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To promote, support and educate a diverse workforce to create a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.
The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity formulates, directs and sustains a comprehensive effort to ensure fair treatment for civilians and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (over 40), genetic information and physical or mental disability.
Retaliation against employees or job applicants for exercising their rights to be free from employment discrimination, including harassment, is prohibited. Any employee, former employee, applicant for employment or contingent worker who believes he or she has been discriminated against in an employment matter has a right to initiate a complaint of discrimination. Employees who want to file a complaint of discrimination and preserve their legal rights must contact the EEO office within 45 calendar days of occurrence.
An agency must reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless it can show the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its operations. 29 CFR 1630.9. Although federal employees are protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the standards applied are the same as those applied under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 29 CFR 1614.203(b).
Because employment law relating to individuals with disabilities can be complicated, it's important for managers to address the issues surrounding reasonable accommodation in a logical manner. This Checklist Plus+ allows you to guide managers through a step-by-step approach when they consider a request for reasonable accommodation.
The speed of the accommodation process depends on the circumstances of the case. A simple and obvious accommodation that requires no equipment, planning or cost should be available to an individual with a disability soon after it is requested. With regard to more complex accommodations, the key is diligence.
If an agency works with good faith and perseverance to achieve reasonable accommodation within a reasonable period of time, it should avoid a finding of liability for disability discrimination. An agency that drags its feet and makes only half-hearted attempts to achieve reasonable accommodation could be found liable for disability discrimination, including an award of compensatory damages, which could be quite high, depending on the complainant's evidence of pain and emotional distress.
You may work through the steps of this Checklist Plus+ in the order presented or use the summary of steps below to link directly to those areas that most interest you.
An individual with a disability is one who:
"Substantially limits" and "major life activity" are both terms of art that have been defined by regulation and case law. Except in the case of readily apparent disabilities, such as blindness, agencies should not make assumptions about whether or not individuals have disabilities. Instead, if an individual makes a request for reasonable accommodation, and the extent and impact of the claimed impairment are not obvious, an agency should promptly consider the following two questions. If the answer to both is "yes," the agency should move on to the next step in the analysis.
An impairment, according to the EEOC, is:
The appendix to the regulation adds this explanatory guidance:
It is important to distinguish between conditions that are impairments and physical, psychological, environmental, cultural and economic characteristics that are not impairments. The definition of the term "impairment" does not include physical characteristics such as eye color, hair color, left-handedness, or height, weight or muscle tone that are within "normal" range and are not the result of a physiological disorder. The definition, likewise, does not include characteristic predisposition to illness or disease. Other conditions, such as pregnancy, that are not the result of a physiological disorder are also not impairments. Similarly, the definition does not include common personality traits such as poor judgment or a quick temper where these are not symptoms of a mental or psychological disorder. Environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages such as poverty, lack of education or a prison record are not impairments. Advanced age, in and of itself, is also not an impairment. However, various medical conditions commonly associated with age, such as hearing loss, osteoporosis, or arthritis would constitute impairments within the meaning of this part. 29 CFR App. 1630.2(h).
EEOC regulations state that "temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration, with little or no long term or permanent impact, are usually not disabilities." 29 CFR App. 1630.2(j) ). However, the EEOC also has indicated that an impairment does not have to be permanent in order to be considered a disability for the purposes of Rehabilitation Act protection. Conditions that are long-term, or of an indefinite duration, can constitute disabilities if they are so severe that they substantially limit a major life activity.
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Army EEO Complaint Process Flow Chart
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 as they’re raised. Below are the steps involved in the administrative Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process.
Any DA or DOD employee or applicant may file complaints of discrimination for a DA or DOD job, who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of:
The Aggrieved Employee starts the equal employment opportunity (EEO) process by meeting with an EEO official or EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged incident or personnel action. This starts the first phase, the "Pre-complaint" process. Usually, the initial contact made by an employee to an EEO official/counselor is either to seek general information concerning the EEO complaint process or to actually begin the EEO complaint process.
Once it is determined that the Aggrieved Employee wants to proceed with a matter of concern, the next phase starts, the "Pre-complaint Intake" process. The pre-complaint intake interview will be transcribed by the EEO official/counselor and he/she will determine as to whether or not the employee is alleging discrimination within the protection of 29 CFR 1614 (Title VII), and the proper venue for an individual to use to address his or her concern (s).
Once it has been determined that the matter presented by the employee is appropriate for processing under Title VII, the EEO official/counselor will define and record the date(s) and facts of the specific incident(s) or personnel action(s). The EEO official then explains the activity's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - Mediation program, including the difference between ADR and traditional counseling and the right to choose participation in ADR or traditional counseling should an offer of ADR be made.
If the aggrieved employee elects traditional counseling, an EEO counselor will be assigned. The counselor will conduct a 30-calendar day inquiry into the allegations raised and to attempt resolution of the complaint. If the complaint is not resolved, the counselor will conduct a final interview and provide employee with management's response to alleged allegation and their reason for not reaching resolution and issue the aggrieved employee the notice of right to file a formal complaint and the final interview within the prescribed timeframe.
If the EEO official determines that the complaint is suitable for ADR (Mediation), then an ADR Mediator is assigned and a mediation conference will be scheduled and conducted at the identified location.
If the dispute is resolved through the use of ADR-Mediation, the ADR Mediator will coordinate the proposed resolution with the EEO officer, designated Army representative, and appropriate civilian official prior to execution. The pre-complaint resolution will be documented in the form of a negotiated settlement agreement (NSA). The aggrieved employee will be provided with a copy of the NSA signed by all parties.
If the dispute is not resolved within the prescribed timeframe, the EEO official will document the record and issue the employee a notice of right to file a formal complaint and final interview.
An employee should exhaust the pre-complaint stage before filing a formal complaint of discrimination, either by traditional counseling or through the use of ADR (Mediation).
A formal complaint must be filed within 15-calendar days of the date of the Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination letter. The agency shall acknowledge receipt of a formal complaint in writing immediately upon receipt of the formal complaint. Also, the agency shall notify the employee of the following: It's obligation to investigate the complaint in a timely manner. The investigation must be appropriate, impartial, and completed within 180 days of filing the complaint.
Inform employee of his/her rights and responsibilities. This includes:
Training can be completed online only. This course contains mandatory training regarding Equal Employment Opportunity, Army anti-harassment policy, No FEAR and prohibited personnel practices, including whistleblower protection laws.
For ALMS courses, visit the ALMS website and use the Mandatory Training link on the left hand side of the home screen to access the correct course needed to satisfy the mandatory training requirements.
Register for the course in ATRRS (either EEO Anti-Harassment & No Fear for Non-Supv EEO-203A or EEO Anti-Harassment & No Fear for Supervisors EEO-203B)
TIME TO COMPLETE: 2 hours
Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC): http://www.fapac.org
Federally Employed Women (FEW): http://www.few.org
Great Minds in Stem: http://www.greatmindsinstem.org
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): http://lulac.org
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): http://www.naacp.org
National Image Inc: http://www.national-image.org
National Society of Black Engineers: http://www.nsbe.org/home.aspx
Reasonable Accommodations and Personal Assistance Services Policy and Procedures and the Accessibility Statement: https://www.army.mil/armyequityandinclusion#org-accessibility
Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE): http://saige.org
Society of Mexican Engineers and Scientists, Inc. (MAES): https://www.maes.natl.org
Society of Women Engineers: https://swe.org
Secretary of the Army - Army Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy: https://www.tradoc.army.mil/Portals/14/Command%20Diversity%20Office/Diversity%20Policy%20Letter.jpg
Special Emphasis Programs are an integral part of Equal Employment Opportunity. The purpose of these programs is to ensure that agencies take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity to minorities, women and people with disabilities in all areas of employment. Special Emphasis Programs receive their authority from Federal statues, regulations, and Presidential Executive Orders which include, but are not limited to, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Rehabilitation Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Act. The term, "Special Emphasis Programs," refers to employment related programs which focus special attention on groups that are underrepresented in a specific occupational category or grade level within work force. These programs serve as a channel to management officials. By utilizing Special Emphasis Program and engaging with affinity groups, commands and activities can raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion and demonstrate USARCENT's commitment to a model EEO program.
Federal Women's Program:
USARCENT fully supports the Army’s Federal Women’s Program. The Federal Women’s Program (FWP) is a Special Emphasis Program which was established in 1963 to enhance employment and advancement of women. Executive Order 11478, signed in 1969 by President Nixon, placed overall responsibility for managing the FWP under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and ultimately includes the EEO Directors and Officers. As one of the Special Emphasis Programs, it helps place emphasis on achieving equal employment opportunity within the workplace for women. In USARCENT, where both diversity, inclusion and equity are paramount, we are working to improve the participation rate of women in the senior grades including the senior executive service.
Federal Employed Women (FEW): https://www.few.org/about-us/what-is-few/
Executive Order 11375: https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/executive-order-11375-amending-executive-order-no-11246-relating-equal-employment
Executive Order 11478: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11478.html
Hispanic Employment Program:
USARCENT fully supports diversity and inclusion. The Hispanic Employment Program is part of the Special Emphasis Program and seeks to increase the number and advancement of Hispanics in the workforce and in senior grades. Within the Army and USARCENT there has been persistent low participation of Hispanics within the workforce.
Black/African American Employment Program:
The Black/African American Employment Program purpose is to help identify and eliminate barriers to their full participation in the Federal workforce. This is done by reviewing and analyzing employment data to determine if there are any barriers to hiring, development, and advancement of Black/African Americans and if any are identified, to eliminate them. The program also encourages awareness of contributions of Black/African Americans to DoD and America at large and recommends ways to overcome them. In USARCENT, where both diversity, inclusion and equity are paramount, we are working to improve the participation rate of women in the senior grades including the senior executive service.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Employment Program:
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing racial group in the United States based on information from the U.S. Census. The purpose of this Special Emphasis Program is to advocate for the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Additionally, it is to identify and eliminate barriers and encourage profession development. On 14 October 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13515 – Increasing Participation of Asian American and Pacific Islander in Federal Program.
Executive Order 13515: https://www.federalregister.gov/doc-in-federal programs
American Indian and Alaska Native Employment Program:
The purpose of the American Indian and Alaska Native Employment Program is to advocate for recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Additionally, it is to identify and eliminate barriers and encourage profession development. Executive Orders 13583 and 13593 aim to improve their participation in the Federal workforce and improve educational opportunities.
Executive Order 13592: Improving “American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/02/executive-order-13592-improving-american-indian-and-alaska-native-educat
Executive Order 13583: Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diver Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2011/08/23/2011-21704/establishing-a-coordinated-government-wide-initiative-to-promote-diversity-and-inclusion-in-the
Persons with Disabilities Employment Program:
USARCENT is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion and persons with disabilities are included in that goal. Persons with disabilities and especially those with targeted disabilities are an untapped resource and have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that USARCENT needs to continually improve the Army.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability and encourages employment in the Federal government. There has also been a number of Executive Orders issued by several Presidents. Two of the more recent ones include President Clinton issued Executive Order 13163, in July 2000, with a goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities, including people with targeted disabilities in the Federal Government over 5 years.
Then in July 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13548 which emphasized the Government’s role as being a model employer of people with disabilities to include recruitment, hiring, and retention. As such, USARCENT like the Army, uses many tools available such as Schedule A Hiring Authority, Workforce Recruitment Program for Students and Graduates with Disabilities, Pathways, Wounded Warriors, etc., to increase its number of persons with disabilities, particularly those with targeted disabilities. USARCENT has a very viable disability program that is fully committed to improving its organizational culture and climate be a model employer within the Federal government.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973: https://www.askearn.org/topics/laws-regulations/rehabilitation-act/
Executive Order 13163: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2000-07-28/pdf/00-19322.pdf
Executive Order 13548: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2010-07-30/pdf/2010-18988.pdf
Disabled Veteran's Affirmative Action Program:
It is the policy of USARCENT to continually seek opportunities to hire, train, retain, and advance qualified disabled veterans, particularly those who are 30 percent or more disabled. USARCENT uses variety of methods to recruit and employ disabled veterans, especially those who are 30 percent or more disabled. Methods include Schedule A Hiring Authority, the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA), the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA), Wounded Warrior, Pathways, Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates, the Non-Paid Work Experience Program, and job fairs.
USARCENT is required to submit a Disabled Veteran Affirmative Action Plan report to HQDA on an annual basis.
VA for VETS: https://www.vaforvets.va.gov/
USARCENT OFFICE OF EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
1 Gabreski Drive
Shaw Air Force Base, SC 29152
EEO Director, Latoshia Gardner: 803.885.8636 (DSN: 312.885.8636)
EEO Deputy Director, Reginald Reese: 803.885.7185 (DSN: 312.885.7185)
EEO Director/Disability Program Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
EEO Deputy Director/Complaints Manager: email@example.com
Army EEO Complaint Process