1. Inicio
  2. node
  3. EEOC Report Examines Trends in Federal EEO Directors Reporting Structure
Press Release 07-27-2022

EEOC Report Examines Trends in Federal EEO Directors Reporting Structure

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a report indicating progress in compliance with the requirement that EEO (equal employment opportunity) directors at federal agencies report directly to the heads of those agencies. The EEOC has long held that a direct reporting structure — where the head of the agency supervises the person with day-to-day control of the agency’s EEO program — must be established to maintain an effective and compliant EEO program. The Elijah E. Cummings Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2020 (Cummings Act) was the first statute to mandate a direct reporting structure for the federal government.

This report relies on empirical evidence the EEOC has gathered over the years and combines several of these sources to provide a comprehensive assessment of agencies’ reporting structures following the passage of the Cummings Act. First, the EEOC examined data from agencies’ MD-715 and Form 462 reports from fiscal year (FY) 2019 and FY 2020. EEOC researchers categorized these agencies by size and identified relevant trends in com­pliance to provide recommend­ations for further action. The results of the EEOC’s FY 2021 survey of federal sector EEO directors were also incor­porated in this section. The EEOC found:

  • Small and mid-size federal agencies demonstrated high levels of compliance with the reporting structure requirement in FY 2019: 67% and 61%, respectively. In contrast, 45% of large agencies, 36% of Cabinet-level agencies, and 23% of National Guard Offices reported com­pliance.
  • In FY 2020, levels of compliance increased for all agencies, except those in the mid-sized category (down to 56%). Small agencies attained the highest levels of compliance (76%) that year, indicating that their practices could be a model for other agencies.
  • The EEOC’s FY 2021 survey identified similar trends in compliance — small agencies again achieved the greatest levels of success (47%). By comparison, only 33% of mid-sized, 36% of large, and 29% of Cabinet-level agencies reported compliance. Only 13% of National Guard offices complied that year.

The EEOC also conducted a survey of federal sector EEO directors to obtain these officials’ perspectives on the impact of a direct reporting structure upon their programs. The EEOC received 214 responses from 154 agencies. The survey results found further evidence of the importance of a direct reporting structure in maintaining a successful EEO program:

  • The vast majority of respondents from agencies with a direct reporting structure stated that it had either very positively (72%) or positively (20%) impacted their agency’s EEO program.
  • Respondents from agencies with a direct reporting structure maintained frequent communication with their agency head, with nearly 47% reporting daily or weekly communication, 21% bi­weekly, and 28% monthly.
  • At agencies without a direct reporting structure, 41% of respondents cited leadership reluctance as the main obstacle to establishing that structure at their agencies.

Carlton Hadden, director of the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO), said, “Although compliance with the direct reporting mandate needs improvement, this study shows a good start has been made in improving structures to increase equal opportunity in the federal workplace. I am hopeful that this increase will be a continuing trend and that all agencies will come into compliance with the law.”

EEOC directives have required a direct reporting structure for over a decade, and numerous prior executive orders spanning decades have also implemented such a practice. Through the passage of the Cummings Act, the U.S. Congress has codified a requirement for a direct reporting structure at federal agencies. The EEOC expects that with the clear benefits of a direct reporting structure, even more agencies will comply with the law.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.