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Performance Results

Results Achieved in FY 2009 Under Strategic Plan Performance Measures

Overview of Strategic Plan and Performance Measures

This Performance and Accountability Report is based on the EEOC’s current modified Strategic Plan for FY 2007 through FY 2012. The agency’s Strategic Plan was first published on October 1, 2006 (FY 2007). Over several years, the agency made interim modifications resulting in the current version of its Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Commission on July 28, 2008. A description of the specific modifications is available on the agency’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_07to12_changes.cfm.

Because of the change of Administration and the pending confirmation of a new Chair of the Commission (as of the time of this report), the EEOC intends to issue a new and completely revised Strategic Plan before the end of FY 2010. However, the results reported in this PAR are linked to the performance measures contained in the agency’s current modified Strategic Plan, which were in effect during FY 2009.

The agency’s current strategic plan provides one strategic objective: Justice, Opportunity and Inclusive Workplaces. The plan contains nine performance measures under this Strategic Objective. These measures were used to drive results and accountability throughout the agency.

The EEOC achieved or exceeded its targets for six measures and did not meet its targets for two measures. A multi-year measure did not require the agency to collect results data this year. These performance measures, and the results the EEOC achieved under each measure for FY 2009, are analyzed in greater detail below.

EEOC FY 2009 Performance
Measures met
Targets Met or Exceeded
notmet
Targets Not Met
Agency Not Required to Report This FY

9

6

2

1

Performance Plan: Chart illustrates following text

Results Achieved Under Specific Performance Measures

Long-Term/Annual Measure 1

By FY 2012, the number of individuals benefiting from improvements to organizations’ policies, practices and procedures because of EEOC’s enforcement programs increases by 20.2%.

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

Establish Baseline

2%

10%

Result

1,626,000 individuals

222.9%

234.3%

met

Exceeded Target

This Long-Term/Annual measure focuses on tracking the improvements that are made in the workplace as a direct result of EEOC enforcement programs. It is important to measure the Commission’s success by looking beyond the monetary relief secured through enforcement actions. When the EEOC secures changes in employment policies, practices and procedures through enforcement programs, the positive impact extends not only to the immediate victims of discrimination, but also to all individuals in the affected workplace. Through organization-wide changes, individuals benefit from a more diverse workplace and have greater equal employment opportunities. With the agency’s renewed emphasis on combating systemic discrimination, the agency expects to make significant increases over time in the number of individuals who benefit from these enforcement activities.

Long-Term/Annual Measure 1 was developed to focus on all enforcement services provided to the public that result in workplace benefits. These results include benefits from administrative resolutions (including mediation), litigation resolutions, and federal sector hearings and appeals resolutions. The Commission established a baseline value for FY 2007 and the annual targets and a final goal for the remaining years of the Strategic Plan, based upon the limited experience with collecting data for the administrative charge processing program. It was important to include all enforcement programs in the measure, but it was difficult to estimate their effect on the final results. In addition, there was the strong possibility that one or two large enforcement actions against a nationwide entity could affect the results in a significant way in any one year.

The FY 2009 annual target for this measure was to increase the number of individuals benefiting from improvements to organizations’ policies, practices and procedures by 10 percent over the FY 2007 baseline. Although the result for FY 2008, 222.9 percent, was already substantially above the annual target established for FY 2009 (and even FY 2010’s target of 12.2 percent), the Commission retained the targets to collect an additional year of data. The FY 2009 result was 234.3 percent above the baseline value, or over 5.4 million individuals who benefited from workplace improvements obtained through enforcement programs, once again substantially surpassing the target level.

The Commission will reevaluate the utility of this performance measure and the targets established for FY 2010 in conjunction with its Strategic Plan review process.

Efficiency Measure

By FY 2012, the number of individuals benefiting from improvements to organizations’ policies, practices and procedures because of EEOC’s enforcement programs for each agency FTE increases by 11.7%.

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

Establish Baseline

1.8%

2.2%

Result

753.5 individuals per FTE

220.2%

229.1%

met

Exceeded Target

Approximately 69 percent of the agency’s budget is dedicated to compensation and benefits. Linking the external impact of EEOC enforcement programs to the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) number of positions is thus a measure of agency efficiency.

As of the end of FY 2009, the agency had 2,192 FTE positions. Since over 5.4 million individuals benefited from EEOC enforcement programs due to improvements to policies, practices or procedures in their workplaces, approximately 2,480 individuals benefited for every FTE. This was an increase of 229.1 percent over the FY 2007 baseline, compared to the 2.2 percent increase targeted for FY 2009. As with Long-Term/Annual Measure 1, the EEOC retained its FY 2009 target until an additional year of data could be collected, even though the result for FY 2008 was already substantially above the annual target established for FY 2009 (and even the FY 2010 target of 4.3 percent).

The Commission will reevaluate the utility of this performance measure and the targets for FY 2010 in conjunction with its Strategic Plan review process.

Long-Term Measure 2

By FY 2012, the public rates its confidence in EEOC’s enforcement of federal equal employment laws at 65% or higher.

 

FY 2007 By the End of FY 2010

Target

Establish Baseline

63%

Result

61%

Measure in FY 2010

met

Multi-year measure—
data required in FY 2010

If members of the public are aware of EEOC’s enforcement activities and believe that the agency has handled discrimination complaints effectively, they will be more likely to rely on the Commission to investigate, mediate, litigate, adjudicate, and/or otherwise resolve allegations of discrimination. Additionally, if the agency has a reputation for fair and responsible enforcement of the federal employment discrimination laws, then employers, attorneys and other members of the public will be more likely to defer to the EEOC’s assessment of discrimination complaints and commit to voluntary compliance through mediation, settlement or conciliation.

To measure the public’s confidence in the EEOC’s enforcement of federal equal employment opportunity laws, the agency engaged a private organization to conduct a survey in FY 2007 of a representative sample of individuals nationwide. From that survey, the EEOC was able to establish a baseline value for FY 2007, and a two-staged multi-year approach to reach a final goal by FY 2012. The multi-year approach provides enough time to measure reasonable changes in the public confidence in the EEOC in the nationwide results. Under the current Strategic Plan, the agency is to conduct a follow-up survey during FY 2010 to measure any change in the overall confidence level first reported in the FY 2007 survey.

As with Long-Term Measure 1 and the Efficiency Measure, the Commission will reevaluate the utility of Long-Term Measure 2 and the utility of six annual performance measures contributing to this measure (discussed below) as part of the agency’s Strategic Plan review process.

Annual Measures 2.1, 2.2, 2.3: Processing Charges, Hearings, and Appeals

The EEOC has identified six Annual Measures under Long-Term Measure 2 that contribute to the public’s confidence in the agency. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2010budget.cfm

In recognition of the maxim that “justice delayed is justice denied,” Annual Measures 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 focus on the time it takes for the EEOC to resolve private sector charges, federal sector hearing requests, and federal sector appeals, respectively.

Annual Measure 2.1
At least 54% of private sector charges are resolved in 180 days or fewer by FY 2012.

 

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

70.0%

70.0%

72.0%

48.0%

48.0%

Result

65.9%

60.7%

55.7%

48.5%

39.7%

notmet

Not Met
Target

Under Annual Measure 2.1, by FY 2012, the EEOC is to resolve 54 percent of its private sector charges within 180 days. To move the agency toward that final goal, the target under Annual Measure 2.1 for FY 2009 requires the agency to resolve 48 percent of private sector charges within 180 days. As of the end of FY 2009, the Commission had processed 39.7 percent of charges in 180 days or less. Thus, the EEOC has not met its target for FY 2009. The EEOC’s inability to meet this target was due to inadequate staff and increasing charge receipts. As described in greater detail in subsequent sections of this PAR, the agency is focused intensely on reducing the time it takes to process private sector charges.

Annual Measure 2.2
At least 54% of federal sector hearings are resolved in 180 days or fewer by FY 2012.

 

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

38.0%

50.0%

50.0%

50.0%

50.0%

Result

51.3%

43.6%

42.8%

38.6%

40.6%

notmet

Not Met
Target

Under Annual Measure 2.2, by FY 2012, the EEOC is to resolve 54 percent of its federal sector hearings within 180 days. To reach this final goal, the target under Annual Measure 2.2 for FY 2009 requires the agency to resolve 50 percent of federal sector hearings within 180 days. As of the end of 2009, the Commission had processed 40.6 percent of federal sector hearings in 180 days or less. Thus, the EEOC has not met its target for FY 2009. The Commission’s efforts to achieve this goal have become more difficult because of increasing workloads, as well as greater attention being focused on enhancing the quality of hearings.

Annual Measure 2.3
At least 70% of federal sector appeals are resolved in 180 days or fewer by FY 2012.

 

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

50.0%

55.0%

60.0%

62.0%

64.0%

Result

52.0%

59.7%

60.7%

63.3%

65.0%

met

Exceeded
Target

Under Annual Measure 2.3, by FY 2012, the EEOC is to resolve 70 percent of its federal sector appeals within 180 days or less. To reach the final goal, the target under Annual Measure 2.3 for FY 2009 requires the agency to resolve 64 percent of federal sector appeals within 180 days. The annual targets for this measure have consistently increased and the agency has been able to achieve them every year. For FY 2009, the EEOC continued this successful effort by resolving 65 percent of federal sector appeals within 180 days or less. Thus, the EEOC has exceeded its target for FY 2009.

Annual Measure 2.4: Quality of Private Sector Investigations

Annual Measure 2.4
At least 93% of investigative files meet established criteria for quality by FY 2012.

 

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

Establish FY 2005 baseline & targets for FY 2006”“2009.

87.0%

88.0%

90.0%

90.0%

Result

Established Baseline (88.5%) & targets.

88.1%

93.5%

97.0%

95.1%

met

Exceeded Target

Annual Measure 2.4 ensures that investigative files meet quality standards. A large proportion of sampled investigative files are reviewed to determine whether they meet two critical quality criteria: (1) the appropriate charge categorization and file documentation support the actions taken on the charge; and (2) the resolution of the charge is supported. This measure is intended to ensure that the Commission does not complete its work quickly at the expense of performing that work well. The annual targets for this measure have increased since the baseline was established in FY 2005 and the Commission has exceeded these targets each year. In FY 2009, 95.1 percent of investigative files met the requisite quality standards, exceeding the target established for FY 2009 of 90 percent.

Annual Measure 2.5: Confidence in Private Sector Mediation Program

Annual Measure 2.5
At least 95% of respondents and charging parties report confidence in EEOC’s private sector
mediation/ADR program by FY 2012.

 

 

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008

Target

90.0%

90.0%

90.0%

91.0%

92.0%

Result

96.3%

96.8%

95.8%

96.5%

96.0%

met

Exceeded
Target

Annual Measure 2.5 focuses on the EEOC’s private sector mediation/ADR program. The agency has recognized since the program’s inception that the public’s confidence in its mediation efforts has a significant impact on the perception of the EEOC as a whole. The EEOC obtains information for this measure by surveying participants in the EEOC’s mediation program and tabulating responses about their experience with the program. This measure and methodology have been utilized by the agency since 2004, and thus the agency has gathered significant trend data upon which to base its targets. The results show a consistently high level of confidence in the agency’s mediation program.

FY 2009 was no exception. As of the end of this fiscal year, 96.0 percent of all participants would return to EEOC’s mediation program in the future. This exceeds the target for Annual Measure 2.5 of maintaining a 92 percent rate. The EEOC believes this high confidence level helps with continuing efforts to convince parties to charges, particularly employer representatives, of the value of the mediation approach. The target for FY 2010 increases to a 93 percent rate as the agency strives toward a final goal of 95 percent by FY 2012.

Annual Measure 2.6: Success in Litigation

Annual Measure 2.6
At least 90% of EEOC lawsuits are successfully resolved during the period ending in FY 2012.

FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Target

90.0% or higher
6-year rolling average

90.0% or higher
6-year rolling average

90.0% or higher
3-year rolling average

90.0% or higher
3-year rolling average

90.0% or higher
3-year rolling average

Result

92.8%

92.7%

91.5%

91.2%

90.3%

met

Met Target

Annual Measure 2.6 places a premium on maintaining a high level of successful resolutions in the EEOC’s litigation program. Successful resolutions include cases decided by favorable court order and those concluded through a consent decree or a settlement agreement in litigation. Achieving success on this measure ensures that the Commission has continued to exercise its prosecutorial discretion responsibly and has litigated cases skillfully. Based on the results of a three-year weighted average (FY 2007 to FY 2009), the EEOC’s litigation success rate is 90.3 percent—slightly above the target.

Potential FEPA Measure

A work group comprised of EEOC and state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) recently recommended a potential performance measure that could assess the FEPAs’ contribution to the EEOC’s achievement of its strategic objective and mission. The EEOC will review the recommendation in FY 2010, as part of the Commission’s overall review of its Strategic Plan.

Related Program Results and Activities

Private Sector Enforcement

1. Private Sector Charge Processing Highlights

In FY 2009, the EEOC, through its private sector administrative enforcement activities, secured more than $294.1 million in monetary benefits, higher than the $274.4 million obtained in FY 2008 and indeed the highest level of monetary relief ever obtained through the administrative process. Overall, the agency secured both monetary and non-monetary benefits for more than 17,491 people through charge processing.

This past fiscal year, the EEOC received 93,277 private sector charges of discrimination, a two percent decrease from FY 2008, but still the second highest level of receipts in the past 20 years. The agency also received 2,728 charges through net transfers from state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies. The agency achieved 85,980 resolutions, with a merit factor resolution rate of 20.3 percent. (Merit factor resolutions include mediation and other settlements and cause findings, which, if not successfully conciliated, are considered for litigation.) In comparison, the merit factor resolution rate for FY 2008 was 21.4 percent.

2. Status of Private Sector Charge Inventory

In the last few years, the EEOC’s inventory has risen significantly. From FY 2004 to FY 2005, the inventory rose by 3,596 charges, a 12 percent increase. The increase in each subsequent fiscal year, from FY 2005 through FY 2008, was even larger: from FY 2005 to FY 2006, the inventory increased by 6,384 charges, a 19 percent increase; from FY 2006 to FY 2007, it rose by 15,024 charges, a 38 percent increase; and from FY 2007 to FY 2008, it rose by 18,981 charges, a 36 percent increase. Overall, comparing the inventory in FY 2002 to the inventory in FY 2008, pending charges rose by 44,910, an increase of 155 percent. As of the end of FY 2009, the inventory increased by 11,817 charges to 85,768, a 15.9 percent increase over the number of charges pending at the end of FY 2008.

The rise in inventory can be explained in part by a decline in the number of frontline investigators from FY 2000 through FY 2008. During this time period, EEOC lost a total of 271 frontline investigators—more than 33 percent of its total investigative workforce. Due to budgetary constraints, at the time, the agency did not backfill these positions. As the number of investigators declined, the charge inventory rose. The length of time it took to resolve charges also grew with the decrease in the numbers of frontline investigators.

As the number of investigators declined, new charge receipts also began to rise. In FY 2007, receipts rose by 9 percent over the previous year and in FY 2008, they rose again by 15.2 percent over FY 2007. (See table “Recent Growth in Charge Receipts” below.) Although the Commission received two percent fewer charges in FY 2009 compared with FY 2008, the number of receipts in FY 2009 is still the second highest in the past twenty years.

The agency believes this increase may have resulted in part from the EEOC becoming a more accessible agency. Individuals can now contact the agency by phone, by mail, by e-mail, by going to the EEOC website, or by visiting EEOC field offices. This accessibility, which is a positive development for the agency’s stakeholders and victims of discrimination, in all probability has resulted in the filing of additional charges.

Recent Growth in Charge Receipts

EEOC Charge Receipts



The growth in the charge inventory has been augmented by the increased statutory authority given to the agency through the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The agency may already have begun to see the effects of the ADAAA. In FY 2009, there was a 10.6 percent rise in the number of ADA charges filed (21,451) in comparison to the number filed in FY 2008 (19,401). In addition, the EEOC anticipates a small increase in the number of charges filed with EEOC as a result of the enactment of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The EEOC begins to enforce Title II of GINA on November 21, 2009.

3. Reducing the Charge Inventory

The agency took a number of steps in FY 2009 aimed at reducing its charge inventory, and these efforts will continue into 2010. These measures include aggressive hiring of front-line staff; reinvigoration of the Commission’s Priority Charge Handling Procedures (including a significant agency-wide training initiative); renewed emphasis on pre-charge counseling; and identifying and implementing best practices in charge handling.

New Hires. By the end of FY 2009, the agency authorized the hiring of at least 125 new investigators and six new mediators, most of whom were on-board at the start of FY 2010. By the end of FY 2009, the Commission had hired 155 net new hires. This is in addition to backfilling vacancies that had occurred.

Pending finalization of the FY 2010 and FY 2011 operating plans, other new hiring may be authorized. The agency expects that this new staff, when fully productive, will process over 15,000 charges a year, which will significantly impact the inventory. 

Reinvigorating PCHP. Further, the agency has recently reinvigorated its Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP). Under PCHP, a triage process is used to sort charges into three categories: A, B, or C. Category A charges are those where it appears that further investigation may result in a finding of discrimination. These charges have the highest priority. Category B charges initially appear to have some merit, but require additional investigation, as resources permit. Category C charges are suitable for immediate dismissal, e.g., they are non-jurisdictional, fail to state a claim, or are untimely.

Although various field offices over the years provided their staffs with PCHP training from time to time, it became apparent that the lines between A, B and C charges had became blurred and staff was finding it more difficult to make judgments about categorizing charges. Accordingly, the agency launched an ambitious program during the summer of 2009 to provide all staff in its 53 field offices with PCHP training. The agency’s PCHP manual was revised and updated for staff to use during this training and after, as they continued to conduct charge intake and to review charges already in the inventory. Hypothetical case examples enriched the training sessions. A team from agency headquarters and the field then conducted twenty PCHP refresher training courses between July and early August 2009. The courses consisted of an in-depth review of PCHP principles, a reemphasis on intake counseling of potential charging parties, and an interactive discussion. PCHP principles were applied to actual cases that field staff were currently investigating, as well as hypothetical cases.

In conjunction with these training sessions on PCHP, field managers were instructed to review the oldest B and C charges in their offices’ inventories and to reassess their prioritization decisions in light of the merits of the available evidence and resource constraints. At fiscal year-end, the review resulted in the resolution of 3,318 of the 4,018 oldest B and C charges.

Reemphasizing Pre-charge Counseling. Where field offices have been able to provide individuals with pre-charge counseling, whether by phone or in person, the agency has found that they are able to make better, more informed decisions as to whether to file a charge. Therefore, part of the PCHP refresher training reemphasized the importance and principles of conducting intake interviews. With the additional frontline investigative staff that the EEOC is in the process of hiring, field offices will be able to increase the opportunity for potential charging parties to benefit from pre-charge counseling. This will result in a greater efficiency at charge intake and could result in fewer charges being filed, as individuals would gain a more realistic understanding of their issues and the EEOC’s jurisdiction. Additionally, pre-charge counseling allows staff to obtain better information and begin the investigation more quickly and efficiently when individuals decide to file charges. In the end, this should help the agency to manage its charge inventory more effectively.

Identifying and Implementing Best Practices. To improve and standardize charge handling procedures across the agency’s field offices, a leadership team worked closely with 15 District Directors and other key field managers to identify and implement best practices in charge handling. To accomplish this, a Backlog Reduction Best Practices Work Group was created. The work group, composed of headquarters and field staff, was given the task of compiling the most effective and efficient means of reviewing and resolving older charges in the inventory. These practices were disseminated through a memorandum and through conferences with field managers. They are expected to be used extensively in the coming fiscal year.

4. Internal Training

Training New Investigators. The EEOC held two intensive, two-week training courses for new investigators hired in FY 2008-FY 2009. The training acquainted new investigators with the EEOC’s mission and goals and the laws enforced by the EEOC. The courses also focused on applying legal theory, as well as implementing the investigative tools and techniques used by the EEOC. Course topics included fact-finding conferences, investigative interviewing, assessing credibility, remedies and negotiation skills. A significant amount of time was spent on case studies and the application of sound investigative techniques. This training should help frontline enforcement staff to process new and existing charges more quickly and competently.

Training all Employees on New Statutory Responsibilities.To prepare front line staff for the significant statutory changes brought by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel created and delivered a customized training program for investigative and legal unit staff at EEOC’s field offices. This program provides field staff with practical information on how these statutory developments affect their investigatory and enforcement duties. This training program will continue in FY 2010 and expand to include headquarters and employees in other program offices.

5. Private Sector Mediation Program

The EEOC’s mediation program has been very successful and has contributed to its ability over the past few years to better manage the growing inventory and resolve charges in 180 days or less. In FY 2009, the EEOC’s private sector national mediation program secured 8,498 resolutions, which, while 3.8 percent less than the 8,840 resolutions reported in FY 2008, is the third highest total in the history of the program. The EEOC obtained more than $121.6 million in monetary benefits for complainants from mediation resolutions, slightly below the $124 million in monetary benefits in FY 2008.

Although participants almost uniformly view the mediation program favorably (with 96 percent reporting confidence in the program this year), the agency continues to focus efforts on increasing the participation of employers. To that end, the agency encourages the employer community to enter into Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAMs). These agreements reflect employers’ commitment to mediate charges. At the conclusion of FY 2009, the agency obtained a cumulative multi-year total of 1,603 UAMs (192 National/Regional UAMS and 1,411 Local UAMs). This is a 10.4 percent increase from the FY 2008 level of 1,452 UAMs.

Litigation

The Commission’s litigation program is conducted by the agency’s Office of General Counsel (OGC). In FY 2009, EEOC field legal units filed 281 merits lawsuits and 32 subpoena enforcement and other actions. Of these new filings, 170 were individual suits and 111 were class suits. Legal staff resolved 319 merits lawsuits for a total monetary recovery of $80,628,935. (“Merits” lawsuits include direct suits and interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of the statutes enforced by the Commission and suits to enforce administrative settlements.) Of these resolutions, 249 contained Title VII claims, 40 contained Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 claims, 38 contained Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 claims, and five contained Equal Pay Act of 1964 claims. The number of total merits lawsuits is less than the sum of suits based on each individual law as some suits are filed on multiple bases. The Commission also resolved 28 subpoena enforcement and other actions during the fiscal year.

In terms of dollars recovered in direct, indirect and intervention lawsuits by statute, EEOC recovered $63,415,742 in Title VII resolutions, $6,745,543 in ADEA resolutions, $9,548,761 in ADA resolutions, $20,000 in EPA resolutions and $898,889 in resolutions involving more than one statute. At the end of FY 2009, the number of cases on the EEOC’s active docket involving multiple aggrieved parties or challenges to discriminatory employment policies was 226, or 46% of the total year-end caseload.

Systemic Initiative

Launched in April 2006, the EEOC’s Systemic Initiative prescribes comprehensive measures to improve all aspects of the agency’s work in combating systemic discrimination. The Commission’s objective is to strengthen and modernize its nationwide approach to identifying, investigating, and litigating systemic cases, which a systemic task force report defines as “pattern or practice, policy and/or class cases where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, profession, company, or geographic location.” More details about the Systemic Initiative can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_reports/systemic.cfm.

Systemic cases are significantly more complex. They require greater resources, more highly trained investigators and attorneys, and sophisticated expert analysis by statisticians, industrial psychologists, and labor market economists. To begin addressing these needs, in FY 2009, the Commission devoted significant resources to start developing a strong systemic-oriented skill set in EEOC staff. The agency hired several experts in the fields of statistics, industrial psychology and labor market economics that will partner with district offices to work on larger cases. The agency will continue to assess whether additional or different types of expertise would aid in building the systemic program. The Commission also conducted three regional systemic training sessions this year for investigators and attorneys in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as six training webinars on systemic investigation skills.

In addition, the agency invested in the technology tools that are critical to a vigorous nationwide enforcement and litigation practice. The Commission successfully linked its two major databases: the EEO-1 reports and IMS, its charge and case management database. An EEO-1 analytical tool (EEO-1 Analytics) was added to the IMS application that allows investigators and attorneys to compare an employer with others in the same geographic area and industry. This will allow investigative and legal staff to better analyze workforce data, which in turn will lead to better identification and development of systemic cases.

All of these developments are expected to invigorate the Commission’s systemic initiative. Early results have been positive. Since the inception of the systemic initiative, the number of systemic investigations has increased substantially. At the end of FY 2009, 39 Commissioners’ charges were under investigation, compared with only 15 Commissioners’ charges in investigation as of March 2006, when the initiative began. Systemic investigations based on charges filed by the public have also increased significantly.

Further, the agency’s Office of General Counsel continues to make implementation of the agency’s systemic program a chief priority. In FY 2009, the Commission filed 19 new systemic cases, each of which is expected to benefit potentially hundreds of victims of discrimination. These cases cover a broad range of current issues, such as the use of credit history and criminal conviction records to exclude applicants for employment and the use of inflexible leave policies to deny reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. Below is a sampling of significant resolutions of systemic discrimination lawsuits in FY 2009:

EEOC v. Gold’n Plump Poultry, Inc. and EEOC v. The Work Connection (D. Minn.) (resolved Mar. 31, 2009). In companion suits against a mid-west poultry processor and a staffing agency, EEOC alleged failure to accommodate Muslim employees’ religious prayer requirements and objection to handling pork. A consent decree provided $215,000 to 128 employees, and required the employer to add a 10-minute break, the time of which will vary according to the daily Muslim prayer schedule. The staffing agency was required to pay $150,000 to 28 applicants, along with offering placement with the employer as positions become available.

EEOC v. Pitt Ohio Express, LLC (N.D. Ohio) (resolved Jan. 22, 2009). A suit against a regional transportation carrier alleged failure to hire women as truck drivers and dockworkers at four Ohio terminals, as well as failure to retain employment applications as required. A five-year consent decree provided a $2.43 million class settlement fund, and 40 offers of employment to eligible claimants (26 for drivers and 14 for dockworkers).

EEOC v. Area Erectors, Inc. (N.D. Ill.) (resolved May 27, 2009). A midwest steel and precast concrete erection company discriminated against an apprentice ironworker and a class of African Americans in union referrals when they were laid off or fired after much shorter periods of work than white referrals; the company also failed to file EEO-1 reports. The consent decree provided $630,000 to be allocated among 24 claimants and immediate or priority reinstatement. EEOC named seven unions as Rule 19 nonaligned parties, all of whom were signatories to the decree, which gave the decree’s mandates priority to the extent they conflict with any provision of the unions’ collective bargaining agreements.

EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck and Co. (N.D. Ill.) (resolved Sept. 29, 2009). EEOC filed suit against a national retailer alleging that it failed to accommodate and discharged a class of employees with disabilities whose leave needs exceeded an inflexible one-year maximum workers’ compensation leave policy. A consent decree establishes a $6.2 million settlement fund to be allocated by the EEOC among about 400 qualified claimants. The decree further provides for revision of the employer’s workers’ compensation and reasonable accommodation policies to ensure compliance with the ADA.

EEOC v. First Wireless Group, Inc. (E.D.N.Y.) (resolved Oct. 29, 2008). A suit against a New York cell phone re-manufacturer alleged that a class of Hispanic employees was paid lower wages than similarly-situated Asian employees and then given unequal discipline and discharged in retaliation for complaining. A consent decree awarded $435,000 in back pay or compensatory damages to 38 claimants plus 8 hours of annual training to specified management staff and review of the compensation system to ensure that it does not discriminate against Hispanic employees.

EEOC v. Allstate Insurance Co. (E.D. Mo.) (resolved Sept. 11, 2009). EEOC sued a national insurance company for implementing a rehire moratorium policy, following a company-wide reorganization plan that had an adverse impact on former employee-agents who were 40 years of age or older. A settlement order provided for $4.5 million in back pay to be paid into a settlement fund and distributed in EEOC’s sole discretion.

EEOC v. L&T International Corporation et al. (D.C.N.M.I.) (resolved July 28, 2009). Four related suits against a garment manufacturer alleged discrimination on the basis of national origin, age, pregnancy, and retaliation. The national origin claims asserted that a class of Filipino packers was discriminated against in favor of Chinese workers, confined to work groups segregated by national origin, and subjected to adverse treatment concerning overtime opportunities and lunch conditions. Two consent decrees resolved the four lawsuits and provide for a total of around $1.7 in compensatory damages to 177 individuals (including interveners).

To accomplish the goals of the systemic initiative, OGC anticipates a shift in the composition of its litigation docket over time. OGC expects fewer small, individual cases and more cases on behalf of larger groups. While this is leading to a decline in the total number of lawsuits filed each year, compared to previous years, OGC expects that the overall impact of agency litigation will be enhanced as larger cases are filed and resolved. Of course, individual cases, particularly those affected by new legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008,and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, will be an important component of the agency’s docket. All suits will continue to be strategically selected to have impact beyond their individual circumstances.

Federal Sector Enforcement

1. Federal Sector Hearings and Appeals

Unlike its responsibilities in the private sector, the Commission does not process complaints of discrimination for federal employees. In the federal sector, individuals file complaints with their own federal agencies and those agencies are to conduct a full and appropriate investigation of the claims raised in the complaints. Complainants can then request a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge (AJ). The EEOC, through its Office of Field Programs (OFP), is responsible for processing these hearing requests. Further, the Commission, largely through the efforts of its Office of Federal Operations (OFO), adjudicates appeals of federal agency actions on discrimination complaints, and ensures agency compliance with decisions issued on those appeals.

In FY 2009, OFP received a total of 7,277 requests for hearings, which is less than the 8,036 received in FY 2008. Additionally, the Commission’s hearings program resolved a total of 6,779 complaints and secured more than $44.5 million in relief for parties in these complaints.

In an effort to tap technology to improve internal processes for federal sector hearings, the agency expanded the HECAPS (Hearings Electronic Case Processing System) project from the initial pilot location in the San Antonio hearings unit, to Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, and New York. Once the agency fine-tunes the system, it will expand HECAPS to all Commission hearings units in FY 2010. The agency has also launched the development of “Hot Docs,” an automated template system for drafting AJ decisions and orders. Hot Docs is modeled on a program first developed and utilized in OFO in the processing of federal sector appeals, which has resulted in greater efficiency and consistency in processing appeals. This is expected to improve significantly the quality of hearings orders and decisions, and to expedite this aspect of the hearings process overall. Additionally, Hot Docs will result in nationwide consistency in the decisions and orders issued. Finally, based on recommendations in the 2006 Federal Sector Report (http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2006/index.html), an expert group of supervisory AJs is working on a Three-Track Case Processing System. These tracks will not only expedite case processing, but will also tailor processing to better suit the complexity of the case, as well as the concerns of the parties.

During FY 2009, OFO received 4,745 requests for appeals of final agency actions in the federal sector, fewer than the 5,082 such requests received in FY 2008. In FY 2009, the agency resolved 4287 appeals, 65 percent of them within 180 days of their receipt. This compares with 5,303 appeals resolved in FY 2008 (63.3 percent of which were resolved within 180 days of receipt). The agency achieved these results by leveraging technology and successfully managing the appellate inventory.

2. Internal Training

A national conference held this year gave EEOC’s administrative judges—who are also under the jurisdiction of the Office of Field Programs—substantive training in judicial writing (provided by the National Judicial College), ADAAA updates, e-discovery, summary judgment, sanctions, and class actions. The conference also provided an opportunity for the AJs to meet with one another to exchange ideas and to start work on drafting a Best Practices Manual for federal sector hearings.

3. Federal Sector Mediation Program

Using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques to resolve workplace disputes throughout the federal government can have a powerful impact on agencies’ EEO complaint inventories and, in turn, the Commission’s hearings and appeals inventories. Resolving disputes as early as possible in the federal sector EEO process improves the work environment and reduces the number of formal complaints, allowing all agencies, including the EEOC, to redeploy resources that otherwise would be devoted to these activities. In addition, a growing number of agencies have incorporated dispute prevention techniques into their ADR programs, further increasing productivity and reducing the overall number of employment disputes.

Data submitted by federal agencies at the close of FY 2008, the most recent data available, indicate that there were 38,898 instances of pre-complaint EEO counseling across the federal government. Of that number, the parties participated in ADR in 19,267 cases, or 49.5 percent of the time, an increase from FY 2007’s 48.3 percent ADR participation rate.

The EEOC continues to actively pursue a variety of ways to assist federal agencies in improving ADR, such as identifying and sharing best practices; providing assistance in program development and improvements; training federal employees and managers on the benefits of ADR; and maintaining a web page that serves as a clearinghouse for information related to federal sector ADR. The Commission will continue to expand its technical assistance to agencies to encourage the development of effective ADR programs and promote ADR training among government managers and staff.

Outreach, Education and Technical Assistance

The Commission’s outreach, education and technical assistance efforts focused on increasing voluntary compliance with federal equal employment laws and on improving employee and employer awareness of rights and responsibilities under federal employment discrimination laws.

1. Outreach

The agency’s outreach programs reached 238,017 persons in FY 2009. EEOC offices participated in 4,240 educational, training, and outreach events. This is a decrease in the number of events over the same period in FY 2008, when there were 5,360 of these events. The agency also held 295 field Customer Specific Training events in 2009, with about 9,100 attendees.

Offices distributed information about EEO laws and represented the Commission at 937 other public events that reached 42,115 people. These events included information booths at job fairs, conventions, cultural expositions, and conferences. Informational materials were distributed to 70,340 people through participation in many community organization meetings. Commission employees also made 422 media presentations, including newspaper, radio and TV interviews, talk shows, and press conferences that provided substantive equal employment opportunity (EEO) information to millions of stakeholders.

Mediation Outreach. In FY 2009, EEOC offices conducted 161 outreach events directed toward the private sector employer community to promote the agency’s mediation program. Events included workshops, mock mediations, and panel discussions with employer representatives, as well as representatives from the plaintiff and defense bars.

Small Business Outreach. The Commission worked collaboratively with the small business community to prevent employment discrimination and promote voluntary compliance. EEOC offices conducted 390 no-cost outreach events directed toward small businesses in FY 2009, reaching over 17,000 small business representatives. The most popular topics for small business audiences were an overview of the laws enforced by EEOC, charge processing procedures, sexual harassment, Title VII and the ADA.

Federal Sector Outreach. Management Directive (MD)-715 embodies the EEOC-championed approach for agencies to use in identifying and removing barriers to equality of employment opportunity. The goal is to have a model federal work force that fully reflects all Americans’ contributions. MD-715 also imposes on agencies the requirement to examine their workforces and to develop strategies for eliminating impediments to equal employment opportunity. During FY 2009, the Commission continued to provide agencies with the tools and technical assistance to conduct effective barrier analyses and create remedial action plans.

Using the guidance and principles contained in MD-715, the Commission continued to evaluate the progress of federal agencies in creating effective equal employment opportunity programs. This included delivering relevant and helpful information, training, and EEO solutions to federal agencies, including more advanced barrier analysis techniques; and using targeted EEO program evaluations, and the self-assessment tools and checklists in MD-715, to help federal agencies assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their EEO programs. The goal is to help agencies identify whether they are utilizing their entire workforces in accomplishing their missions.

In recent fiscal years, the Commission provided feedback to agencies on their MD-715 submissions via various means, including single and three-year trend analysis letters. In response to comments from federal agency stakeholders, the Commission continues to provide these trend letters to agencies on a rotating basis. They are designed to provide a comprehensive analysis that tracks each reviewed agency’s progress toward establishing a model EEO program. This year, the agency’s Office of Federal Operations provided three-year trend analysis letters to 20 percent of the reporting agencies under MD-715. In addition, OFO provided an initial version of a scorecard to 60 federal agencies that addressed the agencies’ progress in creating model EEO programs. OFO is refining this scorecard to help the public and agencies’ leadership quickly gauge the government’s progress in establishing fair and inclusive workplaces.

2. Education, Technical Assistance and Training

The EEOC Training Institute, formerly named “the Revolving Fund,” is a separate statutory authority that enables the EEOC to offer in-depth and specialized programs on a fee basis to supplement free general informational and outreach activities that are an ongoing aspect of the EEOC’s mission. The Training Institute offers diverse, high quality, reasonably priced EEO expertise and training products to private sector employers, state and local government personnel, and employees of federal agencies. In FY 2009 the Institute trained over 20,000 individuals at more than 450 events. The Training Institute offered the following products/service lines:

Training Products.The Training Institute develops low-cost direct-sales training products and resource materials to foster the agency’s overall training and technical assistance responsibilities. It will expand its product line during FY 2010 to include other training materials that address the changing needs of customers, such as webinars and hearings preparation training.

Technical Assistance Program Seminars (TAPS). The one- and two-day TAP Seminars offered by the Training Institute are responsive to employers’ information and training needs and allow EEOC to educate employers and employees about how to identify, prevent and eliminate workplace discrimination. In FY 2009, 38 TAPS were conducted throughout the country with 5,142 participants. This number is lower than the 6,693 people who participated in TAPS in FY 2008, due to reduced TAPS goals for FY 2009 for some of the EEOC’s district offices, as well as difficult economic conditions that reduced employer spending for training. Attendance averaged about 140 participants per event.

National Federal Sector Conference. An annual national federal sector conference, the Examining Conflicts in Employment Laws (EXCEL) Conference, has become a widely anticipated and highly acclaimed event for federal EEO managers, attorneys, union officials, and other EEO professionals. This year’s conference marked the 12th anniversary of this event and attracted more than 1,100 attendees.

Customer Specific Training. The Customer Specific Training (CST) program trains employees, managers, supervisors and human resource professionals from large, mid-size and small employers on their EEO responsibilities and how to prevent and correct workplace discrimination. Standardized courses are available, or the Institute can design customized courses to be delivered at employers’ worksites. In FY 2009, the Training Institute held 295 field CST events that reached approximately 9,100 attendees.

Special Commission Initiatives

In FY 2009, the EEOC continued to pursue various special initiatives it launched in previous fiscal years. These include the LEAD Initiative and Youth@Work.

Lead Logo

LEAD Initiative. In the federal sector, the EEOC continued to conduct its LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) Initiative. The over-arching goal of LEAD is to significantly increase the population of individuals with disabilities employed by the federal government—currently less than one percent. This national outreach and education campaign is designed to:

  • Increase the awareness of federal hiring officials about the declining numbers of people with disabilities in federal employment;
  • Reverse the trend of decreasing participation in federal employment;
  • Educate federal hiring officials about how to use special hiring authorities to bring people with disabilities on board, particularly those with severe disabilities;
  • Educate applicants with severe disabilities about how to apply using the special hiring authorities available; and
  • Provide information and resources on reasonable accommodation.

Youth@Work

Youth@Work. The Commission’s Youth@Work Initiative seeks to educate teenage employees and their employers about workplace discrimination and harassment, and to equip them with the information they need to create positive first work experiences.


Regulations, Enforcement Guidance and Technical Assistance Documents

EEOC regulations and enforcement guidance represent the Commission’s official positions on a range of issues that arise under the employment discrimination laws that the agency enforces. These documents aid EEOC employees who enforce the laws through charge investigation and litigation, are looked to by many courts when resolving novel legal issues, and inform employers and individuals of their legal rights and responsibilities. EEOC also publishes technical assistance documents, which promote awareness of and voluntary compliance with EEOC-enforced laws. These technical assistance documents provide the public with explanations of EEOC-enforced laws and policy that are easy to understand and that avoid excessively technical or legalistic language. Technical assistance documents do not establish new EEOC policy, but rather apply existing policy in specific contexts to promote better understanding of EEOC policy and, often, identify employer best practices.

In FY 2009, the agency initiated or issued the following:

Regulations under The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The EEOC will begin enforcing Title II of GINA on November 21, 2009. GINA requires the Commission to issue implementing regulations. Pursuant to this obligation, the Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that was published in the Federal Register for 60 days of public notice and comment on March 2, 2009. This proposal addresses substantive matters covered by GINA, such as what constitutes “genetic information,” the prohibition against using genetic information in employment decisions, and the limited circumstances in which employers may acquire this information. It also details employers’ obligation to keep genetic information confidential and explains when claims should be raised under Title I of GINA (covering health insurers and enforced by other federal agencies), instead of under Title II (the employment title), which will be enforced by the EEOC. To help the public better understand these proposed rules, the Commission contemporaneously issued a plain-language technical assistance document entitled “Background Information for EEOC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Title II of the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.”

After considering public input regarding the proposed rule, the Commission approved a final regulation, and in September 2009, sent it to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance. This submission places the Commission on track to publish its final rule before GINA becomes effective and the Commission begins enforcement. The Commission also approved a separate NPRM to amend its procedural and administrative regulations to reflect the Commission’s charge-processing responsibilities under GINA. This NPRM was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2009, for public notice and comment.

Regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The ADAAA instructs the EEOC to amend its regulations under the ADA. Congress passed the ADAAA in response to a series of Supreme Court decisions that interpreted the ADA coverage requirements very narrowly. In September 2009, the Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Regulations to Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended. The NPRM would amend the EEOC’s existing regulations to address the ADAAA’s expanded coverage, including its lowered standard for “substantial limitation,” expanded definition of “major life activities” to include “major bodily functions,” analysis of impairments that are episodic or in remission as substantially limiting if they would be so when active, and determination of substantial limitation without regard to mitigating measures (except for ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses). The public notice and comment period for this proposal closes on November 23, 2009. As with the proposed rule under GINA, a technical assistance Question and Answer document was released contemporaneously with the ADAAA proposed regulations.

Technical Assistance on Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities. As a follow-up to the Commission’s 2007 Enforcement Guidance on Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities, which explained how discrimination against caregivers may violate the laws enforced by EEOC, the Commission issued technical assistance on Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities in April 2009. As the so-called “sandwich generation” who care for both children and aging parents grows, and evidence mounts that sex-based stereotyping can affect how employers handle workplace conflicts that involve caregiving, the Commission has released this document to identify strategies for employers to avoid potential discrimination claims while addressing both their business needs and the needs of workers with caregiving responsibilities.

Technical Assistance on H1N1 Flu Virus. The Commission also issued (and prominently posted on its public website) a technical assistance document providing employers with information on ADA-Compliant Employer Preparedness for the H1N1 Flu Virus. This document was drafted in response to many questions EEOC received from employers about how the ADA may apply to flu pandemic workplace policies. The H1N1 technical assistance explains when employers may make disability-related inquiries or conduct medical examinations during an influenza pandemic, when employers may send employees home because of influenza-like symptoms during a pandemic, and whether employers may require all employees to take an influenza vaccine during a pandemic without violating the ADA.

Technical Assistance on Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Severance Agreements. At a July 2009, public meeting addressing age discrimination concerns in light of the recent economic downturn and accompanying mass layoffs, the Commission also issued a Questions and Answers on Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements. This waivers document responds to many questions from laid-off workers about the rules and limitations on employers who encourage soon-to-be laid off employees to waive their right to file employment discrimination lawsuits in exchange

for benefits such as severance pay. This document, based on the Commission’s existing regulations under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, clarifies a very complicated issue of great importance to the over one million workers who were laid off during the recession in 2008-2009.

Compliance with FOIA and Section 83

EEOC discloses records under two separate mechanisms—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and an internal mechanism created in Section 83 of EEOC’s Compliance Manual. Historically, 95 percent of the disclosure requests made under these mechanisms concern closed charge files, and this disclosure pattern is expected to continue into the future, The number of charges filed with the EEOC is expected to continue increasing during FY 2011”“2013, with a concomitant projection that the number of charges resolved during those years will increase as well. As a result, EEOC forecasts that its FOIA and Section 83 activity also will increase.

Based upon the anticipated number of resolutions, the number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests received by EEOC is projected to increase by six percent in FY 2011 to the low to mid-17,000s, rising by FY 2013 to the mid-18,000s. Despite this growth, the EEOC anticipates that the number of FOIA requests pending at the end of each fiscal year will continue to moderate. This is due in large part to the EEOC’s hiring of 31 dedicated records disclosure staff in FY 2009 and the acquisition of technology updates, such as redaction software and a comprehensive unified FOIA tracking system that captures FOIA data and permits the public to file requests and access status information concerning their request on-line.

The data also indicate that the number of charge file disclosure requests under Section 83 of the EEOC Compliance Manual will increase to approximately 8,000 requests in 2011 and to the mid-8,000 range by FY 2015. The growth in the number of Section 83 requests is a direct result of revisions to Section 83 of the EEOC Compliance Manual expanding its coverage to the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the newly enacted Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Before this expansion, Section 83 requests only applied to records under Title VII and the ADA.

Agency Infrastructure and Operations

The EEOC is constantly seeking ways to achieve organizational excellence through sound management of its resources—human, financial and technological.

Human Resources

1. Hiring and Hiring Reform

During FY 2009, the agency embarked on an ambitious hiring program to rebuild the EEOC after eight years of inadequate funding. This past year, the agency set out to hire an additional 125 investigators, 22 trial attorneys, 50 support staff, 10 paralegals and five expert statisticians and labor economists to support the agency’s systemic enforcement and litigation programs. By the end of the fiscal year, the agency had brought on 155 net new hires. This is in addition to backfilling numerous vacancies that had occurred. The agency anticipates continued additional hiring in 2010.

Pursuant to initiatives from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), EEOC’s Office of Human Resources is working together with agency hiring managers and senior officials to implement hiring reforms. These include mapping the Commission’s current hiring process. Carefully mapping the hiring process from the date of a vacancy to the date a new employee is brought on board helps to identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and unnecessary steps. The goal is for the agency’s hiring process to average no more than 80 calendar days. An action plan to achieve that goal is expected to be completed by December 15, 2009.

The EEOC is also revising its Job Opportunity Announcements (JOAs) for the positions that are mission-critical and most frequently posted. The agency is revising these announcements to make them shorter, simpler, less burdensome, and easier for job applicants to read. Consistent with direction from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management, the agency will begin to use the revised JOAs as they are completed. Five have already been completed and an additional five will be completed no later than December 15, 2009.

2. Employee Recognition and Development

Employees are recognized through the agency’s Awards and Recognition Program for significant achievements and ideas that benefit the EEOC. Employees are eligible for special act/achievement awards, Cash in Your Account (CIYA) Awards, time-off awards and the Chairman’s individual and organizational awards.

Also, the agency dedicated $2.5 million in FY 2009 to address critical gaps in knowledge and skills needed by agency investigators, attorneys, program analysts, and other employees, many of whom had not attended a formal training in their entire tenure with the EEOC. In this training effort, which was the largest the agency has conducted in more than a decade, the EEOC focused on tools and approaches for investigating and litigating cases involving systemic discrimination. The agency conducted this training initiative in part by maximizing the use of technology resources to carry out remote, low-cost training where appropriate.

Investments in training and employee development programs and activities will continue to permeate and enhance customer service efforts through emphasis on mission-critical occupations and other key support areas. As new talent comes to the agency through strengthened hiring initiatives, these investments will promote organizational excellence, support the achievement of strategic objectives, and enable the Commission to lay a solid foundation for the future. Ensuring that agency employees are prepared to perform their jobs at a high level will enable the Commission to deliver top-notch customer service.

The EEOC also will build a legacy for the future by ensuring that its succession plans are fully realized and that a leadership cadre vital to its success is properly trained, as the agency implements new aspects of the laws it enforces.

The Commission will maximize its resources by continuing to leverage the use of technology in meeting its employee development needs through online training, blended learning, video conferencing and video streaming, its internal web site and other mechanisms. The agency will emphasize best practices and continue important partnership with state-of-the art providers, including SkillSoft, Cyber Feds, the National Business Center and others, to meet these needs and to make training opportunities more flexible and accessible in a fluid work environment.

3. Improving Employee Satisfaction and Wellness

The Commission carefully reviewed the 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey results to identify: (1) the 10 items on which EEOC had scored lowest compared to the rest of government; (2) any item(s) on which employee satisfaction decreased since the 2006 FHCS; and (3) those Human Capital Assessment and Accountable Framework indices in which the EEOC scored lower than the rest of the government. In response, the agency polled its senior managers to identify the reasons for employee dissatisfaction and selected areas for improvement that are important to the EEOC. The agency then prepared an action plan to address these findings. This action was submitted to OMB in September 2009 as part of the FY 2011 budget process and will be implemented by EEOC’s Office of Human Resources.

The EEOC’s Wellness Program is an example of the agency’s attempts to improve employee satisfaction. This program supports and promotes a healthier lifestyle for EEOC employees. Many EEOC facilities have onsite fitness clubs and health units that offer various education and physical fitness programs. As required, the agency has prepared a wellness inventory and submitted it through OPM’s “Well Check” System.

Information Technology

During the first half of FY 2009, EEOC successfully moved the EEOC Data Center and core nationwide network to a new headquarters location. This move involved coordination across the agency and was completed in a seamless manner with very limited downtime. During the second half of FY 2009, EEOC focused on identifying strategies to avoid the escalation of IT maintenance costs and to lower the operational risks associated with the agency’s aging infrastructure. Market research was conducted to assess managed services, virtualization, consolidation, cloud-computing (software-as-a-service) and improved IT service management.

These studies resulted in the introduction of several new infrastructure initiatives, including: a nationwide managed services contract to refresh desktop/laptop computers and support; selection of a new operating system for agency network file and printer servers; optimization of wide-area network routing; replacement of aging network servers; and consolidation of e-government hosting services to a new managed service provider.

To improve systemic data analysis capabilities further, EEOC developed a new web-based statistical tool to help staff analyze data from multiple EEO-1 Employer Information Reports. To augment e-government efforts and reduce inefficiencies associated with paper processing, EEOC piloted secure electronic transmission of hearings documents between EEOC and federal agencies and implemented a new Freedom of Information Act application for public use. EEOC also refreshed out-dated video conferencing equipment and implemented additional scanning capabilities in field offices to enhance communication and electronic collaboration.

In addition, the agency embarked on a “CaseWorks” pilot project. This project integrated remote access technology with litigation support software and electronic documents/discovery in a centralized environment. This software, including the CaseSoft suite, Summation, and Concordance, is designed for client/server architecture. With this CaseWorks project, attorneys from multiple offices can access the software remotely and work collaboratively.

In FY 2010, EEOC will fully implement the new desktop and network infrastructure referenced above, expand the CaseWorks pilot, refresh aging application hardware, and continue to modify applications to meet new legislative requirements. The focus will be on leveraging new and existing technologies to increase staff efficiency. This includes enhancing user skills related to video conferencing and desktop tools, helping business units define their technology needs and risks, enhancing customer service through rigorous relationship management, and continuing to unleash the power of technology to meet new programmatic demands.

Office Space

In FY 2009, the agency completed the relocation of its headquarters from 1801 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., to One NoMa Station at 131 M Street, N.E. The agency continues to face challenges in meeting the office space demands at its 53 field office locations. Because of the significant increase in hiring, the agency is short of office space at some locations, while carrying excess capacity space at other office locations. The agency continues to plan space requirements for all offices for both the short- and long-term. The EEOC has seven offices with expiring leases in FY 2011 (New Orleans, Cincinnati, Norfolk, San Juan, Greenville, Raleigh and Detroit), and will continue to assess appropriate space allocations and requirements in other offices as required by staffing levels.

Enhanced Public Access to EEOC

While the EEOC has continuously initiated activities designed to better serve the public through its 53 field offices, including e-mail access and web site enhancements, the agency has also become much more accessible through the establishment of the Intake Information Group, an in-house customer service operation. The full transition of this function from the former National Contact Center to the IIG began in FY 2008, with the hiring and training of EEOC staff and the acquisition of technology to support this program. The full transition was completed in February 2009.

Program Evaluations

Program evaluation is an important component of an agency’s effort to assure that a program is operating as intended and achieving results. A program evaluation is a thorough examination of program design or operational effectiveness that uses a rigorous methodology and statistical and analytical tools. It also uses expertise within and outside the program under review to enhance the analytical perspectives and to add credence to the evaluation and recommendations.

In FY 2008, the Commission initiated a nationwide program evaluation of the Priority Charge Handling Procedures, first adopted in 1995, to improve private sector charge process while simultaneously remaining cognizant of the workload demands of the charge inventory. This evaluation is proceeding, and the agency expects a final report with recommendations in FY 2010.

The EEOC currently has the following schedule of program evaluations for completion during the next several years. This schedule will be reviewed as permanent leadership arrives at the EEOC and the agency explores opportunities to conduct additional evaluations.

Program Evaluation Statement of Parameters of the Program Evaluation. Expected Initiation and Completion

Priority Charge Handling Procedures

Evaluate how well the Priority Charge Handling Procedures are working and ways to improve their implementation.

Initiate FY 2007

Complete FY 2010

Outreach/Technical Assistance

Evaluate the effectiveness of fee and non-fee based outreach/technical assistance efforts; for example, agency Technical Assistance Program Seminars (TAPS), Youth@Work activities, speakers at meetings, forums, panels or other activities designated as outreach or technical assistance.

Postponed

EEOC External Communications

Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the EEOC’s external communications efforts, including publicity, the agency’s activities with the media, the external web site, and other public communications efforts.

Initiate FY 2010

Complete FY 2011

Effect of EEOC’s Federal Sector evaluations and assistance

Evaluate the results achieved from EEOC’s evaluation and assistance activities with federal agencies that changed policies, practices or procedures.

Initiate FY 2011

Complete FY 2012

Systemic Enforcement

Evaluate the effectiveness of the EEOC’s systemic enforcement initiative.

Initiate FY 2012

Complete FY 2013

Verification and Validation of Data

The Commission’s activities require accurate enforcement data, as well as reliable financial and human resources information, to assess agency operations and performance results and make good management decisions. The EEOC will continue its efforts to ensure the accuracy of program information and any analysis of the information.

The agency continually reviews the information it collects in various databases for accuracy by using software editing programs and program reviews of a sample of records during field office technical assistance visits. In addition, agency headquarters offices conduct analyses regularly to review the information collected in order to identify any anomalies that indicate erroneous entries requiring correction to collection procedures.

The EEOC has implemented approaches that enable the agency to collect information more rapidly and accurately by eliminating the need to enter information multiple times before it can be reviewed and analyzed. For example, the agency previously deployed a secure, web-based application that enabled businesses to electronically submit their annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to EEOC. This system continues to reduce the need for the manual entry of report data. It also includes automated edits to validate data, calculate totals, and compare statistics against the employer’s prior year submission.

Two additional steps have been taken to improve the accuracy of EEO-1 data received from employers. First, a series of edit checks created for use in the online system have now been applied to EEO-1 reports uploaded by employers. Second, the structure of the online reporting system was restructured for multiple establishment employers required to provide lists of facilities with fewer than 50 employees. These employers had some difficulty in reconciling the numbers in their reports; now an error report is created for them, so they can easily correct such errors.

Similarly, the EEO-4 online system was significantly revised to improve the ease of data entry and incorporates a number of checks to prevent the entry of incorrect data. Additionally, the system was subjected to a security audit to ensure it is compliant with federal standards.

In another effort to ensure the accuracy of data collected and analyzed, the agency implemented a secure, web-based system that enabled all federal agencies to electronically submit annual equal employment opportunity statistics (Form 462). This system continues to improve the quality and timeliness of the information EEOC receives.

Finally, the EEOC continues to improve the collection and validation of information for its Integrated Mission System (IMS), which consolidates mission data on charge intake, investigation, mediation, litigation, and outreach functions into a single shared information system. The IMS includes many automated edit checks and rules to enhance data integrity.

Since several of the Commission’s performance measures require the use of data to assess achievements, it is significant that the agency can now obtain those data much more quickly and with greater data accuracy.

The agency also implemented information quality guidelines and adopted internal procedures which strengthen its ability to verify and validate the quality of data before it is released to the public. In addition, the agency’s Office of Inspector General continues to review aspects of the status of the agency’s data validity and verification procedures, information systems, and databases and offer recommendations for improvements in its reports. The agency uses that information and those recommendations to continually improve its systems and data.