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FY 2014 Performance and Accountability Report

Performance Results

Results Achieved in FY 2014 under Strategic Plan Performance Measures

Overview of the Strategic Plan and Performance Measures

This Performance and Accountability Report is based on the EEOC's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2016 ("Plan"), approved by the Commission on February 22, 2012. In the process of developing the Plan, the agency engaged in a comprehensive assessment of its programs and priorities. As a result, the EEOC believes it is prepared to support the agency's critical mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination, and to pursue its vision for the 21st century of justice and equality in the workplace, by focusing on the following three strategic objectives:

  • Strategic Objective I: To combat employment discrimination through strategic law enforcement. This objective reflects the agency's primary mission of preventing unlawful employment discrimination through the use of: 1) administrative (investigation, mediation and conciliation) and litigation enforcement mechanisms with regard to private employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and state and local government employers; and 2) adjudicatory and oversight mechanisms with regard to federal employers. Seven performance measures were developed for Strategic Objective I.
  • Strategic Objective II: To prevent employment discrimination through education and outreach. This objective reflects the importance of EEOC's efforts to prevent employment discrimination before it occurs. The Commission is authorized to engage in education and outreach activities, including providing training and technical assistance, for those with rights and responsibilities under employment antidiscrimination laws. Four performance measures were developed for Strategic Objective II.
  • Strategic Objective III: To deliver excellent and consistent service through a skilled and diverse workforce and effective systems. This objective recognizes that the EEOC's capacity to deliver excellent and consistent service depends on a skilled workforce and deploying effective systems. Two performance measures were developed for Strategic Objective III.

The Strategic Plan Diagram below outlines the agency's strategic objectives, outcome goals, and performance measures identified in the Plan. Each measure is analyzed in greater detail on the following pages.

EEOC FY 2014 Performance

Measures

Met

Targets Met or Exceeded

Partially Met

Targets Partially Met1

Not Met

Targets Not Met

Not Applicable in FY 2014

14

7

7

0

0

1Description: target partially met Targets Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where (1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed, or (2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.


Strategic Plan
Mission
Stop and Remedy Unlawful Employment Discrimination
Vision
Justice and Equality in the Workplace
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE I STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE II STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE III
Combat employment discrimination through strategic law enforcement. Prevent employment discrimination through education and outreach. Deliver excellent and consistent service through a skilled and diverse workforce and effective systems.

Outcome Goal I.A
Have a broad impact in reducing employment discrimination at the national and local levels.

Strategy I.A.1: Develop and implement a Strategic Enforcement Plan that: (1) establishes EEOC priorities and (2) integrates the EEOC's investigation, conciliation and litigation responsibilities in the private and state and local government sectors; adjudicatory and oversight responsibilities in the federal sector; and research, policy development, and education and outreach activities.

Strategy I.A.2: Rigorously and consistently implement charge and case management systems to focus resources and enforcement on the EEOC's priorities.

Strategy I.A.3: Use administrative and litigation mechanisms to identify and attack discriminatory policies and other instances of systemic discrimination.

Strategy I.A.4: Use EEOC decisions and oversight activities to target pervasive discriminatory practices and policies in federal agencies.

Outcome Goal I.B
Remedy discriminatory practices and secure meaningful relief for victims of discrimination.

Strategy I.B.1: Ensure that remedies end discriminatory practices and deter future discrimination.

Strategy I.B.2: Seek remedies that provide meaningful relief to individual victims of discrimination.

Outcome Goal II.A
Members of the public understand and know how to exercise their right to employment free of discrimination.

Outcome Goal II.B
Employers, unions and employment agencies (covered entities) prevent discrimination and better resolve EEO issues, thereby creating more inclusive workplaces.

Strategy II.A.1: Target outreach to vulnerable workers and underserved communities.

Strategy II.B.1 Target outreach to small and new businesses.

Strategy II.A.2 and II.B.2 Provide up-to-date and accessible guidance on the requirements of employment antidiscrimination laws.

Outcome Goal III.A
All interactions with the public are timely, of high quality, and informative.

Strategy III.A.1 Effectively engage in workforce development and planning, including identifying, cultivating, and sustaining a skilled and diverse workforce.

Strategy III.A.2 Rigorously and consistently implement charge and case management systems to deliver excellent service.

Strategy III.A.3 Use innovative technology to facilitate responsive interactions and streamline agency processes.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE I STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE II STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE III

Performance Measures

Performance Measures

Performance Measures

Performance Measure 1 for Strategy I.A.1
By FY 2016, the EEOC develops, issues, implements, evaluates, and revises, as necessary, a Strategic Enforcement Plan.

Performance Measure 2 for Strategy I.A.2 and Strategy III.A.2
By FY 2016, TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet the criteria established in the new Quality Control Plan.

Performance Measure 3 for Strategy I.A.2 and Strategy III.A.2
By FY 2016, 100% of federal sector case inventory is categorized according to a new case management system and TBD% of hearings and appeals meet the criteria established in the new federal sector Quality Control Plan.

Performance Measure 4 for Strategy I.A.3
By FY 2016, 22-24% of the cases in the agency's litigation docket are systemic cases.

Performance Measure 5 for Strategy I.A.4
By FY 2016, the EEOC uses an integrated data system to identify potentially discriminatory policies or practices in federal agencies and has issued and evaluated TBD number of compliance plans to address areas of concern.

Performance Measure 6 for Strategies I.B.1 and I.B.2
By FY 2016, 65-70% of the EEOC's administrative and legal resolutions contain targeted, equitable relief.

Performance Measure 7 for Strategies I.B.1 and I.B.2
By FY 2016, 15-17% of resolutions by FEPAs contain targeted, equitable relief.

Performance Measure 8 for Strategy II.A.1
By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 108 significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities.

Performance Measure 9 for Strategy II.B.1
By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 86 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new business (or with businesses directly).

Performance Measure 10 for Strategies II.A.1 and II.B.1
By FY 2013, the EEOC implements a social media plan.

Performance Measure 11 for Strategies II.A.2 and II.B.2
The EEOC reviews, updates, and/or augments with plain language materials its sub-regulatory guidance, as necessary.

Performance Measure 12 for Strategy III.A.1
The EEOC strengthens the skills and improves the diversity of its workforce.

Performance Measure 2 for Strategy I.A.2 and Strategy III.A.2
By FY 2016, TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet the criteria established in the new Quality Control Plan.

Performance Measure 3 for Strategy I.A.2 and Strategy III.A.2
By FY 2016, 100% of federal sector case inventory are categorized according to a new case management system and 50% of hearings and appeals meet the criteria established in the new federal sector Quality Control Plan.

Performance Measure 13 for Strategy III.A.3
The EEOC improves the private sector charge process to streamline services and increase responsiveness to customers throughout the process.

BUDGETARY RESOURCES MEASURE

Performance Measure 14

The EEOC's budgetary resources for FY 2014 - 2017 align with the Strategic Plan.

Results Achieved Under Specific Performance Measures

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE I:
Combat employment discrimination through strategic law enforcement.

To further the strategic law enforcement objective, the EEOC has focused on outcome goals that are central to the agency's mission. These are to: 1) have a broad impact in reducing employment discrimination at the national and local levels; and 2) remedy discriminatory practices and secure meaningful relief for victims of discrimination.

To have broad impact in reducing employment discrimination, the agency has identified and is implementing four key strategies pursuant to the agency's Strategic Plan and the administrative priorities established by the Office of the Chair:

  • Develop and implement a Strategic Enforcement Plan that: 1) establishes EEOC priorities; and 2) integrates EEOC's investigation, conciliation, and litigation responsibilities in the private and state and local government sectors; adjudicatory and oversight responsibilities in the federal sector; and research, policy development, and education and outreach activities;
  • Rigorously and consistently implement charge and case management systems to focus resources and enforcement on agency priorities;
  • Use administrative and litigation mechanisms to identify and attack discriminatory policies and other instances of systemic discrimination; and
  • Use agency decisions and oversight activities to target dal occupations were ces and policies in federal agencies.

The EEOC has developed Performance Measures 1 through 6 to track its progress in pursuing these strategies and Performance Measure 7 to track the progress of its state and local partners.

Strategic Enforcement Plan

Performance Measure 1: By FY 2016, the EEOC develops, issues, implements, evaluates, and revises, as necessary, a Strategic Enforcement Plan.
FY 2014
Target

The agency fully implements the Strategic Enforcement Plan.

Result

The agency continued to implement key elements of the Strategic Enforcement Plan, as directed, in FY 2014.

Partially Met

Target Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

Under its first objective, the Strategic Plan directed the agency to develop a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP), which was approved on December 17, 2012. The SEP 1) establishes the EEOC's national priorities and 2) integrates the agency's investigation, conciliation and litigation responsibilities in the private and public sectors; adjudicatory and oversight responsibilities in the federal sector; and research, policy development, and education and outreach activities.

The six SEP priorities are: 1) eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring; 2) protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers; 3) addressing emerging and developing issues; 4) enforcing equal pay laws; 5) preserving access to the legal system; and 6) preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach. Its implementation will ensure a targeted, concentrated, and deliberate effort to pursue priority issues and practices that significantly affect applicants, employees, and employers.

For FY 2014, the target for this measure was to fully implement the SEP. The EEOC achieved the following milestones during the 2014 reporting period; 1) the Chair approved the District Complement Plans (DCPs) in November 2013 and District offices began implementing their DCPs; 2) agency leadership were briefed on the training module and plans for training staff on SEP priorities in December 2013; 3) staff were trained on priority issues in January 2014; 4) the agency began coding charges and cases in IMS to reflect priorities in the SEP, the DCPs, and the Federal Sector Complement Plan in January 2014; 5) in August 2014, the agency trained 140 new investigative staff on the SEP priorities; and 6) in September 2014, local and area directors and enforcement managers met to discuss training and implementation strategies.

The SEP also required quarterly Commissioner briefings on the implementation of the SEP and on the effectiveness of the delegation of authority to the field offices, to the Office of Federal Operations, and to the General Counsel. The quarterly Commission briefings for FY 2014 were held in December 2013 (initially delayed due to the October 2013 Federal Government shutdown), and in February and May 2014. The quarterly meetings have been successful in keeping the Commission informed as to how SEP priority areas are being implemented in the field. The briefings also evidence increased collaboration among the program offices on priority issues across private and federal sector enforcement, which is one of the primary goals of the SEP.

These steps toward full implementation of the SEP have generally been successful. However, the agency recognizes that successful integration of the SEP requires ongoing training, management and assessment, particularly concerning the rigorous application of the Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP), as called for in the EEOC's Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. This is an area that will be explored and addressed during the evaluation period of the SEP, which the Strategic Plan states should take place during FY 2015.

The SEP modified the delegation of litigation authority to the General Counsel by requiring that one litigation recommendation from each District Office be presented for Commission consideration each fiscal year.

The SEP authorized the development and approval of several plans as follows:

Communications and Outreach Plan: The SEP required the development of a multi-year nationwide communications and outreach plan designed to ensure consistency and coordination in message content and management of the agency's communications, program outreach, technical assistance, and legislative outreach. The plan is in development and should be finalized in FY 2015.

Research and Data Plan: The SEP required the development of a multi-year research and data plan designed to provide a proactive and strategic approach for collecting data and engaging in research projects that will further the work of the agency, including the agency's SEP priorities. A draft of the plan, developed by the Office of Research and Information Planning with input from stakeholders, was circulated informally to the Commission in the fourth quarter of FY 2014. The plan should be presented to the Commission for a vote in the first quarter of FY 2015.

Federal Sector Organization Plan: The SEP required a full evaluation of the current structure of the agency's federal sector hearings program, including a specific focus on the placement and status of Administrative Judges in that structure, as well as related issues impacting the effectiveness of the program. To ensure that the Federal Sector Organization Plan would be well-informed, the EEOC contracted with the Administrative Conference of the United States to conduct an organizational study of the agency's federal sector program, which was completed on March 31, 2014. The Office of the Chair solicited comments from the Commissioners and from agency staff on the report and received extensive comments

During this time period, the Commission also voted, in its Regulatory Agenda, to take a comprehensive look at its regulations governing the federal sector program, established in 29 CFR 1614.

The Office of the Chair is considering all the input received on these federal sector reform projects in order to present a Federal Sector Organization Plan to the Commission for review and consideration. The SEP requires that the Commission vote on recommendations concerning the structure of the federal sector hearings program.

Quality Control Plan

Performance Measure 2: By FY 2016, TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet the criteria established in the new Quality Control Plan.
FY 2014
Target

Apply the criteria and the peer review assessment system to a statistically significant sample of investigations and conciliations. Analyze the results, develop a baseline of existing quality and set targets for improved quality.

Result

Commission vote on the draft Quality Control Plan and peer review assessment process developed in FY 2013 was extended by the Office of the Chair (OCH).

Performance plans incorporated quality measures and additional training provided to staff focused on quality service; OCH began the process for developing Standard Operating Procedures as required under the SEP, by appointing a workgroup in 4th QTR FY 2014.

Partially Met

Target Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 2 required the EEOC to apply the criteria from the agency's approved Quality Control Plan (QCP) and the peer review assessment system drafted in FY 2013 to a statistically significant sample of investigations and conciliations. From the resulting analysis, the agency is required to develop a baseline from which to measure the quality of the EEOC's existing investigations and conciliations, as well as establish targets for improved quality performance directed by the agency's strategic plan. The Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) amended the deadline for voting on the QCP to April 30, 2013. The QCP work group began meeting in January 2013, sought public input in February, and the Commission held a public meeting for the development of the plan in March. In May 2013, the work group requested public input on a set of principles for the QCP. See http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-10-13c.cfm.

To allow for additional review and input by the full Commission, a vote on the QCP was postponed until the second quarter of FY 2014. After extensive discussions, former Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien, in consultation with other Commissioners, decided to postpone further a vote on the QCP in order to work toward a consensus approach. Current Chair Yang will consult with the full Commission regarding the adoption of a QCP.

In furtherance of the Commission's objective to continuously improve, the agency sought to strengthen the quality of its efforts in a number of ways, including incorporating quality measures into performance plans, conducting additional training for staff to ensure quality, and developing management strategies with agency leaders to implement in their offices. The Office of the Chair is proceeding to develop Standard Operating Procedures, as required by the SEP, which will address many of the quality control recommendations included in the draft QCP. In the fourth quarter of FY 2014, the Office of the Chair appointed a work group to develop Standard Operating Procedures.

Case Management System

Performance Measure 3: By FY 2016, 100% of federal sector case inventory is categorized according to a new case management system and 50% of hearings and appeals meet the criteria established in the new federal sector Quality Control Plan.
FY 2014
Target

100% of all incoming hearings requests and appeals and 50% of old case inventory are categorized.

Develop a Federal Sector Quality Control Plan to establish criteria for the quality of federal sector hearings and appeals.

Result

83% of the agency's pending appellate case inventory was categorized and 100% of incoming appeals were categorized.

Pilot offices continue to use categorization on new requests for the hearings module with up to 70% success; further expansion of the pilot to five additional offices began in 1st QTR FY 2015.

Finalization of the federal sector QCP is pending approval of the private sector QCP.

Partially Met

Target Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

For FY 2014, Performance Measure 3 required the agency to develop a federal sector case management system and to have 100 percent of all incoming hearings requests and appeals and 50 percent of old case inventory categorized according to the new case management system. An additional requirement included developing a Federal Sector Quality Control Plan (federal sector QCP) that would establish the criteria for measuring the quality of EEOC's federal sector hearings and appeals.

With respect to federal sector appeals, at the end of FY 2014, the agency's appellate inventory consisted of 4,541 appeals. The agency exceeded its annual target by systematically categorizing 3,574, or 83 percent, of the agency's old appeals under the new case management system. As for new inventory, there were 2,891 appeals docketed in the first three quarters of FY 2014. (Note: for purposes of Performance Measure 3, new inventory was determined to include only "those cases docketed during the period of October 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 to account for any lag in the agency's submission of documentation necessary for the categorization.") EEOC categorized 2,505 of those cases (with 1,195 cases having been adjudicated), or 100 percent of the appeals docketed in FY 2014 quarters 1-3 for which the agency had the complete case record. The remaining 386 matters fell outside of the new inventory designation because the records in those cases were not complete.

With respect to hearings before the agency's administrative judges, in January 2014, the agency began to pilot a hearings case management system to promote a more effective and efficient hearing process. In the four pilot offices, New York, St. Louis, Charlotte, and San Francisco, approximately 70 percent of all incoming receipts processed after January 2014 had an initial conference and cases were categorized pursuant to that office's case management system.

With regard to the Federal Sector Quality Control Plan (federal sector QCP), in the third quarter of FY 2014, the agency convened a joint program work group to develop outlines of the federal sector QCP. Additionally, senior program office management and supervisory administrative judges participated in a workshop during their headquarters training held on June 4 and 5, 2014, where the broad concepts of the federal sector QCP were analyzed. A federal sector quality control plan will be developed consistent with the standard operating procedures and training initiatives reflecting the quality standards in the private sector QCP.

Systemic Cases

Performance Measure 4: By FY 2016, 22-24% of the cases on the agency's active litigation docket are systemic cases.
FY 2014
Target

Increase targets (i.e., the percentage of systemic cases on the active docket) to 19-21%.

Result

25%

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 4 was to increase the percentage of systemic cases on the agency's litigation docket to approximately 19-21 percent of all active cases. Under the EEOC's Strategic Plan, systemic cases are defined as pattern or practice, policy, or class cases where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on the industry, occupation, or geographic area. A baseline of 20 percent was established by the agency in FY 2012 because it represented the proportion of systemic cases on the active litigation docket at the end of the fiscal year. Utilizing the baseline, as well as a comprehensive review of historical suit filing and resolution trends, and systemic case development trends, the agency projected targets for performance through FY 2016. By FY 2016, the agency projects that 22-24 percent of cases on its active litigation docket will be systemic cases. At the end of FY 2014, the agency reported that 57 out of 228, or 25 percent, of the cases on its litigation docket were systemic, exceeding the annual target.

Federal Sector Workforce Analysis

Performance Measure 5: By FY 2016, the EEOC uses an integrated data system to identify potentially discriminatory policies or practices in federal agencies and has issued and evaluated TBD number of compliance plans to address areas of concern.
FY 2014
Target

Conduct TBD number of on-site program evaluations focused on identified priorities and issue compliance plans.

Result

The agency completed two evaluations focused on the Commission's SEP Priority 5 - Preserving Access to the Legal System and issued one compliance plan in June 2014.

Partially Met

Target Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

The federal government is the largest employer in the United States. Therefore, reducing unlawful employment discrimination in the federal sector is an integral part of achieving Strategic Objective I and fulfilling the mission of the agency. The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 5 required the agency to conduct a number (TBD) of on-site program evaluations focused on federal sector priorities identified in FY 2014 and issue corresponding compliance plans. The initiative that began in FY 2013 required the EEOC to create and implement a data system of complaint, hearing, appeal and statistical employee data in order to establish priorities in the federal sector. This would be an integrated data system that can identify discriminatory policies or practices in agencies and help set priorities for the prevention of discrimination in the federal government. The agency was successful in designing and implementing several data capture/reporting sources to be used in the new online data system during fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

In FY 2014, the agency completed two program evaluations focused on the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan Priority 5 (Preserving Access to the Legal System) and issued one compliance plan. A program evaluation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was conducted to assess whether TSA employees had adequate information about how to access the EEO complaint process in compliance with laws, regulations, and other written instructions enforced by the EEOC, and whether employees were discouraged from filing EEO complaints. A compliance plan was issued to TSA on June 18, 2014.

The agency undertook additional activities in support of EEOC's SEP/FCP priority concerning preserving access to the legal system. Specifically, in the fourth quarter of FY 2014, the agency issued a Practical Guide consisting of a compilation of practices and ideas for federal agencies to efficiently distribute to their workforce concerning the EEO complaint process, laws, and regulations. The report is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/upload/Practical-Guide-to-Providing-EEO-Program-Info-to-Employees-SEP-2014.pdf.

Additionally, the agency published a report examining five years of appellate decisions concerning improper dismissals of EEO complaints in the federal sector. The report identified common errors by federal agencies in dismissing complaints of discrimination on procedural grounds as well as strategies for agencies to better apply the dismissal provisions of the EEOC's regulations. The report also identified agencies that had higher than average rates of reversals on appeal of procedural dismissals. The report is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/dismissals.cfm.

The EEOC continues to collect data for its goals under the agency's priorities of: Enforcing Equal Pay Laws; Addressing Emerging and Developing Issues; Protecting Other Vulnerable Workers; and Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring. The agency will be able to address additional national priorities with the completion of a fully operational, online registration platform in the Federal Sector EEO Portal (FedSEP) that captures not only MD 715 and Form 462 data, but hearings and appeals data as well.*


* Note: EEOC's Management Directive 715 or MD-715 (Effective October 1, 2003), provides policy guidance and standards for establishing and maintaining effective affirmative programs of equal employment opportunity under Section 717 of Title VII (PART A) and effective affirmative action programs under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act (PART B). Form 462, allows federal agency administrators to enter complaints processing data for the Annual Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints on EEOC's Form 462 website.

Administrative and Legal Resolutions with Targeted Relief

Performance Measure 6: By FY 2016, a 60-65% of the EEOC's administrative and legal resolutions contain targeted, equitable relief.
FY 2014
Target

Increase targets by 63-67% or maintain targets.

Result

The proportion of administrative and legal resolutions containing TER was increased to 73.5%.

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 6 was to increase the proportion of administrative and legal resolutions currently containing targeted, equitable relief (TER) to within a range of 63-67 percent. Targeted, equitable relief means non-monetary and non-generic relief (other than the posting of notices in the workplace about the case and its resolution), which explicitly addresses the discriminatory employment practices at issue in the case, and which provides remedies to the aggrieved individuals or prevents similar violations in the future. In addition, the agency was required to establish a baseline of existing TER in resolutions in order to project future targets for different types of TER.

In April 2014, new i-Meeting classes on the subject of TER were delivered to both field enforcement and litigation staff to provide ongoing guidance. The guidance also provided additional details about TER and reinforced the concepts for staff to use in their resolution of charges and cases, as well as information about recording relevant information in IMS. At year end, the agency had 850 administrative and legal resolutions with TER out of a total of 1,157 resolutions, or 73.5 percent, which exceeds the target for FY 2014.

FEPA Resolutions with Targeted Relief

Performance Measure 7: By FY 2016, a 15-17% of resolutions by FEPAs contain targeted, equitable relief.
FY 2014
Target

FEPAs increase targets by 13-15% or maintain targets.

Result

The proportion of FEPA reported resolutions containing TER was increased to 16%.

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 7 was to increase the proportion of resolutions reported by the state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) that contained targeted, equitable relief (TER) to within a range of 13-15 percent. In FY 2013 the agency determined the baseline percentage of merit factor resolutions containing TER by reporting FEPAs was 14 percent. To better capture the variance in the number of FEPA resolutions achieved through TER, the agency developed a series of ranges for future targets through FY 2016 to include an increase in FEPA resolutions with TER within a range of 13-15 percent in FY 2014; 14-16 percent in FY 2015; and 15-17 percent in FY 2016. (Baseline percentages established under Performance Measure 7 for FEPAs are different from Performance Measure 6 due to variations between charge processing systems at the FEPAs with whom the EEOC has work-sharing agreements).

During FY 2014, the agency invited FEPA staff to attend the joint i-Meeting presented on TER, conducted in April 2014. Further discussions were held on the topic of TER during the August 2014 FEPA conference. By year-end, there were 1,027 FEPA merit resolutions with TER out of 6,616 merit resolutions, or 16 percent, which also exceeded the FY 2014 target.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE II:
Prevent employment discrimination through education and outreach.

In FY 2014, the agency continued its proactive outreach program to meet the needs of diverse audiences across the nation. The EEOC partnered with the employer community, colleges and universities, advocacy groups, immigrant and farm worker communities, governmental entities, and other stakeholders to foster strategies to recognize and prevent discrimination in the workplace.

Under Strategic Objective II of the Plan, the agency established the following outcome goals: 1) members of the public understand and know how to exercise their right to employment free of discrimination; and 2) employers, unions, and employment agencies (covered entities) better address and resolve EEO issues, thereby creating more inclusive workplaces.

The three strategies for achieving the goals of Strategic Objective II can be summarized as follows:

  • Target outreach to vulnerable workers and underserved communities;
  • Target outreach to small and new businesses; and
  • Provide up-to-date and accessible guidance on the requirements of employment antidiscrimination laws.

Performance Measures 8 through 11 were developed to track our progress in pursuing these strategies.

Vulnerable and Underserved Communities

Performance Measure 8: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 108 significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities.
FY 2014
Target

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities increases by 10%, nationally, or to 108.

Result

New guidance was issued to District Offices including approaches to identifying partners and activities, reporting on results, as well as maintaining significant partnerships.

The number of significant partnerships increased to 116.

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

Performance Measures 8 and 9 focus on rewarding and encouraging interactive and sustained partnerships with community organizations and businesses to expand the aqency's reach. For these two measures, the agency defined "significant partnerships" as an interactive and sustained relationship with an organization, community group, advocacy group, or other entity that represents or serves vulnerable or underserved communities and enhances EEOC's ability to reach those communities.

The baseline established in FY 2012 identified approximately 90 significant partnerships within the vulnerable worker and underserved communities for Performance Measure 8. The FY 2014 target for this measure was to increase the number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities by 10 percent, nationally, or to 108 total partnerships. By mid-year 2014, discussions held with District Directors and Program Analysts provided additional guidance on how to maintain significant partnerships, report on results, and maximize outreach efforts and partnership development strategies within the vulnerable worker and/or underserved communities that the EEOC supports.

As a result, the agency increased its partnerships during the year by 14 and exceeded the FY 2014 goal of 108 to reach a total of 116 partnerships, or an increase of 13.7 percent over the FY 2013 level. Among the new partnerships are agreements with several consulates representing the countries of Mexico, Ecuador, and the Philippines, as well as other local organizations representing vulnerable workers and underserved communities. The EEOC is are an active member in all of the White House Initiative-AAPI (WHIAPPI) and regions around the country. In addition, the agency has continuously worked with consulates of various Latin American countries this fiscal year.

Small and New Businesses

Performance Measure 9: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 86 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new business (or with businesses directly).
FY 2014
Target

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new businesses (or with businesses directly) increases by 10%, nationally, or to 86.

Result

New guidance was issued to District Offices including approaches to identifying partners and activities, reporting on results, as well as maintaining significant partnerships.

The number of significant partnerships increased to 92.

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

In FY 2012, the agency established a baseline of approximately 71 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small and new businesses (or with businesses directly), which contributes to the agency's objective of preventing employment discrimination through education and outreach to employers. The FY 2014 target for this measure was to increase the number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new business communities (or with businesses directly) by 10 percent, nationally, or to 86 total partnerships. Concurrent with the new guidance issued in FY 2014 by the agency for Performance Measure 8, District Directors and Program Analysts discussed how to maintain significant partnerships, report on results, and maximize outreach efforts and partnership development strategies within the small and new business communities.

As a result, the agency increased its partnerships during the year by 11, exceeding the goal of 86 to reach a total of 92 partnerships in FY 2014, or a 13.6 percent increase over FY 2013. New partnerships in some jurisdictions include local and ethnic Chambers of Commerce and Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapters. Also included are other federal agencies such as OFCCP, SBA; as well as state entities - the Mississippi Small Business Development Center and the Georgia Department of Labor Employer Committees.

Social Media Plan

Performance Measure 10: By FY 2013, the EEOC implements a social media plan.

FY

Target

Assess the social media plan and update as necessary.

Result

Assessments initiated on the agency's fully implemented Social Media Plan.

Partially Met

Target Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

Performance Measure 10 ensures that the agency moves into the 21st century through the utilization of social media technologies to reach EEOC's stakeholders. .

The FY 2014 target for performance under this measure was to assess the effectiveness of the agency's social media plan implemented in FY 2013, and make appropriate adjustments as needed for improvement. During the first half of FY 2014, the EEOC continued to solidify its social media presence and infrastructure, including fully implementing the agency's social media guidelines. The implementation of the guidelines overall has been successful, although the lack of a formal agency wide communications infrastructure continues to be a challenge. It has also been a challenge to secure content on a regular basis for the various portals. It will be useful for the agency to continue to seek out ways to respond to these structural challenges.

Milestones reached in FY 2014 include the expanded use of media tools and resources available to the agency. For example, the EEOC established an agency Facebook page, piloting its implementation this fiscal year. The Facebook page, created in April 2014, now has 686 "likes" and has reached over 70,000 people. The EEOC continued to institutionalize the new social media tools, including the Twitter account (@EEOCNews), the Spanish-language Twitter feed (@EEOCespanol), and the YouTube channel (Youtube.com/theeeoc). To date, the agency has reached 4,289 Twitter followers on @EEOCNews and sent 2,714 tweets. There are 232 Twitter followers on @EEOCespanol which sent 2,198 tweets. Ninety-six individuals or entities subscribed to the agency's Youtube channel (Youtube.com/theeeoc) with 15 videos and 7,356 views. The agency further augmented its capacity by hiring a Public Affairs Specialist to focus on better utilizing social media and help develop and implement agency wide media initiatives.

The Communications and Outreach Plan, authorized by the agency's Strategic Enforcement Plan, will incorporate the social media planning and guidelines. EEOC continues to review existing social media accounts and work with program offices to assess their effectiveness. The agency also began to use social media as a way to advance the EEOC's legislative work, including monitoring social media accounts of key legislative resources. In addition, the agency continued its efforts to convene the Communications Content Committee (C3) (i.e., the intra-agency workgroup created to help strategically manage and develop content for the EEOC's website that can be subsequently used for any social media platform developed by the agency), and established an infrastructure to develop content for social media, as well as better anticipate, plan, and manage the agency's communication outreach needs.

Sub-Regulatory Guidance Review and Revision

Performance Measure 11: The EEOC reviews, updates, and/or augments with plain language materials its sub-regulatory guidance, as necessary.
FY 2014
Target

Consistent with Commission priorities, submit at least two plain language revisions of substantive policy documents to replace at least two other outdated guidance documents.

Result

Three documents were approved and released to the public.

Met or Exceeded

Target Exceeded

Performance Measure 11 ensures that the EEOC's sub-regulatory guidance and documents are reviewed and that, where necessary, they are updated and accompanied by plain language text. The agency's enforcement work in the private sector, its adjudicatory and oversight work in the federal sector, and its outreach and education work all depend on the availability of up-to-date and accessible materials explaining the laws it enforces and how to comply with those laws. Although the regulations the EEOC issues set the basic legal framework for the implementation of those laws, sub-regulatory materials, including the EEOC Compliance Manual, provide more tangible assistance on the rights and responsibilities under such laws.

During the fiscal year, the agency exceeded that target for performance under this measure and approved and released three sub-regulatory documents to the public. On July 14, 2014, the Commission issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, the first update of policy guidance on pregnancy discrimination in more than 30 years. The guidance analyzes the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to pregnant workers with pregnancy-related impairments. It includes a section on recommended Best Practices http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_guidance.cfm. Also issued on July 14, were two related technical assistance documents about pregnancy discrimination. A Question and Answer document http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_qa.cfm and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/pregnancy_factsheet.cfm.

On March 10, 2014, the EEOC and the Federal Trade Commission jointly issued technical assistance factsheets about employment background checks, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know. Both documents summarize in simplified terms the basics of the federal EEO laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act as they apply to employers requesting and using personal background information to screen applicants and employees. These documents are available on the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employers.cfm and http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employees.cfm.

On March 6, 2014, the Commission issued a technical assistance document, Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities, on religious discrimination with an accompanying fact sheet. The documents provide practical advice and examples for stakeholders on disparate treatment, non-selection, segregation, harassment, accommodation, and retaliation issues arising from religious garb and grooming practices of applicants and employees. As technical assistance, these documents do not contain new policy or legal requirements. Copies of these documents are available on the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/qa_religious_garb_grooming.cfm and http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs_religious_garb_grooming.cfm.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE III:
Deliver Excellent and Consistent Service through a Skilled and Diverse Workforce and Effective Systems.

The intent of this objective is to ensure that the EEOC delivers excellent and consistent service through its efforts to support a skilled workforce while deploying effective systems - many of which service the public directly. Effective customer service and operating systems can positively influence the general public's understanding of the Commission's ability to address their employment discrimination concerns in the workplace. As a result, this measure was designed to focus on issues regarding staff and infrastructure, which are mission critical components of any successful organization.

The ultimate benefit is that all interactions with the public are timely, of high quality, and informative. As noted in Strategic Objective I, it is a significant agency priority to enhance the timeliness and ensure the continued quality of enforcement activities in the private, state and local government, and federal sectors. To accomplish this, the EEOC must invest in the people who carry out the agency's mission through workforce development and planning. Moreover, given the agency's mission, it is also important that the EEOC's workforce be diverse. The agency must not only serve as an example to other private, state and local government, and federal employers, but should reflect the populations it serves. Finally, to improve the agency's customer service, the EEOC must ensure the effectiveness of its systems by leveraging technology to streamline, standardize, and expedite its critical functions.

To these ends, the Commission developed three strategies for achieving Strategic Objective III:

  • Effectively engage in workforce development and planning, including identifying, cultivating, and sustaining a skilled and diverse workforce;
  • Rigorously and consistently implement charge and case management systems to deliver excellent and consistent service; and
  • Use innovative technology to facilitate responsive interactions and streamline agency processes.

For this Objective, EEOC has adopted Performance Measures 12 and 13 to support and monitor the agency's progress toward our FY 2016 targets.

Workforce Quality, Diversity, and Skills

Performance Measure 12: The EEOC strengthens the skills and improves the diversity of its workforce.
FY 2014
Target (a)

Number of employees with disabilities.

413

Result

405

Partially Met

Target Partially Met

FY 2014
Target (b)

Number of employees with targeted disabilities.

90

Result

68

Partially Met

Target Partially Met

FY 2014
Target (c)

Percentage of hires made within 78 days.

50%

Result

26%

Not Met

Target Not Met

Partially Met

Overall Targets Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 12, Subpart (a) was to increase the number of persons hired with disabilities by 20 percent of the EEOC's workforce over five years, or at least 29 employees with disabilities each year over the FY 2013 target of 413 employees with disabilities to 442 total. Successful performance under Subpart (b) was to increase the number of employees with targeted disabilities by five percent, or at least 11 individuals each year over the FY 2013 target of 90 employees with targeted disabilities to 101 total. And finally, Subpart (c) required the agency to improve and streamline the hiring process to increase the percentage of all hires made within 78 days to 75 percent in FY 2014.

By the end of FY 2014, the agency had only partially met its targets for Performance Measure 12. Overall, hiring and recruitment in FY 2014 increased. As a result, the agency was able to exceed its administrative target of hiring at least 29 employees with disabilities in FY 2014 under Subpart (a), by employing 73 persons with disabilities. This brings the annual number of hires to 405, which is short of the targeted 442 staff with disabilities projected for hire in the fiscal year. Similarly, for the number of employees hired with targeted disabilities under Subpart (b); where the agency exceeded its administrative target of at least 11 persons with targeted disabilities hired annually - bringing on board 12 new staff members for a total of 68 persons hired with targeted disabilities - far short of the 101 FY 2014 goal. Timely hires under Subpart (c) were also impacted by a number of factors both internal and external to the agency. Of the reported 363 new hires-to-date, approximately 95 were made within 78 days, or 26 percent, which is substantially below the 2014 target for timely hires.

The agency implemented significant strategies that helped the EEOC meet its annual human capital goals under Subparts (a) and (b). These strategies included: 1) Utilizing Schedule A Hiring Authority as a targeted recruitment tool to increase the number of employees with disabilities; 2) Employing targeted recruitment methods to increase the number of employees hired with targeted disabilities; and 3) Redesigning the Disability Management Program to enhance the Reasonable Accommodation Services and practices offered to employees and managers. Even with concerted effort, contributing factors impeding the agency's hiring goals included the volume of hiring requests, requests for re-announcements, extensions of certificates, changes to the area of consideration, and extended reporting dates. Meeting these aggressive targets will continue to be a priority for the agency in FY 2015.

The Human Capital Goals for FY 2014, as identified in the agency's Human Capital Management Plan are:

  1. Workforce planning - enhance the ability to plan further into the future and better integrate Full Time Equivalents (FTE), budget, and workload metrics into the planning process.
  2. Performance management - continue to redesign the current non-SES performance management program to foster a high performance culture; encourage clear expectations and continuous feedback; differentiate high, satisfactory, and poor performers in a clear and meaningful way; and align employee performance with the agency's Strategic Plan and other key administrative priorities.
  3. Diverse and Inclusive Workforce - enhance the ability to attract, hire, and retain highly skilled and highly motivated staff through the development of a three to five year training and development strategic plan.

In FY 2014, the agency developed a workforce analysis and plan by utilizing workforce data to assist leadership in human resources decision-making, closing competency gaps, and projecting the future human capital needs of the agency. In FY 2014, these human capital goals extended beyond the agency's formalized mentoring program to include implementation of a situational mentoring program that will enhance the ability to develop and retain a highly skilled and motivated workforce. In FY 2015, the EEOC will incorporate strategic workforce planning and human capital management into its basic business operations to ensure continual improvement and effectiveness.

Performance management efforts continued in FY 2014, when the agency piloted a talent management tool for supervisors and their employees to use as a platform to implement and operate the agency's new performance management system. Toward that goal, competencies for support positions in the agency's mission-critical occupations were identified in FY 2013. As the new system is developed, additional competencies will be established in FY2015 for the remaining positions within the agency. The new system was also tested as a tool for supervisors and employees to use in closing competency gaps. An automated system for senior executive performance plans is scheduled to be piloted later in the fiscal year. The long-term goal is to create a performance culture that helps the EEOC become a high performing agency.

By leveraging diversity and promoting inclusion, the EEOC moves closer to achieving its mission to "stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination" and the vision of "justice and equality in the workplace." In compliance with Executive Order 13583 on Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, the EEOC developed a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (the "D&I Strategic Plan") and a policy statement, which were issued agency-wide in the second quarter of FY 2013. To help implement the action items in the D&I Strategic Plan, the EEOC convened a Diversity and Inclusion Council. Several Headquarters' offices worked jointly on the Diversity & Inclusion Work plan that, along with the Diversity Council Charter, will guide the work of the Council. These efforts will continue through FY 2015.

During third quarter FY 2014, the agency trained District Directors and approximately 200 managers, supervisors, and program analyst at the Headquarters and Field level on diversity and inclusion. This was in addition to the training already provided in FY 2013 to the National Diversity and Inclusion Council in June 2013, the Diversity and Inclusion Sub-Councils in July 2013, and Headquarter SES staff in August 2013. In addition, the EEOC has committed funds to provide diversity and inclusion training for all non-supervisory employees in FY 2015. In FY 2014, the National Council created sub-groups to better implement the goals developed in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and have undertaken some significant planning activities that will be implemented in FY2015.

The EEOC will continue to work with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in implementing Executive Order 13583, including working to reconcile the President's diversity and inclusion efforts with the EEOC's Management Directive 715 requirements. (See Management Directive 715, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Oct, 2003) http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/directives/md715.cfm).

Charge Process Responsiveness

Performance Measure 13: The EEOC improves the private sector charge process to streamline services and increase responsiveness to customers throughout the process.
FY 2014
Target

Meet targets determined in FY 2012.

Result

The portal software, scheduling tool, and professional services contracts were awarded in 4th QTR FY 2014; work groups were engaged in the 3rd and 4th QTRs, and project plans were in the process of finalization.

Partially Met

Target Partially Met*

* Target(s) Partially Met: A rating assigned to target results where: 1) at least half of the activities targeted for completion were completed; or 2) EEOC was unable to assess the results because full year data was not yet available.

Performance Measure 13 requires the agency to leverage technology to improve the private and state and local government sectors charge process, including streamlining services and increasing responsiveness to customers throughout the process. This measure includes three primary projects: 1) online charge status (also called milestones status); 2) online intake, and 3) the digital charge file. The online charge status will provide charging parties and respondents with open charges the ability to access information regarding the status of their charge(s) online. This will improve customer service by giving customers immediate access to their charge status, including contact information for the EEOC staff assigned to the charge, along with information about the charge process. The online intake system utilizes technology to provide the public the option to perform self-screening, submit a pre-charge inquiry, schedule an appointment for an intake interview, receive pre-charge counseling (via web cams and/or teleconference), and submit information all online. The move towards electronic submission of documents, via a secure portal for electronic transmittal and the receipt of charge-related documents, information, and communication, and the creation of digital charge files will increase efficiencies, improve collaboration and knowledge sharing across the agency, enhance data integrity, reduce paper file storage and manual archiving/destruction requirements, and enable a more mobile workforce.

For FY 2014, the target for the first two projects was to develop, pilot, and implement the new online intake and milestone systems, including guidance, documentation, and staff training. The portal software, scheduling tools, and professional service contracts were awarded in the fourth quarter of FY 2014 and workgroups were simultaneously engaged.

The agency approved a vision statement for the digital charge file project, and the Action Council for Transformation (ACT) Digital Executive Steering Group and Workgroup began work on identifying information and communications to be digitized. The Workgroup also started developing a prototype to digitize the charge and notice to the employer, which will save considerable time, paper, and postage. In addition, IMS was enhanced to allow entry and retention of the Form 5 particulars (the narrative description of the charge allegations), which facilitates information sharing across the agency. This feature was implemented in second quarter FY 2014, with training provided to all field staff on its use.

Budgetary Resource Alignment

Performance Measure 14: The EEOC's budgetary resources for FY 2014-2017 align with the Strategic Plan.
FY 2014
Target

Prepare EEOC's FY 2016 Performance (OMB) Budget that aligns resources with the Strategic Plan.

Prepare EEOC's FY 2015 Congressional Budget.

Develop a final FY 2014 Operating Plan based on approved FY 2014.

Result

The FY 2015 CBJ was timely submitted to Congress on March 10, 2014.

Agency developed a final FY 2014 Operating Plan, which was approved by the Chair on January 28, 2014.

The EEOC's FY 2016 Performance Budget was submitted to OMB on September 18, 2014.

Met or Exceeded

Target Met

As a fundamental objective, budgets should adequately fund priority programs, grow such programs to reflect the agency's priorities, and protect against diminution when budgets are reduced. Under the Chair's direction, annual budget submissions from each program office were scrutinized to ensure that agency resources would implement the strategies and goals of the EEOC.

The FY 2014 target for Performance Measure 14 was to prepare EEOC's Fiscal Year 2015 Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ) and EEOC's Fiscal Year 2016 Performance (OMB) Budget that aligns with the agency's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016. As part of the annual budget formulation cycle, the agency's final fiscal year 2014 Operating Plan was approved and signed by the Chair on January 28, 2014 and EEOC's Fiscal Year 2015 CBJ was timely submitted to Congress on March 10, 2014. The Fiscal Year 2016 Performance Budget was completed and submitted to OMB on September 18, 2014.

RELATED PROGRAM RESULTS AND ACTIVITIES

SERVING THE PUBLIC MORE EFFICIENTLY

Strategic Enforcement of the Nation's EEOC Laws

The EEOC has a fundamental role in effectively and efficiently enforcing the federal equal employment laws. The EEOC's Strategic Plan and Strategic Enforcement Plan provide the framework and direction for a robust and coordinated national enforcement program.

To be more efficient as a law enforcement agency, EEOC must prioritize its enforcement and outreach, given the number of charges it receives and the agency's limited resources. To be effective, the priorities on which the agency focuses must be those where government enforcement and outreach efforts will have the greatest impact. To have a broader impact, the EEOC will continue to focus its law enforcement efforts on matters that have a more significant impact on workers and employers and improve more workplace practices.

The EEOC will also strive to improve its interactions with employees and employers. Every year, approximately 200,000 individuals contact the EEOC for assistance and nearly 90,000 of them file charges of employment discrimination. Even more individuals believe they have been subjected to workplace discrimination but do not come forward. Although the EEOC is able to help many individuals, there will be many charges of employment discrimination filed with the agency that we will not be able to remedy because of limited resources. Recognizing that the EEOC cannot remedy every violation of the federal employment anti-discrimination laws, Congress gave individuals the right to pursue their claims in court. Each individual who files a charge of discrimination with the EEOC is provided information about how to pursue his or her claims in court.

Improving the Private Sector Charge Process

The agency received 88,778 charges from individuals alleging discrimination in FY 2014, a decrease of about 5000 charges from FY 2013. The agency also resolved 87,442 charges in FY 2014.

To more efficiently serve the public, the EEOC is using technology to streamline charge intake and investigation of charges. In the next few years, the agency expects to increase responsiveness to employees and employers by leveraging technology to streamline and automate services to the public. More specifically, the EEOC is developing systems that will allow customers to check the status of their charge, provide self-service and online-scheduling options for potential charging parties; and transform the current paper process into a digital charge system. These technology projects will reduce calls and wait times for charging parties and respondents seeking information about charges and reduce agency staff time spent on administrative tasks.

Chart: Charge Receipts

Mediation Program is a Win for both Employees and Employers

The EEOC's mediation program has continued to be a very successful part of our enforcement operations and an integral part of the agency's work pursuant to the Strategic Plan. In FY 2014, the EEOC's private sector national mediation program secured a total of 7,846 mediated resolutions out of a total of 10,221 conducted. The EEOC obtained $144.6 million in monetary benefits for complainants through mediation resolutions.

Participants almost uniformly view the mediation program favorably, with 96.4 percent reporting confidence in the program this year. As a result, the agency continues to focus efforts on increasing the use of the program where appropriate and consistent with the agency's mission. The agency encourages the employer community to enter into Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAMs). These agreements reflect employers' commitment to participate in mediation. At the conclusion of FY 2014, the agency had secured a cumulative multi-year total of 2,283 UAMs, which is a four percent increase from FY 2013.

Efficiently Adjudicating Federal Sector Hearings and Appeals

In the federal sector, the EEOC has authority to hold hearings on complaints of discrimination by federal employees and applicants, and to adjudicate appeals of decisions on such claims. In FY 2014, the EEOC secured more than $74 million in relief for federal employees and applicants who requested hearings. Additionally, the agency's hearings program resolved a total of 6,347 complaints, and the number of requests for hearings on federal sector complaints increased to 8,086 in FY 2014 compared to 7,077 in FY 2013.

The EEOC also adjudicates appeals of federal agency actions on discrimination complaints, and ensures agency compliance with decisions issued on those appeals. During FY 2014, the EEOC received 4,003 appeals of final agency actions in the federal sector, a 5.7 percent decrease from the 4,244 such appeals received in FY 2013. FY 2014 was the third full year in which the agency applied a more balanced approach to the resolution of appeals by focusing resources on resolving the oldest appeals, while at the same time addressing newer appeals early in the process. The agency resolved 3,767 appeals, including 43.03 percent of them within 180 days of their receipt. In addition, the EEOC resolved 1,850 or 61.9 percent of 2,988 appeals that were already, or would become, 500 or more days old by the end of the fiscal year.

The agency continued its focus on expanding the use of technology to make the federal hearings and appeals process faster and more effective. During FY 2014, federal agencies continued to use the EEO File Exchange (EFX) system to upload reports of investigation and administrative files to all of the agency's hearings units, and to upload all appeal-related documentation to EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO). EFX is a secure online portal where registered agency users can upload documentation directly to the agency's hearings offices and OFO. The primary goal of electronic case processing via EFX is to create a paperless case processing system that permits web-based electronic filing and case tracking capability. In addition to being implemented in all 24 EEOC field office hearings units and OFO, it is utilized in over 110 agencies or sub-components (44 agencies and 71 sub-agencies), including the US Postal Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, and the Defense Logistics Agency. Also in FY 2014, the EEOC designed, developed, and piloted a digital portal through which complainants and their representatives can submit appeal-related documents to the agency.

Building upon these successes in FY 2014, the Office of Field Programs in coordination with the Office of Federal Operations and the Office of Information Technology, began working on the initial requirements for a more robust system that will allow agencies to upload and review documentation and obtain the status of the adjudication of hearings and appeals. Phase II of the EFX, which will be completed in FY 2015, will increase the types of documents processed through the portal and will allow parties to track the receipt of their submission and obtain the status of their case.

ENFORCING THE LAW MORE EFFECTIVELY

Recovery of Targeted Equitable Relief Exceeds Goals

The agency's Strategic Plan for FY 2012- 2016 emphasized the importance of securing meaningful relief for victims of discrimination by ensuring that remedies end discriminatory practices and deter future discrimination. In the Plan, Targeted Equitable Relief (TER) is defined as any non-monetary and non-generic relief that explicitly addresses the discriminatory employment practices at issue in the case and provides remedies to the aggrieved individuals or prevents similar violations in the future. Types of TER include hiring, promotion and reinstatement, or recall of the aggrieved party. It also includes a variety of other actions including policy changes, training or apprenticeship, reasonable accommodation, procedural or practice changes, and external monitoring.

The agency exceeded its goal by securing TER benefits in 73.5 percent of its administrative and legal resolutions. The agency's FEPA partners also exceeded their goal, with 16 percent of their resolutions providing TER benefits. These achievements reflect the commitment to ensuring that EEOC and FEPA enforcement activities secure relief for those who were affected, while also preventing future discriminatory actions. These TER benefits bring about meaningful changes in the workplace and provide a level playing field for the future.

Challenging Discrimination in Federal Court

In FY 2014, the EEOC field legal units filed 133 merits lawsuits including 105 individual suits, 11 non-systemic class suits, and 17 systemic suits. Merits lawsuits include direct suits and interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of the statutes enforced by the EEOC and suits to enforce administrative settlements. Of these new filings, 76 contained Title VII claims, 49 contained Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, 12 contained Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claims, two contained Equal Pay Act (EPA) claims, and two contained Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) claims. (The total number of merits lawsuits is less than the sum of the suits based on each individual statute because some suits are filed under multiple statutes.) The agency also filed 34 subpoena enforcement actions. At the end of FY 2014, the EEOC had 228 cases on its active district court docket, of which 31 (14 percent) were non-systemic class cases and 57 (25 percent) involved challenges to systemic discrimination.

In addition to these new suit filings, the EEOC's legal staff resolved 136 merits lawsuits in the federal district courts for a total monetary recovery of $22.5 million. Of these resolutions, 87 contained Title VII claims, 47 contained ADA claims, 13 contained ADEA claims, five contained EPA claims, and one contained a GINA claim. The Commission also resolved eight subpoena enforcement actions during the fiscal year. In terms of dollars recovered in merits lawsuits by statute, the EEOC recovered $15.3 million in Title VII resolutions, $1.9 million in ADEA resolutions, $3.7 million in ADA resolutions, $125,000 in EPA resolutions, and $1.5 million in resolutions involving more than one statute. The EEOC achieved a favorable resolution in approximately 93 percent of all district court resolutions. A total of 1,593 individuals received monetary relief as a direct result of EEOC lawsuit resolutions in FY 2014.

Challenging Discrimination in the Federal Appellate Courts

In addition to its nationwide litigation program at the district court level, the EEOC maintains an active appellate program in the federal circuit courts of appeal. Among the most notable appellate decisions in FY2014 is EEOC v. Mach Mining, in which the Seventh Circuit agreed with the Commission's position that Title VII does not provide for judicial review of the pre-suit conciliation process. This decision is now under review by the Supreme Court.

In EEOC v. Ford Motor, two judges on the Sixth Circuit panel agreed with the Commission that its ADA claim should go to trial to determine whether the charging party, who has irritable bowel syndrome, could have performed her job effectively with the accommodation of being allowed to telework up to four days a week. Because her request was denied outright, the company did not explore whether any telework at all could be accommodated. The full court has decided to rehear this case en banc.

In EEOC v. Skanska USA Building, the Sixth Circuit agreed with the Commission's standard for joint employers. The court agreed that under the proper test, Skanska was a joint employer of the equipment operators who had been subjected to racial harassment and retaliation because Skanska had the ability to hire, fire, discipline, and affect the compensation of these employees.

At the end of FY 2014, the EEOC was handling 38 appeals in EEOC enforcement actions and participating in 22 appeals in private suits as amicus curiae.

Maximizing Impact through Systemic Enforcement

As the nation's leading law enforcer of federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, the agency places a high priority on pursuing systemic enforcement, pattern or practice, policy, and/or class investigations, and litigation where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, profession, company, or geographic area. While systemic cases are highly complex and resource-intensive, these cases typically impact a large number of employees or job seekers directly and can benefit untold numbers of workers and employers indirectly through public awareness and changes in company policies and industry standards. As a result, in its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016, the EEOC reiterated the importance of systemic enforcement program as a top agency priority. The EEOC again declared its commitment to combating systemic discrimination in its new Strategic Enforcement Plan, particularly with respect to barriers to recruitment and hiring, discriminatory policies that affect vulnerable workers, discriminatory pay practices, retaliatory practices and policies, and systemic harassment.

In FY 2014, in furtherance of the Strategic Enforcement Plan, the Chair approved District Complement Plans (DCPs) reaffirming the agency's commitment to a robust national systemic program. Each office's plan sets forth specific systemic focus areas and issues for priority law enforcement through the district's systemic program and in combination with other districts. The DCPs embody collaborative strategies developed jointly by legal and enforcement staff. These plans provide an integrated and focused approach to attacking systemic discrimination in ways designed to maximize the use of resources and the impact of the EEOC's systemic work.

Since embarking on the systemic program, the agency has expanded its use of technology to improve its capacity to identify systemic violations and to manage systemic investigations and litigation. The Systemic Watch List, a software tool that matches ongoing investigations or lawsuits, has proven integral to improved coordination in the development of systemic investigations.

The EEOC continued to increase its investment in resources dedicated to systemic work. These efforts have established a strong base that will ensure a sustained national systemic program. In FY 2014, the EEOC increased the number of Lead Systemic Investigators, whose work is dedicated exclusively to development and coordination of systemic investigations. By the end of FY 2014, the number of Lead Systemic Investigators had doubled, growing from nine to 18. Also, the EEOC has begun to pilot systemic units within some district offices to assess the effectiveness of establishing a dedicated unit of staff focused on systemic work. The impact of these structural changes will be evaluated to determine whether and in what circumstances the use of dedicated systemic units should be expanded among field offices.

The agency has also expanded its use of webinars to provide training on systemic investigations and litigation, including use of technology to facilitate systemic work. These technology initiatives have proven to be effective, low-cost methods of achieving the EEOC's goal of better integrating enforcement functions, as set out in the agency's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

In the litigation context, the EEOC has continued its expansion of the CaseWorks system, which provides a central shared source of litigation support tools that facilitate the collection and review of electronic discovery and enable collaboration in the development of cases for litigation. In this past year alone, the EEOC increased by 150 percent the storage capacity of CaseWorks, which now hosts over 30 million pages of electronic documents.

Systemic Investigations

The agency continued to achieve a high level of results in its systemic investigations. In FY 2014, the EEOC completed 260 systemic investigations. Thirty percent (78) of those investigations were resolved by voluntary agreements, either a pre-determination settlement before a finding of discrimination was made or a conciliation agreement. When the agency makes a finding of discrimination, the EEOC's conciliation process affords employers an opportunity to come into compliance with the anti-discrimination laws without an EEOC lawsuit being filed. In FY 2014, the agency obtained pre-determination settlements in 34 systemic investigations and conciliation agreements in 44 systemic investigations. The EEOC secured $13 million in monetary relief.

The number of systemic investigations in which a cause finding was issued or which were resolved by successful conciliation or settlement has remained stable and continues to support a strong systemic litigation docket at levels consistent with recent years. In FY 2014, the Office of General Counsel filed 17 systemic lawsuits, which is a direct result of the growth in the systemic enforcement activity in EEOC's District Offices. In cases where the agency's systemic investigation was hampered by a respondent's failure to comply with requests for relevant evidence, the EEOC continued its practice of relying on its subpoena authority and, where necessary, application to the federal courts to enforce subpoenas.

A number of key systemic resolutions brought about in FY 2014 are listed below:

  • The EEOC reached a negotiated settlement agreement with a company to pay $650,000 to a class of persons the company failed to hire because of their race, black, or national origin, Hispanic. The company also agreed to hire 75 African-American and Hispanic workers over the next five years. The combined value of this relief was over $4.6 million.
  • Successful conciliation of four systemic ADEA investigations alleging that the employers stopped allowing volunteer firefighters to accrue points for performing certain duties when they reached age 55 or 60. These points translated into larger retirement benefits. The conciliation agreements restored points not awarded due to age which resulted in an increased monthly benefit at retirement and lump sum retroactive awards of monetary benefits for current retirees and family members of deceased retirees. Total monetary benefits of over $1.4 million were agreed to through the conciliation agreements. The employers changed their policies to bring them into compliance with the ADEA.
  • A systemic investigation of a major restaurant chain resulted in a cause finding that the restaurant failed to hire front of the house staff on the basis of sex, female, and national origin, Hispanic. This investigation was successfully resolved through a conciliation agreement providing $1 million to class members, training to all human resource and management staff, and the employer agreed to engage in recruitment of females and Hispanics.
  • After a finding that a company employing drivers had a practice of not hiring women for driving positions because of their sex, a successful conciliation agreement was reached with the company. The company agreed to pay $530,000 in monetary relief and provide significant targeted equitable relief including the adoption of an effective EEO policy prohibiting gender discrimination. The agreement also calls for gender-based discrimination training to all its human resources employees.
  • The Commission continued its enforcement efforts to address employer background screening policies that result in unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, black, national origin, Hispanic, and sex, male. One of these investigations resulted in a conciliation agreement which established a class back pay fund of $650,000 for aggrieved persons, as well as provisions to reform the employer's criminal history screening process to conform to the Commission's Enforcement Guidance, and require an external monitor and training in criminal history screening. Several others agreements resulted in employers adopting modifications to their respective screening policies to bring them into compliance with EEOC Guidelines. These agreements involved two employment agencies, a company operating in 26 states, a security company, and a retail chain convenience store.
  • The Commission also reached voluntary agreements with employers to modify their leave policies to provide accommodation for employees with disabilities. A hospital and an insurance company both agreed to modify their fixed leave policies and each agreed to provide $500,000 in monetary relief to aggrieved individuals. Several other employers also agreed to modify their leave policies to come into compliance with the ADA including a franchised cable television provider, a child care center, a gas company, a home health provider, and a transit company and its union.

Systemic Litigation

When the agency makes a finding of systemic discrimination and efforts to secure voluntary compliance fail, the agency may choose to file suit to enforce the law. In FY 2014, the Commission filed 17 systemic lawsuits. These new suits challenge a variety of types of systemic discrimination, including subjecting Thai farm workers to discriminatory terms and conditions of employment, refusing to place black applicants into front-of the-house restaurant positions, refusing to hire applicants over age 40 for front-of-the-house restaurant positions, inflexible leave and fitness for duty policies that deny reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and widespread, systemic harassment based on sex and national origin.

Systemic suits comprised 13 percent of all merits suits filed in FY 2014. At the end of FY 2014, a total of 57 cases on the active docket were systemic cases, accounting for 25 percent of all active merits suits. This is the largest proportion of systemic suits on the EEOC's active docket since tracking began in FY 2006. Based on the volume of systemic charges currently in investigation, the quantity of systemic lawsuits and their representation on the total docket is expected to remain high. Thus, the agency is poised to meet or exceed its target, set forth in its strategic plan, of an active systemic docket of 22-24 percent of all pending lawsuits by FY 2016.

This past year, the EEOC resolved 17 systemic cases, five of which included at least 100 victims of discrimination and nine of which included at least 20 victims of discrimination. Below is a sampling of significant outcomes of systemic discrimination lawsuits in FY 2014:

In EEOC v. Global Horizons et al. (D. Hawaii), the EEOC alleged that a labor contractor, along with six Hawaii fruit farms, subjected a class of farm workers to discriminatory terms and conditions of employment and a hostile work environment on the basis of Thai national origin, and retaliated against employees for opposing the discriminatory conduct. The EEOC alleged that the six farms were liable as joint employers with the labor contractor. The treatment included threats of physical violence, arrest, and deportation; inadequate housing and insufficient food and kitchen facilities; oppressive working conditions; and inadequate pay. According to the suit, Thai workers were forbidden from leaving the farms, subjected to strict curfews, and prohibited from speaking to outsiders including family, friends, and government officials. The EEOC obtained summary judgment against the labor contractor and default judgment against one farm, and resolved its claims against the other five farms by a series of consent decrees. In total, the decrees provide around $3.6 million to 546 victims, along with multiple offers of full-time jobs. Under the decrees, farms must obtain written commitments from farm laborer contractors that they will comply with the law, provide employees with telephone numbers to report complaints in the language they can understand, and maintain accurate payroll records. The farms must also conduct internal audits and designate corporate officials with responsibility for oversight of compliance with the decrees.

In EEOC v. Pitre Buick (D.N.M.), the EEOC alleged that a New Mexico car dealership subjected a class of male employees to same-sex sexual harassment and retaliated against those who complained. For many years, according to the suit, a male lot attendant engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct toward other male employees, including slapping and touching them on the buttocks or genitals; exposing his genitals and buttocks; soliciting sex in exchange for money; performing simulated sex acts; and, forcing their faces into his crotch area. In addition, according to the suit, newly hired male employees were subjected to a "car wash initiation" during which the lot attendant would expose his genitals and grope the new employees while riding through the car wash. According to the suit, after one salesperson complained about the harassment, his commissions were taken away, and he was assigned additional duties that prevented him from selling cars, forcing him to resign. After further evidence of retaliation was uncovered during litigation, the EEOC obtained a preliminary injunction barring defendant from threatening or engaging in retaliatory acts. A three-year consent decree provides approximately $2.1 million to 55 male employees. In consultation with a consent decree monitor, the company must revise its policies to emphasize a strong commitment to preventing sexual harassment and retaliation, and must establish workable complaint and investigation procedures. The company also agreed never to rehire five individuals identified in the decree.

In EEOC v. J.P. Morgan (S.D. Ohio), the EEOC alleged that a global provider of financial services subjected female employees in Ohio to sexual harassment and unequal terms and conditions of employment, and discharged an employee for opposing the discriminatory practices. According to the suit, male mortgage bankers received twice as many calls as the females, even though the calls were supposed to be randomly assigned. Moreover, according to the suit, male managers regularly made sexist and disparaging remarks about female mortgage bankers. Shortly after a female banker complained to management and contacted the EEOC, she was asked to resign. A two-year consent decree provides approximately $1.5 million to 16 female mortgage bankers and enjoins the company from sex-based harassment and discrimination. The company is also required to develop a call data retention system, so that assignments of sales calls can be accessed and analyzed to ensure equitable distribution.

In EEOC v. Princeton Healthcare System (D.N.J.), the EEOC alleged that a New Jersey medical center maintained attendance and leave policies that denied reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. The center's policies provided for progressive discipline for defined absences; discharge of employees ineligible for FMLA leave who could not return to work after seven consecutive absences; and discharge of employees who were unable to return to work after exhausting FMLA leave. The center did not consider reasonable accommodation of disabled individuals who required more leave than was permitted under its policies. A four-year consent decree provides approximately $1.4 million to 23 individuals, enjoins the center from determining eligibility for a leave of absence or time off based solely on the FMLA, and enjoins the center from requiring employees returning from disability leave to present a fitness for duty certification stating they are able to work without restrictions. The center must modify its policies accordingly.

In EEOC v. McCormick & Schmicks (D. Md.), the EEOC alleged that a nationwide seafood restaurant engaged in a pattern or practice of refusing to hire African Americans into front-of-the-house positions at Baltimore restaurants. According to the suit, those few African Americans who were hired into these positions were denied equal work assignments; in addition, the EEOC charged that the restaurant's on-line advertising contained visual depictions of employees demonstrating a preference for non-black employees. A two-year consent decree provided approximately $1.3 million to an estimated 200 individuals, established targets for hiring black applicants, and requires the restaurant to review its advertising to avoid expressing a preference for non-blacks. In addition, the restaurant must conduct a self-assessment of hiring and work assignments and submit progress reports to the EEOC.

In EEOC v. DSW (N.D. Ill.), the EEOC alleged that a nationwide shoe retailer fired a class of individuals aged 40 and older during a "reduction in force" and fired some employees who opposed orders to discriminate against older employees. The case was resolved by consent decree immediately after the suit filing, with approximately $1 million for 108 employees, training, and a requirement that the company report age discrimination complaints to the EEOC for three years.

In EEOC v. Ruby Tuesday (W.D. Pa.), the EEOC alleged that a nationwide chain of restaurants failed to hire applicants age 40 and older for any position at five restaurants in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and failed to maintain employment records. According to the suit, the restaurant commenced an image overhaul to present a "fresh" and "contemporary" look, and general managers were instructed to look for "Victoria's Secret" applicants and those who were "young" and "fresh." As a consequence, according to the suit, over a two-year period, virtually no older applicants were hired for front-of-the-house positions and only a few older applicants were hired for back-of-the-house positions. A three and one-half year consent decree provides $575,000 to approximately 200 individuals. The restaurant will make good faith, reasonable efforts to hire older individuals at a percentage equal to the applicant flow for each position, with specific targets. In addition, the restaurant will make good faith, reasonable efforts to broaden the pool of older applicants through steps such as increased advertising to older people and visual depictions of older employees in job advertisements and on its website.

In EEOC v. Save-A-Lot (S.D. Miss.), the EEOC alleged that a nationwide discount grocery store subjected female employees at three Mississippi stores to a hostile work environment based on sex and fired one because she opposed the harassment. According to the suit, for several months, the male operations manager subjected female employees to suggestive comments, sexual advances, and offers of money for sex. According to the suit, the defendant's owner was aware of the conduct but failed to address it. A 30-month consent decree provided $325,000 to 31 victims. In addition, the company must create and disseminate policies and procedures on sexual harassment, and retaliation, including for making and investigating complaints and taking prompt corrective action.

More details about the Systemic Program can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_reports/systemic.cfm

LEADERSHIP IN FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT

Leveraging Inter-Agency Relationships for Strategic Enforcement

The EEOC has played a leading inter-agency role in serving the AAPI community. Chair Yang is the agency's designee to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders' Interagency Working Group, and several EEOC field staff have leadership roles in the WHIAAPI Regional Interagency Working Group. In addition, the EEOC has partnered with the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor (DOL) to launch the AAPI Vulnerable Worker Project, which has begun a series of listening sessions throughout the country to hear directly from workers about their most significant challenges in the workplace. EEOC field staff have helped plan and execute these sessions. In addition to informing vulnerable populations about the work of the agency, the sessions are also providing valuable insights on new ways federal agencies can reach vulnerable populations.

The EEOC also continues to play an active role in government-wide efforts to combat human trafficking, including the PITF and SPOG. In regular inter-agency meetings, EEOC has reported to member agencies on outreach, enforcement, and litigation addressing forms of human trafficking that may violate the anti-discrimination laws. In November 2013, then-Commissioner Jenny R. Yang, along with EEOC staff, hosted the "Immigrant Worker Roundtable" meeting where representatives from several federal agencies, including the Department Of Justice-Office of Special Counsel, DOL, National Labor Relations Board, and Department of Homeland Security-Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement discussed recent efforts to reach out to immigrant workers, including issues involving national origin discrimination and human trafficking. During FY 2014, at the direction of the President and in collaboration with a number of other agencies, EEOC worked on the development of the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (SAP), which is designed to improve coordination of these services across the federal government. The SAP was released in January 2014, and EEOC continues working with other agencies on the implementation and reporting on the SAP. In April 2014, then-Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien represented the Commission at the annual meeting of the PITF.

The EEOC also plays a lead role on the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, which is comprised of 20 federal agencies with a mission to: 1) make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization; 2) assist those who return from prison and jail in becoming productive citizens; and 3) save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration. A chief focus of the Reentry Council is to remove federal barriers to successful reentry, so that motivated individuals - who have served their time and paid their debts to society-are able to compete for a job, attain stable housing, support their children and their families, and contribute to their communities. In particular, the Reentry Council is working to reduce barriers to employment, so that these individuals can compete for appropriate work opportunities.

The EEOC is critical to this effort and is using this relationship to deepen and expand its work to educate employers, job applicants, and workers about the proper use of arrest and conviction records in employment. The EEOC helps coordinate the Council's communication and outreach efforts, participates in the employment-focused reentry subgroup, develops outreach materials, provides external federal agency technical assistance, makes numerous presentations at various outreach events and activities, and provides internal EEOC trainings. The agency is a constant resource for our partner agencies on the applicability of Title VII in this area in both the private and federal sectors.

The EEOC continues to explore further and to deepen collaboration with these reentry council agency partners on joint trainings, presentations and the development of education materials. For example, last year, the EEOC served on the steering committee of the Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies project, a partnership that includes the Council of State Governments, DOJ, DOL and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That Project developed an online toolkit designed to help workforce development officials create integrated strategies to improve reentry outcomes for individuals with criminal records. This year, the EEOC participated in a White House interagency collaborative effort concerning reentry and employment. In June 2014, the White House held an event honoring local Champions of Change who are doing extraordinary work to facilitate employment opportunities for individuals formerly involved in the justice system. On that same day, the White House hosted a related Business Roundtable discussion about reentry and ways to expand employment opportunities. Former EEOC Chair Berrien gave closing remarks for the roundtable and, during this "Year of Action," the EEOC is a key contributor to the federal policy and public education tools and activities being generated for employers, work force development and labor leaders, and policy experts dedicated to developing a strong workforce and ensuring our workplaces are fair and safe.

In FY 2014, the EEOC also played a leading role in the formation and development of the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, an inter-agency effort designed to coordinate and leverage resources across the federal governmentin order to increase equal employment opportunities and financial independence for individuals with disabilities. The Curb Cuts Initiative is co-chaired by EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum and representatives from the Social Security Administration and Department of Justice. Other members of the Initiative include the Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management, Department of Education, Veterans Affairs, and the National Council on Disability. Among other things, the Initiative is focused on increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce. Toward that end, in May of 2014, the EEOC released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on regulations to implement the federal government's obligation to be a model employer of individuals with disabilities, pursuant to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. The EEOC also worked with the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Office of Personnel Management to update its materials on the Schedule A hiring authority for people with disabilities. Commissioner Chai Feldblum was also a speaker at the White House Forum on Disability and LGBT issues.

Providing Clarity through Regulations, Enforcement Guidance and Technical Assistance

Issuing regulations and guidance is at the heart of the EEOC's role of leading the enforcement of federal employment anti-discrimination laws. Regulations and guidance inform individuals and employers of their legal rights and responsibilities, aid EEOC employees in conducting their work, and serve as references for the courts when resolving novel legal issues.

In FY 2014, the agency issued the following regulatory actions, policy guidance, and technical assistance under the laws enforced by the EEOC.

Regulatory Actions:

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act). On May 15, 2014, the Commission published this ANPRM in the Federal Register inviting public comment on how to amend its regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, to clarify the federal government's obligation to be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. A copy of the ANPRM is available on the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/index.cfm.

Final Rule on 29 C.F. R. 1601.30, "Notices to be posted." On March 19, 2014, the Commission published this final rule in the Federal Register adjusting for inflation the civil monetary penalty it will impose on covered entities who fail to display the "EEO is the Law" poster as required by law (29 USC 2000e- 10(b)). The penalty, which had not been altered since 1997, was adjusted, in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, from $110 to $210 per violation. 79 FR 15220 (3/19/2014).

Guidance and Technical Assistance:

Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues. On July 14, 2014, the Commission issued this new policy document analyzing the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the application of the ADA to pregnant workers with pregnancy-related impairments. This Enforcement Guidance is the first update of policy guidance on pregnancy discrimination in more than 30 years. It includes a section on recommended Best Practices. http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_guidance.cfm.

On July 14, 2014, two related technical assistance documents about pregnancy discrimination were also issued: a Question and Answer document http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pregnancy_qa.cfm and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/pregnancy_factsheet.cfm.

Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities. On March 6, 2014, the agency issued this technical assistance document on religious discrimination in the workplace with an accompanying fact sheet. Both documents provide practical advice and examples for stakeholders on disparate treatment, non-selection, segregation, harassment, accommodation, and retaliation issues arising from religious garb and grooming practices of applicants and employees. As technical assistance, these documents do not contain new policy or legal requirements. Copies of these documents are available on the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/qa_religious_garb_grooming.cfm and http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs_religious_garb_grooming.cfm.

Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know. On March 10, 2014, the EEOC and the Federal Trade Commission jointly issued technical assistance factsheets about employment background checks. Both documents summarize in simplified terms the basics of the federal EEO laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act as they apply to employers requesting and using personal background information to screen applicants and employees. These documents are available on the EEOC website at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employers.cfm and http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employees.cfm.

Revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Questions and Answers Series. On the agency's website, the EEOC has a series of technical assistance documents outlining how the ADA may apply to specific impairments, and the workplace rights of individuals with those impairments. On May 8, 2014, the EEOC issued updates of two of these documents to address how changes in the definition of "disability" as a result of the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) may affect who is covered under the ADA. The documents are:

Providing Strong Leadership and Oversight for Federal Agencies

The EEOC provides leadership and guidance to federal agencies on all aspects of the federal government's equal employment opportunity program. The agency assures federal agency and department compliance with EEOC federal sector regulations, provides technical assistance to federal agencies concerning EEO complaint adjudication, monitors and evaluates federal agencies' affirmative employment programs, and develops and distributes federal sector educational materials and conducts training for stakeholders.

EEOC's Management Directive 715 (MD-715) identifies "Essential Elements" for structuring model EEO programs. Attaining a model EEO program provides an agency with the necessary foundation for achieving a discrimination-free work environment. The six essential elements for maintaining model Title VII and Rehabilitation Act programs are: (1) demonstrated commitment from agency leadership; (2) integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission; (3) management and program accountability; (4) proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination; (5) efficiency; and (6) responsiveness and legal compliance.

A discrimination-free work environment, characterized by an atmosphere of inclusion and free and open competition for employment opportunities, is the ultimate goal of MD-715 and the federal government. MD-715 provides a roadmap for creating effective EEO programs for all federal employees as required by Title VII and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits disability discrimination in the federal sector.

To assist agencies in reporting under MD-715, the EEOC provides tools and assistance to agencies to help them analyze their workforces and uncover barriers to equal employment opportunities. Once barriers are identified by agencies, EEOC staff collaborates with them to develop creative strategies to eliminate or reduce the impact of identified obstacles. Further, the EEOC works with agencies to promote workplace policies and practices that foster an inclusive work culture and prevent employment discrimination. This effort includes working with federal agencies to adopt and successfully implement the attributes of the EEOC's Model EEO Program.

In FY 2013, the EEOC deployed the Federal Sector EEO Portal (FedSEP) to all federal agencies to provide electronic submission and collection of Federal Agency EEO Program Reporting (MD-715) workforce data. In FY 2014, the agency fully integrated MD 715, the Annual Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints (EEOC Form 462), and Census Data into FedSEP, standardizing the data with the master agency list maintained by OPM. FedSEP captures and stores the data used by EEOC for analyzing the workforce composition of federal agencies, their EEO processing statistics, and trends within the federal workforce. It will allow EEOC to better identify potential discriminatory policies or practices within federal agencies to establish priorities and issue/monitor compliance plans to address the areas of concern. In FY 2015, EEOC will integrate the Hearings and Appeals data maintained in the Integrated Mission System into FedSEP for consolidated reporting and analysis. Information available to the hearings and appellate units will be combined with agency complaint data, workforce data, and barrier analyses to build a more complete picture of how agencies are progressing in the development of model EEO programs.

Concurrent with these efforts, in FY 2014, the EEOC piloted a Federal Case Management System that will bring consistency and greater efficiencies to the processing of federal sector complaints through the early categorization of incoming hearings and appeals. The implementation of the Case Management System will permit the EEOC to identify priority cases and obtain a better understanding of the types of cases in its inventory.

EEOC staff analyzes and assesses federal agencies' annual submission of MD-715 reports to ascertain agencies' progress in creating model EEO programs. EEOC provides oversight to over 200 federal agencies and their subcomponents. To facilitate this oversight responsibility, the EEOC conducts in-person and telephonic remote assistance meetings with the responsible agency employees, as well as provides multi-year trend analysis feedback letters to the agencies.

The EEOC's success in its oversight role comes not from the mere exercise of collecting data; it comes from what EEOC and the agencies do with that data. Agencies have the responsibility to identify those red flags that are discovered in the MD-715 data and conduct investigations of the anomalies generated by workplace policies, procedures, and practices with an eye toward eliminating barriers to equal employment. If an agency finds a barrier, it has a responsibility to eliminate it. Similarly, as the oversight agency, the EEOC has the ongoing responsibility to provide the technical assistance necessary to accomplish this enormously important task.

The agency has provided feedback to agencies on their MD-715 submissions via various means, including technical assistance visits, one-year feedback letters, and three-year trend analysis letters. In response to comments from federal agency stakeholders, the EEOC continues to provide feedback letters to agencies on a rotating basis. This feedback is designed to provide comprehensive analysis that tracks the agency's progress toward establishing a model EEO program.

During FY 2014, OFO provided technical assistance to the 56 largest agencies in order to meet goals established by the Federal Sector Complement Plan. The meetings focused on Schedule A conversion, reasonable accommodation procedures, anti-harassment procedures, barriers to the Senior Executive Service, and non-compliance with EEOC regulations and directives. OFO also issued feedback letters to all of those agencies by the end of the fiscal year.

In furtherance of Performance Measure 5, the agency completed two program evaluations on EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan Priority 5 (Preserving Access to the Legal System) and issued one compliance plan. OFO completed a program evaluation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), specifically to assess whether TSA employees have adequate information about how to access the EEO complaint process in compliance with the laws, regulations, and other written instructions enforced by the EEOC, and whether employees were discouraged from filing EEO complaints. A compliance plan was issued to TSA on June 18, 2014.

The EEOC also undertook additional activities in support of SEP/FCP Priority 5. Specifically, in the 4th quarter of FY 2014, the agency issued a practical guide consisting of a compilation of practices and ideas for federal agencies to efficiently and effectively distribute to their employees information concerning EEO laws and regulations. (The report is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/upload/Practical-Guide-to-Providing-EEO-Program-Info-to-Employees-SEP-2014.pdf).

Additionally, the EEOC published a report examining improper dismissals of EEO complaints in the federal sector. The report not only identified agencies that had higher than Government average rates of reversals on appeal of procedural dismissals, but also identified strategies for agencies to better apply the dismissal provisions of the EEOC's regulations. (The report is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/dismissals.cfm).

Extending the Reach of the Agency

Agency Outreach Continues to Reach Diverse Audiences

In keeping with the Strategic Plan's prioritization of outreach and education, in FY 2014 the EEOC'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, especially amongst underserved groups and in underserved areas.

The agency's no-cost outreach programs reached 236,140 persons in FY 2014. EEOC offices participated in 3,512 no-cost educational, training, and outreach events. Additionally, in FY 2014, the Training Institute trained 18,000 individuals at more than 420 events, including 100 field Customer Specific Training events with approximately 4,600 attendees.

Specific outreach events included 1,665 oral presentations, 175 training sessions and 219 stakeholder input meetings. These three major types of educational events reached 118,266 people, and included information meetings with community organizations and professional associations. Through participation in job fairs, ethnic and cultural festivals, expositions and conventions, staff distributed information to over 30,000 people. EEOC employees also made 291 media presentations, including newspaper, radio and TV interviews, talk shows, and press conferences that provided substantive equal employment opportunity information to millions of stakeholders.

Small Business Outreach. The EEOC worked collaboratively with the small business community to prevent employment discrimination and promote voluntary compliance. Agency offices conducted 588 no-cost outreach events directed toward small businesses in FY 2014, reaching 32,726 small business representatives. The most popular topics for small business audiences were an overview of the laws enforced by the EEOC, charge processing procedures, sexual harassment, Title VII, and the ADA. Also, working with the Small Business Administration's Office of the National Ombudsman, the EEOC participated in several Round Table discussions at various locations around the country with small businesses and organizations that represent small businesses, as well as a Regulatory Fairness Hearing held in Washington, DC.

Outreach to Vulnerable/Underserved Workers and Areas. In FY 2014, the EEOC conducted events geared toward reaching vulnerable/underserved workers and underserved areas. The agency reached 97,828 people by conducting a total of 1,407 events. Staff members traveled to states and communities where no EEOC office is located or where certain communities are reluctant to come forward to complain of employment discrimination, and partnered with local community organizations, consulates, and other entities to reach these workers. For example, 276 events, reaching 22,883 individuals, were targeted for migrant farm worker communities and their advocates to provide education and information about discrimination. There were 253 events focused on human trafficking issues; working with community-based organizations devoted to trafficking issues, and reaching 11,143 people. There were also 122 events that reached 5,519 people and focused on the topics of limited English proficiency. In addition, 335 events, reaching 23,829 people, focused on the issue of the use of arrest and conviction records in employment; raising awareness about the impact on those who are trying to re-enter the workforce and become productive citizens. Finally, the EEOC also provided 175 off-site intake and counseling services in neighborhoods where persons with limited English proficiency may be less likely to visit agency offices.

In FY 2014, the EEOC also signed a National Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mexico to coincide with the many agreements various field offices have with Mexican Consulates around the country. The MOU identifies ways in which the EEOC and Mexico will work together to reach and protect the rights of members of the Mexican community as it relates to outreach, education, and enforcement efforts. The agency has also entered into similar local agreements in various areas with Consulates of Ecuador, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Outreach to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Communities. As part of the White House Initiative, the EEOC continued its communications and partnerships with the AAPI community. In FY 2014, the agency conducted 245 events, reaching 23,358 people, to raise awareness about the EEOC and the laws the agency enforces. The EEOC also partnered at events with several organizations that represent the AAPI communities. These events included ethnic media interviews, presentations at community gatherings and cultural fairs and celebrations; staffing informational booths, stakeholder input meetings and training. Staff also disseminated information in several languages to educate the AAPI community about employment discrimination laws, and expanded sessions where staff conducted off-site intake and counseling. In addition to outreach to individual members of the AAPI communities and organizations that represent them, the agency also conducted outreach to the AAPI business community.

The table on the next page shows the number of outreach events and the number of attendees for FY 2014 at events that covered all of the EEOC's national priorities identified in the agency's Strategic Enforcement Plan.


2014 TABLE OF EVENTS AND ATTENDEES
NATIONAL PRIORITIES EVENTS ATTENDEES
Recruitment/Hiring 636 38,381
Immigrant/Migrant/Vulnerable Workers (includes immigrant/migrant farm workers, human trafficking, limited English proficiency, reentry, youth, and other vulnerable workers) 2,789 188,190
Emerging/Developing Issues (Total) 1,780 121,413
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) 859 61,879
Pregnancy Discrimination Act/ADA 403 61,879
LGBT 518 32,972
Equal Pay 615 39,653
Access to Legal System (includes retaliation, recordkeeping violations, waivers, mandatory arbitration) 763 47,538
Harassment (includes non-sexual and sexual harassment) 891 53,261

Outreach and Collaboration with Other Federal Agencies. In FY 2014, the EEOC continued efforts to partner with other federal agencies to reach the various advocate and employer communities around the country. Experience has shown that pooling federal resources allows the EEOC to be more effective and efficient in its outreach efforts. As a result, the agency conducted 210 outreach events with the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance and 225 events with other DOL sub-agencies. The EEOC also continued the partnership with and membership in DOL's Consular Partnership Program, along with DOL's Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Wage & Hour Division, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration; and the National Labor Relations Board. The Consular Partnership Program is charged with working with various embassies and consulates to reach the particular communities in the United States to educate workers about their labor and employment rights and employers about their responsibilities and best practices under the laws enforced by each agency. The agency also conducted 87 events with the Department of Justice.

Providing Employers and Employees with Education and Technical Assistance

The EEOC Training Institute is managed under a separate statutory authority that enables the agency to offer in-depth and specialized programs on a fee basis, supplementing the free general informational and outreach activities that are an on-going aspect of the agency'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 2014, the Institute trained over 18,000 individuals at more than 420 events, generating approximately $3.3 million in revenue. This enabled the Institute to remain self-sustaining for another year, and allowed for the reimbursement of $1.2 million to the EEOC for indirect costs associated with its operations, including 100 percent of Training Institute staff and portions of field and headquarters staff performing dedicated activities for the Institute. The Institute offered the following products/service lines.

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 the agency to educate employers and employees on how to identify, prevent and eliminate workplace discrimination. In FY 2014, 30 TAPS were conducted across the country with nearly 5,100 participants. Throughout FY 2014, TAPs continued to receive excellent evaluations. Over 94 percent of the attendees at multi-issue TAPs rated the event as "above average" or "outstanding."

Examining Conflicts in Employment Laws (EXCEL) Conference. This year's conference marked the 17th anniversary of the event that attracted more than 1,000 attendees. It was combined with the federal sector, private sector, and the local Fair Employment Practices Agencies. This format continued the expansion launched in FY 2013 of this popular event for EEO managers, HR professionals, attorneys, union officials, and other EEO professionals. The Training Institute provides administrative and logistical support for EXCEL. The conference included more than 10 plenary sessions and more than 60 open workshops. In addition to the general plenary and workshops, there was a preconference session for new investigators and counselors attended by more than 230 individuals and 3 separate closed tracks covering Counselor Refresher, Investigator Refresher, and Hearings Preparation. Among the highlights during the 2014 EXCEL conference, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was the opening session by then Chair, Jacqueline Berrien, along with the featured keynote presentation by author and legendary civil rights activist, Myrlie Evers-Williams. Other conference presenters included Clay Risen, author of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for Civil Rights Act, and Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt.

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' work sites. In FY 2014, the Training Institute held 100 field CST events that reached approximately 4,600 attendees.

Federal Courses and CSTs. In addition to the EXCEL conference, courses covering skills training for federal investigators, mediators, and counselors were presented and funded through the Training Institute. There were 850 attendees this year for the federal courses offered around the country and in Washington, DC. There were also 92 federal CSTs conducted during FY 2014.

IMPROVED LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

During FY 2014, the agency continued to work toward improving the labor and employee relations climate. These efforts continued with regular meetings between the Office of the Chair and Union leadership on conditions of employment impacting bargaining unit employees. Both labor and management jointly modified the agency's national telework policies now published on the agency's internal website. The parties also reviewed and jointly modified the awards program that applies to non-Senior Executive Employees. Grievances and unfair labor practices were also reduced this year. The Union filed only two unfair labor practice charges in 2014 compared to seven in 2013; and only five grievances compared to eight in 2013. In addition, over 90 percent of the agency's Headquarters and Field Offices have completed negotiations on their Telework and Alternative Work Schedules local agreements, in accordance with the newly negotiated collective bargaining agreement.

The National Joint Labor Management Council's activities, initiated under President Obama's Executive Order 13522 - Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services, had a productive year. Under the Executive Order, there is an expectation that there will be pre-decisional participation by employees and their union in matters, many of which were previously reserved to management. The EEOC Council, comprised of both management and labor, agreed that the definition of pre-decisional involvement was "simply the union and management coming together to discuss a matter and sharing information early in the process prior to making a decision." It was determined that this process would be followed by the National and Local JLMCs, where practical.

The National JLMC's Cost Savings, Morale, and Liaison work groups were also active this year. The Cost Savings work group focused on two specific areas - paper savings and transportation costs. It was determined that significant cost savings could be made in the area of transportation because travelers may now use alternative travel carriers and are not limited to using the contract carrier. In August 2014, the Morale Improvement work group conducted a Morale Survey that focused on employee engagement and morale. More than 820 of the 2,200 employees of the EEOC responded to the survey and more than 500 of those respondents' submitted comments. The results of the survey are forthcoming. The Liaison work group announced that funds totaling $32,231 had been awarded to the seven District JLMCs that submitted funding requests for local JLMC projects. Some of the local projects addressed improving the agency's systemic procedures, community observances for the agency's 50 year anniversary celebration, and labor-management training under the President's Executive Order.

Employees' Viewpoint Survey Results

The FY 2014 results show that EEOC employees continue to like the kind of work they do, believe their work is important, are willing to give extra effort to get a job done, and are looking for ways to do their jobs better. In fact, employees rate the overall quality of work done in their work unit above 83 percent. Employees also say they are held accountable for achieving results and know how their work relates to agency goals. Supervisors/Team Leaders talk with their employees about their performance and treat them with respect. Survey analysis conducted in FY 2014 revealed improvements from FY 2013 to FY 2014. Employees feel more prepared for potential security threats; a rating that increased by seven percentage points. Although more employees report that they have sufficient resources to get their job done, a rating that increased by five percent, this still remains a significant concern for many employees with 49 percent reporting that they do not have sufficient resources. Employees continue to have concern about the reasonableness of their workload, with a decrease by one percent of employees reporting that their workload is reasonable. . Ratings also show an increase of three percentage points in employee confidence about arbitrary action, personal favoritism, and coercion for partisan political purposes not being tolerated. However, employees continue to express concern about disclosing a suspected violation of any law, rule, or regulation without fear of reprisal, with only a one percent increase. .

To address concerns raised by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the agency continued to utilize the BEST initiative - Building Employee Satisfaction Together. In FY 2014, the EEOC addressed employee issues through the BEST webpage and email address. The Office of the Chair will work actively with the National Joint Labor Management Council to address these and other critical employee engagement issues.

Implementing Hiring Reform

In FY 2014, the agency was, for the first time in several years, able to hire significant numbers of new employees. This enabled the agency to recruit for approximately 300 external positions to fill critical needs in both field offices and headquarters. Pursuant to initiatives from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget, the EEOC's Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer continues to work with agency hiring managers and senior officials to strengthen hiring tools and improve the agency's hiring process. The goal continues to be to timely hire new employees within 78 calendar days.

Due to the unusually high volume of authorizations in one quarter, the agency did not meet its target of 75 percent new hires completed in 78 days. A majority of the new hires were not made until late in the fiscal year. Agency staff worked to expedite the hiring process by developing standardized interview questions for many jobs and providing significant assistance to hiring managers in the field. The agency sought to ensure that this unprecedented hiring opportunity would yield the maximum benefit for the agency by bringing on board an outstanding cadre of new hires.

The hiring process required a significant number of requests for second announcements, extensions of certificates, changes in the area of consideration, changing grades and/or language requirements from bilingual to non-bilingual; and extensions of Enter on Duty dates. Early in FY 2015, efforts will be made to put policies and procedures in place to reduce these time barriers for future hiring initiatives. This will allow EEOC's improved tracking system to continue to quickly identify barriers, such as delays in announcing positions due to inaccurate or incomplete crediting plans, delays in interviewing and selection, or extensions of time to select from a certificate, so that adjustments can be made to timely meet the agency's efficiency goal in hiring.

VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION OF DATA

The EEOC's private sector, federal sector, and litigation programs require accurate enforcement data, as well as reliable financial and human resources information, to assess the EEOC's operations and performance results and make good management decisions. The agency will continue efforts to ensure the accuracy of program information and any analysis of the information.

The agency continually reviews the information collected in databases for accuracy by using software editing programs and program reviews of a sample of records during field office technical assistance visits. In addition, headquarters offices regularly conduct analyses to review the information collected in order to identify any anomalies that indicate erroneous entries requiring correction to collection procedures. This year the EEOC has enhanced the system for submitting data files for the EEO-1, using a file transfer protocol site so that e-mail will not be necessary. The agency has also improved the access that employers will have to uploaded data files. This will help increase the accuracy of the data, reducing manual data entry in the online system with easier correction of errors in uploaded files. The agency also took steps to reduce the number of paper filing by encouraging firms that file paper to voluntarily switch to online filing.

Greater use of the EEO-1 by field staff continues to assist in identifying non-filers, which has enabled the agency to collect information more rapidly and completely. Recent implementation of the Federal Sector EEO Portal that enables all federal agencies to submit annual equal employment opportunity statistics (EEOC Form 462 and MD-715) continues to improve the quality and timeliness of the information received electronically. Finally, the agency continues to improve the collection and validation of information for the Integrated Mission System (IMS), which consolidates mission data on charge intake, investigation, mediation, litigation, and outreach functions into a single shared information system. IMS includes many automated edit checks and rules to enhance data integrity. Since several performance measures require the use of data to assess achievements, it is significant that the EEOC can now obtain this data much more quickly and with greater data accuracy.

The EEOC'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. This information and recommendations are used to continually improve agency systems and data.

INTERIM ADJUSTMENTS TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN

To fully realize the benefits of implementing the EEOC's newly adopted strategic plan, approved by the Commission in February 2012, the agency requested a waiver from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to permit it to forego the development of an entirely new strategic plan that would have begun in 2014. OMB granted a deferral from the requirement to formulate a new strategic plan on December 10, 2013. Moreover, on January 22, 2014, the EEOC and OMB agreed that the agency would provide aninterim modification, authorized under Circular A-11 section 230.17 that would: 1) serve only as an extension of the agency's current plan; 2) fill the two-year gap after the Plan expires in FY 2016; and 3) "position [EEOC] to join the rest of the Federal Government in releasing an updated strategic plan in February 2018" (i.e., the beginning of the next government wide strategic plan cycle).

Consistent with the waiver granted by OMB, the agency has made interim modifications to its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2012 through 2016, which was initially issued on February 22, 2012. The bases for these modifications are twofold: 1) To include the previously "to be determined" baseline and/or target statistics not yet established at the time the Strategic Plan was approved by the Commission; and 2) To extend the performance period of the agency's current Strategic Plan two years past its expiration in FY 2016 to include targets for performance in FYs 2017 and 2018, as authorized by the Office of Management and Budget on December 10, 2013. As the modifications were adopted, they were included in the agency's PAR and its performance budget. The modifications made to the Strategic Plan are described below.

Established Final Goals for Predetermined Performance Measures

The performance measures in the Strategic Plan published on February 22, 2012, did not include final goals for a limited number of new performance measures adopted by the agency, primarily because baseline data did not exist for these measures and data collection and assessments were slated to begin at the onset of the new Strategic Plan's reporting period in FY 2012. Since that time, the agency has developed annual targets and final goals for those performance measures identified below. As targets and/or final goals were adopted for measures, they were incorporated into other agency reports; such as the EEOC's FYs 2012 and 2013 PARs published in November 2012 and December 2013, respectively, and its FYs 2014 and 2015 budget submissions to Congress.

Performance Measure 4: By the end of FY 2016, 22-24 percent of the cases in the agency's litigation docket are systemic cases.

Consistent with this measure, during FY 2012, the agency established a baseline for performance under this measure of 20 percent because it represented the proportion of systemic cases on the active litigation docket at the end of the fiscal year. Utilizing the baseline, as well as a comprehensive review of historical suit filing, resolution, and systemic case development trends, the agency projected targets for performance through FY 2016, as expressed in a series of target ranges.

Performance Measure 6: By FY 2016, 65-70 percent of the EEOC's administrative and legal resolutions contain targeted, equitable relief.

In 2013, the EEOC enhanced its Integrated Mission System (IMS) database to collect data and generate reports on resolutions with different types of targeted, equitable relief (TER). Based on TER data captured in IMS during the fiscal year, the agency formulated a baseline of 64 percent of resolutions containing TER. However, to more fully capture the variance in the number of resolutions involving TER, the agency also developed a series of ranges for its future targets through FY 2016 to include an increase in resolutions with TER within a range of 63-67 percent in FY 2014; 64-68 percent in FY 2015; and 65-70 percent in FY 2016.

Performance Measure 7: By FY 2016, 15-17 percent of resolutions by Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) contain targeted, equitable relief.

As with Performance Measure 6, the agency also determined the baseline percentage of merit factor resolutions containing TER by reporting FEPAs was 14 percent in FY 2013. To better capture the variance in the number of FEPA resolutions achieved through TER, the EEOC developed a series of ranges for future targets through FY 2016 to include an increase in FEPA resolutions with TER within a range of 13-15 percent in FY 2014; 14-16 percent in FY 2015; and 15-17 percent in FY 2016. (Baseline percentages established under Performance Measure 7 for FEPAs are different from Performance Measure 6 due to variations between charge processing systems at the FEPAs with whom the EEOC has work-sharing agreements).

Performance Measure 8: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 108 significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities.

The baseline established in FY 2012 identified approximately 90 significant partnerships within the vulnerable worker and underserved communities for Performance Measure 8. Annual target performance requires the EEOC to increase the number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities by 10 percent, nationally, over the baseline through FY 2016.

Performance Measure 9: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 86 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new businesses (or with businesses directly).

In FY 2012, the agency established a baseline of approximately 71 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small and new businesses (or with businesses directly), which contributes to the agency's objective of preventing employment discrimination through education and outreach to employers. Annual target performance requires the EEOC to increase the number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new business communities (or with businesses directly) by 10 percent nationally over the baseline through FY 2016.

Established Extended Performance Targets for Fiscal Years 2017-2018

As noted earlier, the EEOC and OMB agreed the agency would provide aninterim modification, authorized under Circular A-11 section 230.17. Consistent with the approved extension, the performance targets for FYs 2017 and 2018 are detailed in the graphics below.


Performance Measure 1: By FY 2016, the EEOC develops, issues, implements, evaluates, and revises, as necessary, a Strategic Enforcement Plan.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

The agency distributes implementation guidance for the new Strategic Enforcement Plan.

The agency begins to implement the Strategic Enforcement Plan.

If required in the Strategic Enforcement Plan, District Offices and the Office of Federal Operations develop local and federal sector enforcement plans by March 31, 2017.

The agency fully implements the new Strategic Enforcement Plan.


Performance Measure 2: By FY 2016, TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet the criteria established in the new Quality Control Plan.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet targets for quality.

TBD% of investigations and conciliations meet targets for quality.


Performance Measure 3: By FY 2016, 100% of federal sector case inventory is categorized according to a new case management system and TBD percent of hearings and appeals meet the criteria established in the new federal sector Quality Control Plan.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

100% of incoming and old case inventory are categorized

TBD% of hearings and appeals meet targets for quality.

100% of incoming and old case inventory are categorized

TBD% of hearings and appeals meet targets for quality.


Performance Measure 4: By the end of FY 2016, 22-24% of the cases in the agency's litigation docket are systemic cases.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Maintain targets at 22-24%.

Maintain targets at 22-24%.


Performance Measure 5: By FY 2016, the EEOC uses an integrated data system to identify potentially discriminatory policies or practices in federal agencies and has issued and evaluated TBD number of compliance plans to address areas of concern.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Conduct TBD number of on-site program evaluations focused on identified priorities and issue compliance plans.

Review compliance plans to determine if they have been implemented, and if not, determine what corrective action should be taken.


Performance Measure 6: By FY 2016, 65-70% of the EEOC's administrative and legal resolutions contain targeted, equitable relief.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Maintain targets at 65-70%.

Maintain targets at 65-70%.


Performance Measure 7: By FY 2016, 15-17% of resolutions by FEPAs contain targeted, equitable relief.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Maintain targets at 15-17%.

Maintain targets at 15-17%.


Performance Measure 8: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 108 significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities is maintained, nationally.

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent vulnerable workers and/or underserved communities is maintained, nationally.


Performance Measure 9: By FY 2016, the EEOC is maintaining 86 significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new businesses (or with businesses directly).

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new businesses (or with businesses directly) is maintained, nationally.

The number of significant partnerships with organizations that represent small or new businesses (or with businesses directly) is maintained, nationally.


Performance Measure 10: By FY 2013, the EEOC implements a social media plan.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

N/A***

N/A***

*** Not applicable for FYs 2017 and 2018; established targets met in 2014.

Performance Measure 11: The EEOC reviews, updates, and/or augments with plain language materials its sub-regulatory guidance, as necessary.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Consistent with Commission priorities, submit at least two plain language revisions of substantive policy documents to replace at least two other outdated guidance documents.

Consistent with Commission priorities, submit at least two plain language revisions of substantive policy documents to replace at least two other outdated guidance documents.


Performance Measure 12: The EEOC strengthens the skills and improves the diversity of its workforce.

Targets FY 2017 FY 2018

a) Number of employees with disabilities

501

501

b) Number of employees with targeted disabilities

125

125

c) Percentage of hires made within 78 days

85%

85%


Performance Measure 13: The EEOC improves the private sector charge process to streamline services and increase responsiveness to customers throughout the process.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

N/A***

N/A***

* *Not applicable for FYs 2017 and 2018; established targets met in 2016.

Performance Measure 14: The EEOC's budgetary resources for FY 2014-2017 align with the Strategic Plan.

FY 2017 FY 2018
Targets

Prepare EEOC's FY Performance (OMB) Budget that aligns resources with the Strategic Plan.

Prepare EEOC's FY Congressional Budget.

Prepare EEOC's FY Performance (OMB) Budget that aligns resources with the Strategic Plan.

Prepare EEOC's FY Congressional Budget.