agencies and complainants have realized many advantages from utilizing ADR. ADR offers the parties the opportunity for an early, informal resolution of disputes in a mutually satisfactory fashion. The Department of the Army uses mediation. Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is offered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as an alternative to the traditional investigative and litigation processes. Mediation is an informal process in which a trained mediator assists the parties to reach a negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong and has no authority to impose a settlement on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to jointly explore and reconcile their differences.
Q: What is 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 1614?
The civil rights laws enforced by the EEOC, which prohibit employment discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age and disability, as well as retaliation, apply to employment discrimination by the federal government. The federal sector procedural rule approved by the EEOC updates and improves the procedures which govern how the discrimination claims of federal employees are processed administratively.
Q: What is a Management Directive 110 (MD 110)?
The directive provides federal agencies with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission policies, procedures, and guidance relating to the processing of employment discrimination complaints governed by the Commission's regulations in 29 C.F.R. Part 1614.
Q: What is the Department of the Army Regulation (AR) 690-600?
This regulation prescribes policies and procedures for filing, processing, investigating, and settling equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints. The processing of all EEO complaints filed by civilian Army employees or applicants for employment will be governed by this regulation.
Q: What are the goals of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program?
The goals are to provide a full and fair opportunity for all employees, regardless of race, age, sex color, national origin, disability or genetics to contribute to the extent of their abilities in pursuing a career in the federal service; and to provide for the non-discriminatory treatment of all employees in the course of carrying out their duties in the federal workplace.
Q: Is the EEO Program only for minorities and women?
No. The program is designed to provide equal opportunity for all applicants and employees.
Q: What efforts will be made to resolve my complaint?
The EEO Office will attempt to resolve your complaint through discussions with management, or other involved individuals or offices, if appropriate. In addition, you will be offered an opportunity to submit your complaint to mediation, in an attempt to resolve the problem at the lowest possible level. If your complaint is resolved, you and the manager involved will be asked to enter into a negotiated settlement agreement which will document what was done to resolve the complaint and who entered into the agreement.
Q: What are my rights if Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) does not resolve the complaint?
You will be given a written notice of your right to file a formal complaint of discrimination which spells out the time-frames and provides instructions on what must be done to file a formal EEO complaint. Your local EEO Office is available to assist you in processing your complaint.
Q: May I be represented during the processing of an EEO Complaint?
Yes. You may choose anyone, an attorney, friend or fellow employee, to be your representative. If you choose a fellow employee, both of you will be granted a reasonable amount of duty time to process your complaint.
Q: Doesn't Affirmative Employment mean quotas?
No. Quotas are illegal. The purpose of the Affirmative Employment is to increase the pool of qualified applicants by using aggressive recruitment and outreach techniques to find well-qualified applicants from a wide variety of sources.
Q: What is Affirmative Employment?
Affirmative Employment is a powerful tool used to stop and correct discrimination. The local Affirmative Employment Program describes how management intends to overcome any workforce imbalances by means of training, broader recruitment efforts, creation of upward-mobility positions, etc Affirmative Employment is a program that seeks to ensure equal access to opportunities for all people, not only women and minorities.
- Federal Sector Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Department of Army Equal Employment Opportunity
- CPOL EMPLOYMENT
- Department of Labor
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program
- Job Accommodation Network
- USA Jobs
- Department of Labor
- U.S. Access Board (IWD accessibility standards)
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Department of Labor
- U.S. Merit System Protection Board (MSPB)
- Office of Special Counsel (OSC)
- AR 600-23: Non-Discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs
- AR 690-12: EEO and Affirmative Action
- AR 600-7: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Assisted or Conducted by the Department of Army
- AR 690-950: Civilian Personnel Career Management
- AR 690-600: Discrimination Complaints
- Management Directive MD 110