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Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Fiscal Year 2006

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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Table of Contents

PREFACE

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) was established by theCivil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, with the mission of eradicating discrimination in the workplace.  In the federal sector, EEOC enforces Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and older; the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work under similar conditions; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), which prohibits employment discrimination against federal employees and applicants with disabilities, and requires that reasonable accommodations be provided.

EEOC is charged with monitoring federal agency compliance with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and procedures, and reviewing and assessing the effect of agencies' compliance with requirements to maintain continuing affirmative employment programs to promote equal employment opportunity and to identify and eliminate barriers to equality of employment opportunity.

Equal Employment Opportunity Management Directive 715 (MD-715), issued October 1, 2003, established standards for ensuring that agencies develop and maintain model EEO programs.  These standards will be used to measure and report on the status of the federal government's efforts to become a model employer.  As detailed in MD-715, the six elements of a model EEO program are:

  • Demonstrated commitment from agency leadership,
  • Integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission,
  • Management and program accountability,
  • Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination,
  • Efficiency, and
  • Responsiveness and legal compliance.

This report covers the period from October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006 and contains selected measures of agencies' progress toward model EEO programs.[1]  While working within our mission as an oversight agency, EEOC strives to create a partnership with agencies.  In FY 2006, EEOC expanded its Relationship Management program from 11 Cabinet/Mid-Size agencies to 12 and launched a small agency program with 14 initial participants.

The FY 2006 Annual Report on the Federal Work Force, submitted to the President and Congress, presents a summary of selected EEO program activities in the federal government, including work force profiles of 59 federal agencies.  The report provides valuable information to all agencies as they strive to become model employers. 

To prepare this report, the Commission relied on the following data: 1) work force data, as of September 30, 2006, obtained from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Central Personnel Data File (CPDF)[2] supplemented with data provided by the Foreign Service, Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority and the United States Postal Service; 2) data from the 1990 and 2000 EEO Special Files; 3) EEO complaint processing data submitted and certified as accurate by 110 federal agencies in their Annual Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints (EEO 462 reports); 4) hearings and appeals data obtained from EEOC's internal databases; and 5) EEO program data submitted and certified as accurate by 158 of 198 federal agencies and subcomponents in their fiscal year (FY) 2005 Federal Agency Annual Equal Employment Opportunity Program Status Reports (MD-715 reports).[3]

Effective January 1, 2006, the U. S. Office of Personnel Management required federal agencies to report ethnicity and race information for accessions on the revised Standard Form 181.  Accordingly, the CPDF now contains data on persons who are Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders or who are of Two or More Races.  Thus, for the first time, separate data on these groups is contained in this Report.  Readers should bear in mind that in prior years, data on Asians included Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders and no data was reported on persons of Two or More Races.  As a result, care should be exercised when comparing current data to data from prior years. 

Finally, the Commission would like to extend its thanks to the Office of Personnel Management for providing the work force data from the CPDF, AAFES, FERC, TVA, USPS and the Foreign Service and to those agencies that timely submitted accurate and verifiable EEO complaint processing data.

This year the Commission again provided agencies an opportunity to comment on the draft of this report.  The Commission thanks those agencies that submitted comments and suggestions for assisting in the publishing of a more accurate report.  Agencies are encouraged to submit all Reports to the Commission in a timely and accurate manner to ensure that the state of EEO in the federal work force is reflected correctly.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

STATE OF EEO IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

  • In FY 2006, there were 2.6 million women and men employed by the Federal government across the country and around the world.
    • 56.9% were men and 43.1% were women; the participation rate for women has slowly but steadily increased over the last ten years.
    • 7.7% were Hispanic or Latino, 66.2% were White, 18.4% were Black or African American, 5.9% were Asian, 0.2% were Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, 1.7% were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 0.1% were persons of Two Or More Races.
  • Between FY 2005 and FY 2006, Hispanic or Latinos, Whites, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, women and persons of Two or More Races remained below their overall availability in the national civilian labor force, as reported in the 2000 census. Black or African Americans, Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives and men remained above their overall availability in the national civilian labor force, as reported in the 2000 census.
  • The number of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal work force has been steadily declining in the past ten years, from 28,671 in FY 1997 to 24,442 in FY 2006. In FY 2006, Individuals with Targeted Disabilities represented less than one percent (0.94%) of the total work force.
  • Of the total work force, 0.77% held senior pay level positions, which is an increase from 0.62% in FY 1997. Women have made the most gains in securing senior level positions in the federal government, occupying 26.2% of those positions in FY 2006, up from 21.2% in FY 1997. Within that ten year period Hispanic or Latino and Asian women have made the most gains.
  • Of the total work force, 54.3% of employees occupied General Schedule and Related pay system positions.
  • The average grade for permanent and temporary General Schedule employees was 10. Hispanic or Latino (9.4), Black or African American (9), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (8.3), American Indian/Alaska Native (8.4) employees and employees of Two or More Races (8.6) all had average grades lower than the government-wide average.
  • The average General Schedule grade for women was 9.3, nearly one and a half grades below the average grade level for men of 10.7.
  • The average General Schedule grade for Individuals with Targeted Disabilities was 8.5, one and a half grades below the government-wide average (for permanent and temporary employees) of 10.
  • Of the total work force, 7.50% of employees occupy positions in the Federal Wage System. In comparison to the General Schedule and Related positions, the Federal Wage System had a higher percentage of men (88.98%), Hispanic or Latinos (7.87%), Black or African Americans (18.21%), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders (0.57%) and American Indian/Alaska Natives (2.53%), and a lower percentage of Asians (4.19%), Whites (66.51%) and women (11.01%).
  • Of the total work force, 37.51% of employees occupied positions in Other Pay Systems (i.e. other than Senior Pay, General Schedule and Federal Wage Systems). In comparison to the General Schedule, the other pay systems had a higher percentage Hispanic or Latinos (7.98%), Black or African Americans (19.87%), and Asians (7.73%); and a lower percentage of Whites (63.12%) American Indian/Alaska Natives (1.11%) and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders (0.13%).
  • Of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted a FY 2005 MD-715 report, 50% reported that they had issued an EEO policy on an annual basis, down from 54% of the 170 agencies and subcomponents that submitted an MD-715 report in FY 2004.
  • Of the 91 agencies with 100 or more employees that were required to submit a FY 2006 EEOC Form 462 report, only 56 (61%) reported that the EEO Director reports directly to the agency head.
  • A state of the agency briefing to the agency head, required by MD-715, was conducted by 59% of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted a FY 2005 MD-715 report, up from 38% of the agencies and subcomponents in FY 2004.
Image

Congratulations to the U. S. Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program for receiving the EEOC Freedom to Compete Award in FY 2006. The Freedom to Compete Award recognizes excellence in the implementation of specific equal employment opportunity practices that the Commission believes can be emulated by other employers, agencies or organizations. Further information about this Award is available at www.eeoc.gov.


  • A reasonable accommodation procedure was submitted to EEOC for review by 98% of the 91 agencies with 100 or more employees that were required to submit a FY 2006 EEOC Form 462 report.
  • Pre-complaint EEO counseling and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs addressed many employee concerns before they resulted in a formal EEO complaint. Of the 38,824 instances of counseling in FY 2006, 55.2% did not result in the filing of a formal complaint due either to settlement by the parties or withdrawal from the EEO process.
  • In FY 2006, 15,359 individuals filed 16,723 complaints alleging employment discrimination against the federal government.
  • The number of complaints filed declined by 7.2% from the number filed the previous year and there was a 6.9% decrease in the number of individuals who filed complaints over the same period. In FY 2006, 8.2% of the complaints filed were by individuals who had previously filed at least one other complaint during the year, down from 8.4% in FY 2005.
  • Although considerable improvement occurred in FY 2006, federal agencies, as a whole, continued to exceed the regulatory processing time of 180 days or less, unless extended, due to settlement efforts, amendment, or consolidation for investigating EEO complaints. A total of 10,817 investigations were completed government-wide in an average of 186 days. Significantly, 7,506, or 69.4%, of the investigations were timely completed, up from 54.9% timely completed in FY 2005.
  • Agencies issued 4,857 merit decisions without a decision by an EEOC Administrative Judge, and 3,026 (62.3%) of these decisions were timely issued, up from 59.1% timely issued in FY 2005.
  • EEOC's hearing receipts decreased by 24.0%, from 10,266 in FY 2005 to 7,802 in FY 2006. The average processing time for a hearing was 274 days, a 10.0% increase from FY 2005's average of 249 days.
  • EEOC's appeal receipts decreased by 9.9%, declining from 7,490 in FY 2005 to 6,743 in FY 2006. The average processing time for appeals in FY 2006 was 220 days, a 13.4% increase from the FY 2005 average of 194 days.
  • In FY 2006, as a result of final agency decisions, settlement agreements, and final agency actions in which agencies agreed to fully implement EEOC Administrative Judges' decisions, agencies paid monetary benefits to EEO complainants totaling $32.6 million, down from the $51.7 million paid in FY 2005. An additional $11.7 million was paid out in response to appellate decisions, a decrease from the $15 million paid out in FY 2005.
  • In FY 2006, EEOC's training and outreach program reached 6,158 federal employees through 198 sessions.
  • In FY 2006, EEOC Form 462 reports were timely filed by 86 or 94% of the 91 agencies (with 100 or more employees) that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report.
  • In FY 2005, MD-715 reports were timely filed by 107, or 68% of the 158 reporting agencies and subcomponents.

Part I

Summary of EEO Statistics in the Federal Government

Section A - Demonstrated Commitment From Agency Leadership

Now, more than ever before, with the increasing expectations of government institutions, federal agencies must position themselves to attract, develop and retain a top-quality work force in order to ensure our nation's continued growth, security and prosperity.  To develop this competitive, highly qualified work force, federal agencies must fully utilize the talents of all employees, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or disability.  In order to assist agencies in attaining these goals, on October 1, 2003, MD-715 became effective and set forth "policy guidance and standards for establishing and maintaining effective affirmative programs of equal employment opportunity under Section 717 of Title VII and effective affirmative action programs under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act."

MD-715 requires agency heads and other senior management officials to demonstrate a firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment.  Agencies must promote and safeguard equal employment opportunity into everyday practice and make those principles a fundamental part of agency culture. 

1. 50% of Agencies Issued EEO Policy Statements on an Annual Basis

Section II(A) of MD-715 provides that "commitment to equal employment opportunity must be embraced by agency leadership and communicated through the ranks from the top down.  It is the responsibility of each agency head to take such measures as may be necessary to incorporate the principles of EEO into the agency's organizational structure."  In addition, this section establishes that "agency heads must issue a written policy statement expressing their commitment to EEO and a workplace free of discriminatory harassment.  This statement should be issued at the beginning of their tenure and thereafter on an annual basis and disseminated to all employees."

Of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted an MD-715 report for FY 2005, 79 (50%) reported that they had issued an EEO policy statement and would continue to do so on an annual basis, down from the 54% reported in FY 2004.

EEO Program Tip

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Fellowship Program (EEOCFP) was developed in March 2007. The brain child of Naomi Earp, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOCFP is a competitive program designed to create a pool of candidates for detail assignments to the EEOC. The EEOCFP provides an opportunity for Federal employees, Professors and graduate students interested in equal opportunity, public administration, economics, employment law, statistics, and other relevant fields, to participate in research and projects related to the eradication of discrimination and fair and inclusive workplaces in the federal government. The EEOCFP consists of three levels: The Distinguished Fellows Program; the Meritorious Fellows Program; and the Exchange Fellows Program. The Distinguished Fellows Program is open to GS-14's and above or equivalents in the academic community interested in assignments of six months or more; the Meritorious Fellows Program is open to GS-13's and below and equivalents in the academic community interested in assignments of less than six months; and the Exchange Program is open to EEOC employees and other Federal employees interested in exchanging jobs based on mutual agreement. The first Fellows assignments will begin October 1, 2007. Further information, is available on the EEOC website at www.eeoc.gov.

Section B - Integration of EEO Into Agencies' Strategic Mission

In order to achieve its strategic mission, an agency must integrate equality of opportunity into attracting, hiring, developing, and retaining the most qualified work force.  The success of an agency's EEO program ultimately depends upon decisions made by individual agency managers.  Therefore, agency managers constitute an integral part of the agency's EEO program.  The EEO office serves as a resource to these managers by providing direction, guidance, and monitoring of key activities to achieve a diverse workplace free of barriers to equal opportunity.

As part of integrating EEO into the strategic mission, Section II(B) of MD-715 instructs agencies to ensure that: (1)  the EEO Director has access to the agency head; (2) the EEO office coordinates with Human Resources; (3) sufficient resources are allocated to the EEO program; (4) the EEO office retains a competent staff; (5) all managers receive management training; (6) all managers and employees are involved in implementing the EEO program; and (7) all employees are informed of the EEO program.  Three aspects of this Section are highlighted below.

1. 61% of Agency EEO Directors Report to Agency Head

EEOC's regulations governing agency programs to promote equal employment opportunity require each agency to "maintain a continuing affirmative program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and polices."  29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(a).  To implement its program, each agency shall designate a Director of Equal Employment Opportunity who shall be under the immediate supervision of the agency head.  29 C.F.R. §1614.102(b)(4).

Of the 91 agencies (with 100 or more employees) that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2006, 56 agencies (61.5%) reported that their EEO Director reports to the agency head.  

2. 59% of EEO Directors Presented the State of the EEO Program to the Agency Head

In addition to improving the status and independence of EEO, Section II(B) of MD-715 requires that agencies ". . . provide the EEO Director with regular access to the agency head and other senior management officials for reporting on the effectiveness, efficiency, and legal compliance . . ." of the agency's EEO program.  Following the submission of the MD-715 report to EEOC, EEO Directors should present the state of the EEO program to the agency head on an annual basis.  See Section I of EEOC's Instructions for MD-715.

Of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted an MD-715 report for FY 2005, 93 (59%) indicated that the EEO Director had conducted the briefing, up from the 75 (44%) of the 170 in FY 2004.

3. 91% of Agencies Provided Their EEO Staff with Required Training

Section II(B) of MD-715 requires that agencies attract, develop and retain EEO staff with the strategic competencies necessary to accomplish the agency's EEO mission.  In order to ensure staff competency within its EEO complaint program, agencies must comply with the mandatory training requirements for EEO counselors and investigators as set forth in MD-110.  Agencies using contract staff to perform these functions must also ensure that these requirements are met. 

Chapter 2, Section II of MD-110 requires that new EEO counselors receive thirty-two hours of EEO counselor training and thereafter eight hours of training each year.  Likewise, new EEO investigators are required to have thirty-two hours of EEO investigator training and thereafter eight hours of training each year as set forth in Chapter 6, Section II of MD-110.

Of the 91 agencies with 100 or more employees that filed an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2006, 91% ensured their EEO staff received the required regulatory training.  Agencies trained 1,652 new EEO counselors and 157 new EEO investigators.  Agencies also provided the required eight hour annual refresher training to 3,265 EEO counselors and 1,563 EEO investigators.  Additionally, agencies reported providing thirty-two hour training to 32 EEO counselor/investigators and eight hour training to 121 EEO counselor/investigators.  Through the EEOC Training Institute, 10 agencies provided additional MD-715 training for their EEO staff.

Section C - Management and Program Accountability

A model EEO program will hold managers, supervisors, EEO officials, and personnel officers accountable for the effective implementation and management of the agency's program.  As part of management and program accountability, MD-715 provides that agencies should ensure that:  (1) regular internal audits are conducted of the EEO program; (2) EEO procedures are established; (3) managers and supervisors are evaluated on EEO; (4) personnel policies are clear and consistently implemented; (5) a comprehensive anti-harassment policy has been issued; (6) an effective reasonable accommodation policy has been issued; and (7) findings of discrimination are reviewed.  Two aspects of this Section are highlighted below.

1. 98% of Agencies Submitted Reasonable Accommodation Procedures

Section II(C) of MD-715 provides that a model EEO program must "implement effective reasonable accommodation procedures that comply with applicable executive orders, EEOC guidance, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards and Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, and ensure that EEOC has reviewed those procedures when initially developed and if procedures are later significantly modified."

Executive Order (E.O.) 13164 was issued July 26, 2000, which required all executive branch federal agencies to institute procedures for processing reasonable accommodation requests under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and submit them to EEOC.  To date, EEOC has received 123 reasonable accommodation procedures from agencies and subcomponents and provided feedback to each of those agencies and subcomponents.  Of the 91 agencies with 100 or more employees that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2006, 98% provided reasonable accommodation procedures to EEOC.

The E.O. also requires each agency to submit to EEOC any modifications to its reasonable accommodation procedures.  As of the end of FY 2006, EEOC received only 7 resubmissions, as opposed to 84 received during FY 2005.  EEOC continues to provide technical assistance to agencies on drafting their reasonable accommodation procedures and on implementation concerns.

Section 1(b)(3) of the E.O. mandates that the time frame for the reasonable accommodation decisions be as short as reasonably possible.  In providing feedback to agencies concerning time frames, the Commission has emphasized that: (1) all stages of the process, including receipt of the request, delivery of the request to the deciding official, the decision to grant the request and the delivery of the requested accommodation, be clearly identified and subject to a specific time limit; (2) to the extent possible, first-line supervisors be granted the authority to approve accommodation requests, in order to eliminate unnecessary levels of review; (3) an expedited process be provided in those situations where the requested accommodation is simple and straightforward and would not result in an undue hardship; and (4) circumstances under which delays in processing reasonable accommodation requests could arise be clearly addressed.  See "Policy Guidance on Executive Order 13164: Establishing Procedures To Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation" (October 20, 2000); and "Practical Advice for Drafting and Implementing Reasonable Accommodation Procedures Under Executive Order 13164" (July 19, 2005).

EEO Program Tips

The following language concerning time frames for processing reasonable accommodation requests comes from EEOC's: "Practical Advice for Drafting and Implementing Reasonable Accommodation Procedures Under Executive Order 13164" (July 19, 2005):

  • Designate a mandatory time limit during which all requests for reasonable accommodation must be processed, absent extenuating circumstances.
  • Require that requests be handled as promptly as possible regardless of the time limit, and clearly state that failure to do so, absent extenuating circumstances, might result in an undue delay in violation of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Provide a reasonably quick time period for processing requests and clearly state that the time limit will be suspended while the parties wait for requested medical information or documentation.
  • State clearly when the time frame corresponding to each stage in the process begins to run and make sure that there are no gaps. It might be helpful to identify an individual, such as a disability program manager, as being responsible for overseeing adherence to time frames.
  • Specify what constitutes "extenuating circumstances," making it clear that the concept only applies to those situations involving factors that are outside the agency's control.
  • Require expedited processing where it is needed, as in the case of time-sensitive accommodation requests.
  • Provide time limits that cover the time allotted to deliver or implement the accommodation once it has been granted, as well as to process the accommodation request.
  • Provide that in the event of a delay, the agency official responsible for processing the accommodation request should confer with the individual requesting the accommodation in order to consider providing temporary measures. Whenever it is possible to do so, process requests in less time than that authorized by the time limit, especially in those situations where an accommodation can be provided in much less time than the procedures allow. The complete document can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/implementing_accommodation.html.

2. 64% of Agencies Report They Have An Anti-Harassment Policy

Sections II(A) and (C) of EEOC's MD-715 provide that model EEO programs should "issue a written policy statement expressing their commitment to . . . a workplace free of discriminatory harassment" and "establish procedures to prevent . . . harassment."  For more information, please review EEOC's Enforcement Guidance:  Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors, Notice 915.002 (June 18, 1999) (Enforcement Guidance on Harassment).  In order to ensure that the agency's anti-harassment policy is enforced, Section II(C) requires agencies to establish procedures to prevent harassment and to take immediate corrective action once harassment is found.  These procedures are separate from the federal sector administrative EEO complaint process.

EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on Harassment makes clear that agencies can be held liable for harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, protected activity, age (40 and over), or disability, and not merely for harassment that is of a sexual nature.  Accordingly, the policy guidance emphasizes that agencies should establish anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures covering unlawful harassment on all bases.

Of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted an MD-715 report for FY 2005, 101 (64%) reported that they had an anti-harassment policy.

EEO Program Tips

A common problem the Commission encounters is that some anti-harassment procedures, while comprehensive in nature, include separate definitions of sexual harassment. This suggests that, from a legal standpoint, sexual harassment is somehow different in kind from harassment on other bases. It also conveys the impression that sexual harassment claims might be subject to a different standard of liability than other forms of harassment. A more effective approach would be to include sexually oriented verbal or physical conduct within a comprehensive definition of discriminatory harassment.

For example, an agency could define discriminatory harassment as follows:

Any verbal or physical conduct, based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex (with or without sexual conduct), or protected activities, that either results in a tangible employment action or is so severe and pervasive as to constitute an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, including, but not limited to: (1) verbal conduct that could include racial or sexual epithets, foul language, unwanted sexual flirtations, ethnic jokes, derogatory statements or slurs; (2) physical conduct that could include improper touching or assault; or (3) visual harassment that could include racially or sexually explicit or derogatory posters, cartoons or drawings, or obscene gestures.

Section D - Proactive Prevention of Unlawful Discrimination

Part 1614 of EEOC's regulations provides that each agency shall "establish a system for periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the agency's overall equal employment opportunity effort."  29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(a)(11).  In particular, "each agency shall maintain a continuing affirmative program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies."  29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(a).

1. Barrier Analysis

Pursuant to Section II(D) of MD-715, a model EEO program "must conduct a self-assessment on at least an annual basis to monitor progress and identify areas where barriers may operate to exclude certain groups."  Part A(II) of MD-715 provides that "where an agency's self-assessment indicates that a racial, national origin, or gender group may have been denied equal access to employment opportunities, the agency must take steps to identify and eliminate the potential barrier."  Barriers are defined as policies, procedures, practices, or conditions that limit employment opportunities for members of a particular race, ethnic or religious background, gender, or for individuals with disabilities.  While some barriers are readily discernable, most are embedded in the agency's day-to-day employment policies, practices and programs, including: recruitment; hiring; career development; competitive and noncompetitive promotions; training; awards and incentive programs; disciplinary actions; and separations. 

Of the 158 agencies and subcomponents that submitted a FY 2005 MD-715 report, 120 (80%) of them reported addressing potential barrier(s). 

EEO Program Tips

In December 1997, the EEOC issued a Task Force Report on ""Best" Equal Employment Opportunity Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Private Sector." The Report compiled a number of "best practices" that promote equal employment opportunity and address barriers that may affect equal employment opportunity. Use of this Report as an idea bank broadly drawn upon may assist agencies in their efforts to attain a model EEO program.

In addition to potential general barriers to equal employment opportunity, which tend to be societal or culturally based, agencies should focus on potential barriers specific to particular types of employment actions. Specific barriers tend to be imbedded in the agency's operations, in other words, barriers to recruitment and hiring, or advancement and promotion, etc. Examples of policies, programs and practices that help identify and eliminate barriers include:

  • Partnering with organizations that have missions to serve targeted groups;
  • Using internships, work/study programs to attract and develop interested and qualified candidates;
  • Developing methods to identify high-potential employees;
  • Ensuring that tools for continuous learning and optimum job performance are available;
  • Providing job transfer/rotation programs for career enhancing development experiences; and
  • Ensuring that all persons involved in recruitment/hiring or promotions/advancement are well trained in their equal employment opportunity responsibilities.

The above is a small sampling of the data available in the Report, which is available on-line at www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/task_reports/best_practices.html

2. Composition of the Federal Work Force

With the increasing number of new grade and pay systems being adopted throughout the federal government, this year's report provides statistics on the composition of the Total Work Force as well as statistics on employees in four pay structures:

Senior Pay Level pay structures were created by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which established the Senior Executive Service (SES) as a separate personnel system covering a majority of the top managerial, supervisory, and policy-making positions in the Executive Branch of government.

The General Schedule pay system was created by the Classification Act of 1949, which created a centralized job evaluation for all White-Collar positions and merged several separate schedules into one.

The Federal Wage System was established by Public Law 92-392 in 1972 to standardize pay rates for Blue-Collar federal employees.

Today, alternative pay plans are being used and proposed across the federal government.  In this report they are identified as "Other Pay Systems."  These systems include pay-banding systems, the Market-Based Pay system of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, and include such agencies as the United States Postal Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Table 1 below shows the representation rates for each of these pay structures.

Table 1 - FY 2006 Federal Work Force Pay Structure Participation Levels
# Work Force % of Total Work Force

Total Work Force

2,611,493

Senior Pay Level

20,070 0.77

General Schedule and Related

1,416,901 54.26

Federal Wage System

194,858 7.46

Other Pay Systems

979,664 37.51
a. Total Work Force: Hispanic or Latino employees and White Women Remain Below Availability

In FY 2006, the federal government had a Total Work Force of 2,611,493 employees, compared to 2,475,761 in FY 1997.[4]  Table 2 shows the participation rate of the identified groups below, as compared to the civilian labor force (CLF).  Table A-1 in Appendix III, located at www.eeoc.gov, provides ten-year trend data.

Table 2 - Composition of Federal Work Force –
Ten-Year Trend: Some Progress, Little Overall Change
FY 1997 - FY 2006[5]
Work Force Participation Rate 2000 CLF
FY 2006 FY 1997 % FY 2006 %

Men

1,487,030

58.35

56.94

53.20

Women

1,124,463

41.65

43.06

46.80

Hispanic or Latino Men

119,756

3.97

4.59

6.20

Hispanic or Latino Women

80.849

2.42

3.10

4.50

White Men

1,049,959

42.87

40.21

39.00

White Women

677,861

26.29

25.96

33.70

Black or African American Men

206,219

8.04

7.90

4.80

Black or African American Women

273,284

10.31

10.46

5.80

Asian Men

87,680

2.77*

3.36

2.00

Asian Women

66,055

1.93*

2.53

1.80

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Men

2,569

*

0.10

0.10

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Women

1,932

*

0.07

0.10

American Indian/Alaska Native Men

20,089

0.69

0.77

0.50

American Indian/Alaska Native Women

23,718

0.71

0.91

0.50

Two or More Race Men

758

**

0.03

0.50

Two or More Race Women

764

**

0.03

0.40

Individuals with Targeted Disabilities

24,442

1.16

0.94

CLF NOT AVAILABLE

  *Asians, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders data included in Asian data  **Data not available.

A comparison of the data on the participation rates of persons in particular agency components or specific major occupations can serve as a diagnostic tool to help identify possible areas where barriers to equal opportunity may exist within an agency.  This information is located in Tables A-1a and A-6b of Appendix III, located at www.eeoc.gov.[6]

b. Senior Pay Levels: Women Show Some Progress

With a total of 20,070 employees, the Senior Pay Level (SPL) positions comprise 0.77% of the total work force.  SPL positions include the SES, Executive Schedule, Senior Foreign Service, and other employees earning salaries above grade 15 in the General Schedule. Table 3 below reflects the SPL representation.  Table A-2 of Appendix III at www.eeoc.gov contains additional data.

Table 3 - Senior Pay Level Representation FY 1997 / FY 2006
Senior Pay Level Positions
FY 1997 FY 2006
Number % of SPL Number % of SPL
Total SPL Work Force 15,381   20,070  
Men 12,124 78.83 14,814 73.81
Women 3,257 21.17 5,256 26.19
Hispanic or Latino 412 2.68 733 3.65
White 13,563 88.18 17,105 85.23
Black or African American 1,005 6.53 1,307 6.51
Asian 304* 1.98* 746 3.72
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander ** ** 3 0.01
American Indian/Alaska Native 97 0.63 167 0.83
Individuals with Targeted Disabilities 67 0.44 93 0.46

*Includes both Asian and Pacific Islanders  **Data not available

  • The participation rate for women increased from 21.17% in FY 1997 to 26.19% in FY 2006. 
  • From FY 1997 to FY 2006, the Total SPL Work Force increased by 4,689 employees, a net change of 30.48%.  Likewise, the number of federal employees with targeted disabilities increased from 67 in FY 1997 to 93 in FY 2006, a net change of 38.81%.
  • Among agencies with 500 or more employees, Defense Security Service had the greatest percentage of women in SPL positions.  See Table 4 below.  SPL data for all agencies is located in Table A-2a of Appendix III, which can be found at www.eeoc.gov
Table 4 - Ranking of Agencies with the Highest Percentage of Women in Senior Pay Level Positions in FY 2006 (Agencies With 500 Or More Employees)
Agency Total
Work
Force
#
SPL
#
Women in
Senior Pay Level
Positions
# %

Defense Security Service

544

4

3

75.00

Defense Human Resource Activity

880

12

8

66.67

Corp. for National and Community Service

558

19

10

52.63

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

2,195

32

15

46.88

Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

1,140

12

5

41.67

  • Between FY 1997 and FY 2006, the participation rate for Black or African American employees (6.51%) in SPL positions has decreased slightly.  The participation rate was (0.46%) for Individuals with Targeted Disabilities, (3.65%) for Hispanic or Latino employees, (3.72%) for Asian employees and (0.83%) for American Indian/Alaska Native employees.
  • In FY 2006, the "feeder grades" to SPL positions[7] (GS grades 14 and 15) showed the following participation rates: men (67.28%), women (32.72%), Hispanic or Latino employees (4.10%), White employees (79.29%), Black or African American employees (9.67%), Asian employees (5.92%), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander employees (0.03%), American Indian/Alaska Native employees (0.93%), and Individuals with Targeted Disabilities comprised (0.50%).
  • Part II of this report also contains information on the major occupations in selected government agencies.  Data on participation rates of persons holding positions in an agency's major occupations can serve as a diagnostic tool to help determine possible areas where barriers to equal opportunity may exist and prevent upward mobility to SPL positions.
c. General Schedule and Related Positions: Hispanic or Latinos and Women Improve
  • With a total of 1,416,901 employees, the General Schedule and Related (GSR) positions comprised 54.26% of the total work force in FY 2006.  GSR positions are mostly comprised of positions whose primary duty requires knowledge or experience of an administrative, clerical, scientific, artistic, or technical nature.  GSR figures include employees in other pay systems that are easily converted to GS by OPM.
  • In FY 2006, the GSR participation rate for Hispanic or Latino employees was 7.50%; for White employees was 67.94%; for Black or African American employees was 17.50%; for Asian employees was 4.88%, for Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander employees was 0.15%; for American Indian/Alaska Native employees was 1.96%, and for Individuals With Targeted Disabilities was 1.01%.  See Table A-3 in Appendix III at www.eeoc.gov, for the entire ten-year trend in the GSR pay systems.
Table 5 - General Schedule & Related (GSR) Representation FY 1997 / FY2006
GSR Positions
FY 1997 FY 2006
Number % of GSR Number % of GSR
Total GSR Work Force 1,269,435   1,416,901  
Men 663,407 52.26 727,981 51.38
Women 606,828 47.74 688,920 48.62
Hispanic or Latino 79,594 6.27 106,330 7.50
White 884,035 69.64 962,634 67.94
Black or African American 229,895 18.11 248,025 17.50
Asian 50,397* 3.97* 69,092 4.88
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander ** ** 2,139 0.15
American Indian/Alaska Native 25,389 2.00 27,791 1.96
Individuals with Targeted Disabilities 16,249 1.28 14,373 1.01

*Includes both Asian and Pacific Islanders **Data not available

  • Women held 48.62% of all GSR positions in FY 2006, up from 47.74% in FY 1997.  Over the ten year period, Hispanic or Latino employees and Asian employees gradually increased their representation rates in the GSR work force.
  • Over the ten year period, the participation rate for Individuals with Targeted Disabilities declined from 1.28% to 1.01% of the GSR work force.
  • The average grade level for the total GSR permanent and temporary work force was grade 10 in FY 2006.  Of GSR employees, 18.15% were in grades 1-6, 38.92% were in grades 7-11, 31.09% were in grades 12-13, and 11.78% were in grades 14-15.

Figure 1 - Average Grade in the General Schedule and Related Positions
FY 2006

Image
  • The average GSR grade level for Hispanic or Latino employees (9.4), Black or African American employees (9), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander employees (8.3), American Indian/Alaska Native employees (8.4) and persons of Two or More Races (8.6) was lower than the government-wide average grade level (10).
  • Approximately 42.23% of women employed in the GSR work force were in grades 7-11.  The average GSR grade for women was 9.3 almost one full grade below the government-wide average of 10 and one and a half grades below men (10.7).
  • The average GSR grade level for Individuals with Targeted Disabilities was 8.5, one and a half grades below the government-wide average.  See Table A-3 in Appendix III at www.eeoc.gov.
d. Federal Wage System Positions: Women, Whites and American Indian/Alaska Natives Slightly Increase
  • With a total of 194,858 employees, Federal Wage System (FWS) positions comprised 7.46% of the total work force in FY 2006.  FWS (Blue-Collar) positions are mostly comprised of trade, craft and labor occupations.
Table 6 - Federal Wage System (FWS) Representation
FY 1997 / FY 2006
Federal Wage System (FWS) Positions
FY 1997 FY 2006
Number % of FWS Number % of FWS
Total FWS Work Force 243,343   194,858  
Men 217,573 89.41 173,389 88.98
Women 25,770 10.59 21,469 11.02
Hispanic or Latino 20,027 8.23 15,334 7.87
White 160,290 65.87 129,714 66.57
Black or African American 45,286 18.61 35,490 18.21
Asian 11,315* 4.65* 8,163 4.19
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander * * 1,112 0.57
American Indian/Alaska Native 6,400 2.63 4,937 2.53
Individuals with Targeted Disabilities 3,650 1.50 2,227 1.14

* Includes data for Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander until separate data in FY 2006 data.

  • FY 2006 FWS positions declined 19.92% from FY 1997.
  • Since FY 1997, the participation rates for Hispanic or Latino employees (7.87%), Black or African American employees (18.21%), Asian employees (4.19%) and American Indian/Alaska Native employees (2.53%) have declined, while women (11.01%) and White employees (66.51%) have increased slightly.  See Table A-4 in Appendix III at www.eeoc.gov for the complete ten-year trend.
  • In FY 2006, the participation rate of men in the FWS pay system was 37.6 percentage points higher than the participation rate of men in the GSR pay system.  Comparatively, FWS participation rates for Hispanic or Latino employees, Black or African American employees, American Indian/Alaska Native employees and Individuals with Targeted Disabilities were higher than the GSR participation rates, while the FWS work force participation rates for women, White employees, and Asian employees were lower.
e. Other Pay Systems: Women Increase But Still Trail Men
  • With a total of 979,664 employees, other pay systems (OPS) comprised 37.51% of the total work force in FY 2006.  Other Pay Systems include pay banding and other pay-for-performance systems that cannot be equated to GS grades.
Table 7 - Other Pay Systems (OPS) Representation FY 1997 – FY 2006
Other Pay Systems (OPS) Positions
FY 1997 FY 2006
Number % of OPS Number % of OPS
Total OPS Work Force 948,911   979,664  
Men 574,471 60.54 570,846 58.27
Women 374,440 39.46 408,818 41.73
Hispanic or Latino 63,008 6.64 78,208 7.98
White 628,274 66.21 618,367 63.12
Black or African American 189,403 19.96 194,681 19.87
Asian 59,876* 6.31* 75,734 7.73
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander ** ** 1,247 0.13
American Indian/Alaska Native 8,350 0.88 10,912 1.11
Individuals with Targeted Disabilities 9,106 0.96 7,802 0.80

*Includes both Asian and Pacific Islander employees  ** Included with Asian employees

  • The participation rate for women (41.73%) in OPS was significantly lower than those (48.62%) in the GSR pay system.
  • In FY 2006, the OPS participation rates for Hispanic or Latino employees (7.98%), and Asian employees (7.73%) and American Indian/Alaska Native employees (1.11%) slowly rose, while White employees (63.12%), Black or African American employees (19.87%) and Individuals with Targeted Disabilities (0.80%) fell from FY 1997 levels.
  • In FY 2006, the OPS participation rates for Hispanic or Latino employees, Black or African American employees, and Asian employees were higher than in the GSR and FWS pay systems. OPS Participation rates for White employees and American Indian/Alaska Native employees and Individuals with Targeted Disabilities were lower than those in the GSR and FWS pay systems.  See Table A-5 in Appendix IV at www.eeoc.gov for the complete ten-year trend.

3. Participation Rate of Individuals with Targeted Disabilities Continues to Fall

  • From FY 1997 to FY 2006, the Total Work Force increased by 135,732 employees, a net change of 5.48%.  However, the number of federal employees with targeted disabilities decreased from 28,671 in FY 1997 to 24,442 in FY 2006, a net change of –14.75%. 
  • Of the 2,611,493 federal employees in FY 2006, 24,442 were Individuals with Targeted Disabilities, resulting in a 0.94% participation rate for employees with targeted disabilities.  Over the past 20 years, the federal government's efforts to improve the participation rate of employees with targeted disabilities have failed to result in any significant progress.  In order to properly track trends in the employment of Individuals with Targeted Disabilities, it is necessary for each agency to regularly resurvey its work force and update disability identification information.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had the highest percentage of Individuals with Targeted Disabilities among those agencies with 500 or more employees at 2.37%.  See Table 8 below.
Table 8 - Ranking of Agencies With the Highest Percent of Individuals With Targeted Disabilities (Agencies With 500 Or More Employees)
Agency Total Work Force Individuals with Targeted Disabilities
# %

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

2,195 52 2.37

Social Security Administration

63,647 1,318 2.07

Defense Finance and Accounting Service

13,083 261 1.99

Defense Logistics Agency

21,459 413 1.92

Government Printing Office

2,235 39 1.74

Table A-6b in Appendix III contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

EEO Program Tip

LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) is the EEOC's Initiative to address the declining number of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce. The over-arching goal for this initiative is to significantly increase the population of individuals with disabilities employed by the federal government. In support of the LEAD Initiative, the Office of Federal Operations maintains a strategic workgroup formulating strategies and plans designed to assist federal agencies in reversing the negative trends facing the severely disabled who seek federal employment opportunities.

http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/lead/index.html

EEO Program Tips

For improving the participation rate of Individuals with Targeted Disabilities:

  • Seek out advice from agencies that are doing well.
  • There should be at least one person within your agency who is well-versed on the various hiring authorities, internships, and employment programs designed specifically to benefit people with disabilities (including veterans with disabilities).
  • Encourage staff to attend disability related conferences, such as Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government's (DHHIG) National Training Conference or The Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities Conference.
  • Every person in HR who is involved with selections must have a clear understanding of the Schedule A appointing authority.
  • Quarterly reports to senior leaders on how managers are performing in this area will help.
  • Hold managers accountable.

Section E - Efficiency in the Federal EEO Process

EEOC's regulations provide that each agency shall assure that individual complaints are fairly and thoroughly investigated and that final action is taken in a timely manner.  29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(c)(5).  Section II(E) of MD-715 establishes that a model EEO program must have an efficient and fair dispute resolution process and effective systems for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of their EEO programs.  In this regard, Section II(E) recommends that agencies "benchmark against EEOC regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 and other federal agencies of similar size which are highly ranked in EEOC's Annual Report on the federal sector complaints process."

1. Federal Agency EEO Programs:  Complaints Decrease But Processing Times Continue to Exceed Regulatory Deadlines

Agencies process federal employees' EEO complaints under regulations promulgated by EEOC at 29 C.F.R. Part 1614.  Employees unable to resolve their concerns through counseling can file a complaint with their agency.[8]  The agency will either dismiss[9] or accept the complaint.  If the complaint is accepted, the agency must conduct an investigation, and, in most instances, issue the investigative report within 180 days from the date the complaint was filed.[10]

After the employee receives the investigative report, s/he may: (1) request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge, who issues a decision that the employee or the agency may appeal to EEOC's Office of Federal Operations; or (2) forgo a hearing and request a final agency decision.  An employee who is dissatisfied with a final agency decision or the agency's decision to dismiss the complaint may appeal to EEOC.  The complainant or agency may also request EEOC to reconsider its decision on the appeal.  In addition, during various points in the process, the complainant has the right to file a civil action in a federal court.

As the EEO complaint process has become increasingly more costly, adversarial, and lengthy, EEOC has encouraged agencies to promote and expand the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a means of avoiding formal adjudication processes.  Used properly, ADR can provide fast and cost-effective results while at the same time improve workplace communication and morale.[11]

a. Pre-Complaint Counselings and Complaints Decline

Completed counselings decreased by 5.5% from FY 2005 to FY 2006 and decreased 31.0% from FY 2002.  Formal complaints declined by 7.2% in FY 2006 and 23.8% from FY 2002.  Of the 38,824 completed counselings, 15,359 individuals filed 16,723 formal complaints in FY 2006.[12]  The number of formal complaints filed represents 43.1% of all pre-complaint counseling activities in FY 2006.  As Figure 2 shows, over the past five fiscal years, the number of pre-complaint counseling activities has decreased from 56,275 in FY 2002 to 38,824 in FY 2006, and likewise, the number of complaints filed by individuals has steadily decreased.  During the same five-year period, the number of formal complaints filed continued to represent less than 50% of all pre-complaint counseling activities.  See Figure 2.  Significantly, while the United States Postal Service constituted 28.5% of the work force, it accounted for 43.7% of all EEO counselings, 36.9% of all complaints filed, 41.2% of all completed investigations and 40.7% of all complaints closed in FY 2006.  See Tables B-1, B-9 and B-10 in Appendix III.

Figure 2 – Completed Counseling to Formal Complaints Filed/Complainants
FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image

Table 9 below shows that in FY 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts reported the highest percentage (24.7%) of its work force that completed counseling, while the government-wide average was 1.4%.  Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counselings were not included in the ranking.  Table B-1 in Appendix III lists this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 9 - Agencies with the Highest Counseling Rate In FY 2006
Agency Total Work Force Percentage of Individuals Who Completed Counseling

National Endowment for the Arts

162

24.7%

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

466

15.5%

Broadcasting Board of Governors

1,741

4.4%

Federal Trade Commission

1,073

2.9%

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

848

2.6%

As shown in Table 10 below, in FY 2006, the Broadcasting Board of Governors reported the highest complainant rate (1.6%), while the government-wide average was 0.6%.  Agencies that had fewer than 25 complaints filed were not included in the ranking.  Table B-1 in Appendix III contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 10 - Agencies with the Highest Complainant Rate in FY 2006
Agency Total Work Force Percentage of Complainants

Broadcasting Board of Governors

1,741

1.6%

Government Printing Office

2,238

1.6%

Department of Education

4,353

1.5%

Department of Housing and Urban Development

9,364

1.0%

Department of Transportation

53,864

0.8%

b. Pre-Complaint ADR Usage – New Measurement for Rates

Historically, ADR offer and participation rates measured ADR activity in both completed and pending counselings at the end of the fiscal year.  Including ADR activity in pending counselings occasionally created percentage rates greater than 100%.  In FY 2006, the goal was to ensure greater uniformity, consistency, and quality in the reporting and utilization of ADR data by the collection of ADR data only for completed/ended counselings.

Therefore, comparison of FY 2006 data with prior year's data is not possible.  In FY 2006, the government–wide ADR offer rate was 75.6% based upon 29,352 ADR offers made in 38,824 completed/ended counselings.  Of these offers, 17,309 were accepted into agencies' ADR programs, resulting in a 44.6% participation rate.

Ten agencies with 25 or more completed/ended counselings had 100% offer rates.  These agencies are the Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Education, Broadcasting Board of Governors, Defense National Security Agency, Office of Personnel Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Smithsonian Institution, Federal Reserve System-Board of Governors, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

The U.S. Postal Service Again Had the Highest ADR Participation Rate

In FY 2006, the U.S. Postal Service reported the highest ADR participation rate in the pre-complaint process (73.5%), while the government-wide average was 44.6%.  No other agency with 25 or more completed/ended counselings had a participation rate greater than fifty percent.  See Table 11.  Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counseling were not included in the ranking.  See Tables B-1 and B-4 in Appendix III for information on all agencies, which is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 11 -   Highest ADR Participation Rate in the Pre-Complaint Process
FY 2006
Agency Total Work Force Completed/Ended Counselings Participation in ADR Participation Rate

U.S. Postal Service

795,850

16,954

12,455

73.5%

Department of Housing and Urban Development

9,364

156

72

46.2%

Department of Homeland Security

168,865

2,223

955

43.0%

National Archives and Records Administration

2,983

38

15

39.5%

Defense Finance and Accounting Service

13,176

147

53

36.1%

EEO Program Tips

To improve ADR programs:

Create a user friendly web-based program to provide employees basic EEO ADR orientation that includes high level administrators discussing the use and benefits of ADR. When developing the program, consider including information on other available employee dispute resolution programs as well as stakeholder testimonials showing the value of ADR.

Provide "neutral" training to the EEO intake staff/counselors so that they have additional tools to resolve traditional counselings. This will assist them in the intake phase so that they can fully explain the ADR processes to the parties.

Provide monthly tips on the benefits of ADR via email broadcasts to all employees.

Designate resolving/settlement officials who were not involved in the dispute as the agency representative with settlement authority who attends the ADR sessions. A resolving/settlement official may be more objective and could have broader authority to resolve disputes.

Even if ADR was not successful at the pre-complaint stage, attempt ADR after the report of investigation is completed - since both parties have had the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case, ADR may motivate the parties to resolve the dispute.

Best Practices -
Improving Counseling Times

See the Commission's "Attaining a Model Agency Program: Efficiency" report located on the web at www.eeoc.gov/federal/efficiency.html

c. Agencies Meet Counseling Deadlines in 89% of Cases

On average, in FY 2006 agencies met timeliness requirements for EEO counseling in 89.0% of all completed/ended counselings, which is up from 80.7% in FY 2005 and 87.5% in FY 2002.  Agencies are required to complete counseling in 30 days except when there is a 60-day extension due to an ADR election or the complainant agrees in writing to an extension.

d. Agencies Increase Pre-Complaint Resolution Rate in FY 2006

During counseling and ADR in the pre-complaint stage, EEO disputes can be resolved by either a settlement or a decision not to file a formal complaint.  In FY 2006, the government-wide resolution rate average was 55.2%, up from 53.7% in FY 2005.

National Endowment for the Arts Had the Highest Pre-Complaint Resolution Rate

In FY 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts reported the highest pre-complaint resolution rate (100%). See Table 12. Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counselings were not included in the ranking.  Table B-3 in Appendix III contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 12 – Highest Pre-Complaint Resolution Rates
FY 2006
Agency Total Work Force Completed Counselings Total Resolved Resolution Rate

National Endowment for the Arts

162

45

45

100%

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

466

73

70

95.9%

Federal Trade Commission

1,073

35

32

91.4%

Federal Reserve System - Board of Governors

1,862

27

21

77.8%

Defense National Guard Bureau

56,137

166

127

76.5%

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Had the Highest ADR Resolution Rate in FY 2006

In FY 2006, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reported the highest ADR resolution rate in the pre-complaint process (73.1%), whereas the government-wide average was 50.1%.  See Table 13.  When the U.S. Postal Service resolution rate (50.9%) is excluded from the government-wide average, the government-wide ADR resolution rate decreased to 48.0% in FY 2006.  Agencies that had fewer than 25 ADR closures were not included in the ranking.  Table B-5 in Appendix III contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 13 – Highest Pre-Complaint ADR Resolution Rates
FY 2006
Agency Total Work Force ADR Closures ADR Resolutions ADR Resolution Rate

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

18,697 26 19 73.1%
Department of Veterans' Affairs 238,228 762 527 69.2%

Defense Logistics Agency

20,478 77 52 67.5%

Department of the Air Force

164,773 477 321 67.3%

Department of State

19,667 34 21 61.8%
e. Monetary Benefits in Pre-Complaint Phase Drop

Monetary benefits awarded in settlements during the pre-complaint phase, shown in Table 14, have dropped significantly since FY 2002.  The data showed a decrease in the average amount of monetary benefits from $2,912 in FY 2005 to $2,680 in FY 2006.

Table 14 – Monetary Benefits Awarded In Settlements During the Pre-Complaint Stage of the EEO Process
FY 2002 – FY 2006
FY Completed Counselings Total Resolutions Total Settlements Total Settlements with Monetary Benefits Settlement Monetary Benefits Average Award per Resolution with Monetary Benefits
# % # % # %

2002

56,275

34,330

61.0

9,050

16.1

568

6.3

$2,527,538

$4,450

2003

45,030

28,011

62.2

8,199

18.2

621

7.6

$3,160,565

$5,089

2004

42,412

21,520

50.7

7,856

18.5

603

7.7

$3,137,911

$5,203

2005

41,070

22,038

53.7

7,652

18.7

585

7.7

$1,703,626

$2,912

2006

38,824

21,430

55.2

7,424

19.1

622

8.4

$1,666,651

$2,680

f. The Basis and Issue Most Frequently Alleged Remains Unchanged

Of the 16,723 complaints filed in FY 2006, the basis most frequently alleged was reprisal (6,535) and the issue most frequently alleged was non-sexual harassment (4,544).  As shown in Tables 15 and 16, this trend has remained unchanged for the past five fiscal years.

Table 15 –Top 3 Bases in Complaint Allegations Filed for FY 2002 – FY 2006
Basis FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006

Reprisal

8,095

8,111

7,782

7,105

6,535

Age

5,344

5,774

5,449

5,088

4,769

Race - Black

5,647

5,279

5,021

4,478

4,125

Allegations of race discrimination were made in 37.1% of all complaints filed in FY 2006.  In FY 2006, there was a 23.7% decrease in the number of complaints filed since FY 2002, and the percentage of complaints alleging discrimination based on race decreased by 27.5%.  During that same period, the percentage of complaints filed alleging discrimination based on color soared 151.7%, from 644 in FY 2002 to 1,621 in FY 2006.[13]

In April 2006, EEOC issued Section 15 of the new Compliance Manual on "Race and Color Discrimination."  It includes numerous examples and guidance in proactive prevention and "best practices."  This Manual Section is located at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/race_color.html

EEO Program Tip

The E-RACE Initiative enhances EEOC's efforts to ensure workplaces are free of race and color discrimination. Specifically, the EEOC will identify issues, criteria and barriers that contribute to race and color discrimination, explore strategies to improve the administrative processing and litigation of race and color discrimination claims, and enhance public awareness of race and color discrimination in employment.

Additionally, the Commission will combine the objectives of E-RACE with existing EEOC initiatives such as the Systemic Initiative by addressing race and color issues with class and systemic implications. E-Race also incorporates the principles of the Youth@Work Initiative by combating disparate treatment of youth based on race and color. The Commission also will complement the outreach and enforcement efforts of the LEAD Initiative by challenging exclusionary employment policies that adversely impact people of color who also have disabilities (in both the private and public sectors).

Finally, the Commission will strengthen partnerships with employee advocates and state and local human rights commissions and increase its outreach to human resource professionals and employer groups to address race and color discrimination in the workplace.

http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/index.html

Table 16 – Top 3 Issues in Complaint Allegations Filed for FY 2002 – FY 2006
ISSUE FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006
Harassment - Non-Sexual

5,431

5,689

5,175

4,550

4,544

Promotion/Non-Selection

3,664

4,435

3,892

2,937

2,793

Terms/Conditions

3,172

2,541

2,474

2,300

2,390

g. Agency Investigation Times Lowest in Five Years, Yet, Continue to Exceed Time Limits for Investigating Complaints and Issuing Final Agency Decisions
Investigations

Investigations into allegations of discrimination are a key component of the formal EEO complaint process.  Delays may impede the primary goal of gathering sufficient evidence to permit a determination as to whether discrimination occurred.  EEOC regulation 29 C.F.R. § 1614.106(e)(2) requires agencies to conduct an investigation and issue a report to the complainant within 180 days of the filing of a complaint unless: 1) the parties agreed to no more than a 90-day extension (may not exceed 270 days); or 2) the complaint was amended or consolidated, which can add another 180 days to the period but may not exceed 360 days.

In FY 2006, agencies were timely in completing investigations 69.4% of the time, up from 54.9% in FY 2005 (including written agreements to extend the investigation and consolidated or amended complaints).  When the U.S. Postal Service is not included, the percentage of timely completed investigations decreased to 48.6% government-wide.  Agencies reported the best investigation time in five years by averaging 186 days to complete an investigation in FY 2006.  In comparison, agency investigations averaged 237 days in FY 2005 and 267 days in FY 2002.  See Figure 3 below.

Figure 3 – Average Processing Days For Investigations for FY 2002 – FY 2006

Image

Of those investigations required to be completed within the 180-day time limit, agency in-house investigators averaged 244 days to complete the investigation, while contract investigators averaged 158 days.  Similarly, of those investigations required to be completed within the 181 to 360-day time limit (complaints amended, consolidated or extended by the parties), agency in-house investigators averaged 465 days to complete the investigation while contract investigators averaged 408 days.

After reviewing the investigatory practices of selected agencies, EEOC has identified several reasons for untimely investigations: poorly staffed EEO offices, unnecessary and time-consuming procedures,[14] delays in obtaining affidavits, and inadequate tracking and monitoring systems.  For more information, see EEOC's Federal Sector Investigations – Time and Cost, issued June 2004 and Attaining a Model Agency Program: Efficiency at www.eeoc.gov/federal/efficiency.html.

Office of Personnel Management Completed the Highest Percentage of Timely Investigations

As shown in Table 17, the Office of Personnel Management timely completed 100% of its investigations.[15]  Significantly the US Postal Service timely completed 99.1% of their 4,452 investigations in FY 2006.  Agencies that had completed fewer than 25 investigations were not included in the ranking.  Table B-9 in Appendix III contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 17 – Highest Percentage of Timely Completed Investigations for FY 2006
Agencies Total Work Force # Completed Investigations # Timely Completed % Timely

Office of Personnel Management

5,335

25

25

100.0%

United States Postal Service

795,850

4,452

4,410

99.1%

General Services Administration

12,290

57

54

94.7%

Tennessee Valley Authority

12,600

35

33

94.3%

Broadcasting Board of Governors

1,741

31

29

93.6

In FY 2006, the government-wide average cost for contracting out complaint investigations was $2,113.26 – approximately 68% less than the $5,111.93 average cost of agency (in-house) investigations.

Final Agency Actions

EEOC regulations require an agency to take a final action on each formal complaint filed.  Table 18 below provides a breakdown with processing time for all final agency actions.  Agencies may issue a decision dismissing a complaint on procedural grounds such as untimely EEO counselor contact or failure to state a claim.  Government-wide, agencies took an average of 118 days to issue a decision dismissing a complaint on procedural grounds. EEOC maintains that, in general, acceptance letters/dismissal decisions should be issued well in advance of the 180-day time limit to complete an investigation.  A suggested practical method of procedure is to issue these actions within 60 days of the filing of the formal complaint.

An agency may also issue a decision after an investigation, either finding discrimination or finding no discrimination.  In FY 2006, agencies timely issued 62.3% of their final agency merit decisions, an increase from the 59.1% timely completed in FY 2005.  Commission regulations require agencies to issue final decisions within 60 days of a complainant's request for such a decision or within 90 days after completion of an investigation if the complainant has not requested either a final decision or an EEOC hearing. 

Finally, when an EEOC Administrative Judge has issued a decision, the agency must issue a final order either implementing the Administrative Judge's decision or not implementing and simultaneously appealing to EEOC.  In FY 2006, agencies issued 4,418 final orders implementing and 87 orders not implementing the Administrative Judge's decision.  Commission regulations require agencies to issue an order within 40 calendar days of receiving the Administrative Judge's decision or the decision becomes the agency's final decision.  In FY 2006, agencies issued orders in an average of 135 days after receiving the Administrative Judge's decision, which is down from 191 days in FY 2005.

Table 18 – EEO Complaint Closures by Type with Government-Wide Average Processing Times in Days (APD) in FY 2002 – FY 2006
FY Complaint Closures Merit Final Agency Actions With AJ Decisions Merit Final Agency Decisions Without AJ Decisions Procedural Dismissals Settlements Withdrawals
Total APD Total APD from Comp. Filed Total APD APD from Date Required % Timely Total APD Total APD Total APD
2002

22,889

418

3,841

833

5,467

474

--

--

5,770

N/A

5,606

482

2,205

309

2003

19,772

541

3,893

796

5,287

598

--

--

2,723

207

5,573

507

2,296

380

2004

23,153

469

4, 478

743

6,167

601

200

43.6%

5,444

150

4,469

473

2,325

308

2005

22,974

411

4,832

669

6,381

479

191

59.1%

5,510

127

4,264

436

1,997

294

2006

19,119

367

4,283

624

4,857

426

135

62.3%

4,895

118

3,490

378

1,594

236

 -- EEOC did not collect data showing the timely merit Final Agency Decisions until FY 2004.

U. S. Postal Service Issued the Highest Percentage of Timely Merit Decisions Without an Administrative Judge Decision

Best Practices - Final Action Times

See the Commission's "Attaining a Model Agency Program: Efficiency" report, located on the web at www.eeoc.gov/federal/efficiency.html

In FY 2006, the U. S. Postal Service reported the highest percentage (95.9%) of timely issued merit decisions without an Administrative Judge decision.  See Table 19 below.[16]  Agencies that issued fewer than 25 merit decisions without a hearing were not included in the ranking.  See Table B-14 in Appendix III for this information on all agencies located at www.eeoc.gov.

Table 19 – Agencies With the Highest Percentage of Timely Issued Merit Decisions (Without an Administrative Judge Decision) in FY 2006
Agencies Total Work Force Merit Decisions without an AJ Decision
# Timely %

U.S. Postal Service

795,850

1,987

1,905

95.9%

Department of the Navy

192,412

138

114

82.6%

Department of the Treasury

121,452

175

141

80.6%

Army and Air Force Exchange Service

36,378

30

23

76.7%

Department of Housing and Urban Development

9,364

35

26

74.3%

h. Findings of Discrimination and Monetary Benefits on the Decline

For the first time in five years findings of discrimination have declined in the federal government.  Table 20 below shows that both the total number of merit decisions and the number of findings of discrimination have decreased this year.  In FY 2006, 2.5% of merit decisions resulted in a finding of discrimination.

Table 20 – Amounts Awarded in Resolution of Formal EEO Complaints Before Appeals FY 2002 – FY 2006
Total Complaint Closures Findings of Discrimination Settlements Monetary Benefits
FY # Total Merit Decisions # % of Merits Decisions # % of Total Closures # Total Complaint Closures with Benefits % of Total Complaint Closures with Benefits Total (in millions) Per Capita

2002

22,889 9,308 248 2.7% 5,606 24.5% 5,854 25.6% $33.5 $5,727

2003

19,772 9,180 264 2.9% 5,573 28.2% 5,823 29.5% $40.3 $6,926

2004

23,153 10,915 321 2.9% 4,469 19.3% 4,739 20.5% $29.7 $6,266

2005

22,974 11,213 345 3.1% 4,264 18.6% 4,525 19.7% $51.7 $11,417

2006

19,119 9140 224 2.5% 3,490 18.3% 3,634 19.0% $32.6 $8,978

Average monetary benefits awarded in resolution of formal EEO complaints decreased by 21.4% between FY 2005 and FY 2006 but still represented an increase of 56.8% from FY 2002.  Table 20 above shows the total monetary benefits awarded during the formal complaint process for the past five fiscal years, while Figure 4 indicates what portion of these benefits were for compensatory damages, attorney's fees and lump sum payments. 

Figure 4 – Monetary Benefits Awarded in the Formal Complaint Stage
FY 2002 – FY 2006

Image
i. Affirmation Rate of Final Agency Decisions on Appeal Falls

As demonstrated by the Table 21 below, 60% of final agency decisions (FADs), excluding those in which an AJ issued a decision, were affirmed on appeal in FY 2006.  This represents an 18%decrease from FY 2005 and a 17.6% decrease from FY 2002.

Table 21 – Affirmation Rate of Final Agency Decisions on Appeal
FY 2002 – FY 2006
Fiscal Year FADs Decided on Appeal FADs Affirmed on Appeal Percentage of FADs Affirmed on Appeal

FY 2002

4,617 3,566 77.2%

FY 2003

3,599 2,888 80.2%

FY 2004

3,563 2,876 80.7%

FY 2005

3,316 2,595 78.3%

FY 2006

3,785 2,257 59.6%

2. EEOC Hearings and Appeals: Quicker Processing Times

By federal regulation, EEOC becomes involved in the handling of an EEO complaint from a federal employee after the case initially has been processed by the employing agency and a hearing has been requested before an EEOC Administrative Judge or an appeal from a final agency action has been filed.

If a complainant requests a hearing, an EEOC Administrative Judge may oversee discovery between the parties and hold a hearing or issue a decision on the record.  If a hearing is held, the Administrative Judge will hear the testimony of witnesses, review relevant evidence, and make findings of fact and conclusions of law in a decision issued to the parties.  In appropriate cases, an Administrative Judge may, in lieu of holding a hearing, procedurally dismiss a case or issue a decision by summary judgment.

EEOC is also responsible for deciding appeals from final actions issued by federal agencies on complaints of employment discrimination.  These final actions may involve an agency's decision to procedurally dismiss a complaint, a final decision on the merits of a complaint when the complainant has not requested a hearing, or a decision on whether or not to fully implement the decision of an EEOC Administrative Judge.  Once appellate decisions are issued, EEOC monitors agency compliance with all orders and takes appropriate action to enforce them.  EEOC's adjudicatory responsibilities also include resolving allegations of a breach of a settlement agreement involving a federal sector EEO complaint, as well as deciding petitions for review of decisions involving claims of discrimination by the Merit Systems Protection Board and petitions for review of final grievance decisions when claims of discrimination are permitted to be raised in the grievance procedure. 

In addition to its equally important adjudicatory role, EEOC is vigorously engaged in assisting federal agencies in the proactive prevention of discrimination.  EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) provides outreach, technical assistance and oversight to federal agencies, including conducting program reviews throughout the federal government to evaluate agencies' efforts to develop and maintain model EEO programs.  OFO monitors and evaluates agencies' activities to identify and correct barriers to equal opportunity, reasonable accommodation procedures for individuals with disabilities, and ADR programs.  OFO also gathers and analyzes data provided by federal agencies on employment trends and EEO complaint processing; issues periodic reports which are publicly available; and works with individual agencies to identify both positive and negative trends in their EEO programs.  In addition, through EEOC's Revolving Fund, OFO develops and delivers training to federal agencies and other interested parties on a wide variety of federal-sector EEO topics. 

aHearings
i. Hearings Inventory Continues to Decline

The hearings inventory decreased from 5,896 in FY 2005 to 4,912 in FY 2006, which represents a decline of 16.7%.  Since FY 2002, the hearings inventory has fallen by 51.2% from a high of 10,072 cases.

Figure 5 – Hearings Inventory
FY 2002 – FY 2006

Image
ii.  Hearing Requests Down

Hearing requests decreased by 24.0% from 10,266 hearing requests in FY 2005 to 7,802 in FY 2006, and have decreased by 18.9% from FY 2002.  For comparison purposes, the 7,802 hearings requested comprised 46.7% of the total complaints filed in FY 2006.

Figure 6 – Comparison of Requests for EEOC Hearings to Complaints Filed
FY 2002 – FY 2006

Image
iii. Hearing Closures

During FY 2006, EEOC's Hearings Program resolved 8,685 cases, including 66 class actions, which represents a 15.0% decrease from the 10,221 cases closed in FY 2005 and a 25.6% decrease from the 11,666 cases closed in FY 2002.  Excluding the class actions, the 8,619 individual cases in FY 2006 were closed in the following manner: 12.8% were by decision following a hearing; 33.4% were by decisions on the record; 24.0% were closed by settlements; 13.7% were by procedural dismissal; and 16.0% were withdrawals.  See Table 22 for a comparison of FY 2002 – FY 2006.

Table 22 – Hearings Program Individual Case Closures: FY 2002 – FY 2006
Closure Type FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006
# % # % # % # % # %

Decisions Following a Hearing

2,004 17.3 1,974 16.3 1,655 14.2 1,268 12.5 1,102 12.8

Decisions On the Record

2,274 19.7 2,804 23.1 3,481 30.0 3,272 32.3 2,883 33.4

Settlements

3,841 33.2 3,951 32.6 3,180 27.4 2,546 25.1 2,071 24.0

Procedural Dismissals

1,556 13.5 1,551 12.8 1,550 13.3 1,336 13.2 1,183 13.7

Withdrawals

1,893 16.4 1,844 15.2 1,760 15.1 1,721 17.0 1,380 16.0

Total Individual Case Closures

11,568   12,124   11,626   10,143   8,619  
iv. Average Processing Time for Hearings

The average processing time for hearing closures rose from 249 days in FY 2005 to 274 days in FY 2006, which still represents a significant decrease from the 420 days in FY 2002.  The average age of the pending inventory decreased to 202 days in FY 2006 from 207 days in FY 2005, and is significantly lower than the 347 days in FY 2002.

Figure 7 - Average Processing Days for Hearings
FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image
v.  Agencies Challenge Findings of Discrimination

In FY 2006, EEOC Administrative Judges issued 203 decisions finding discrimination, which was 4.7% of all decisions on the merits of complaints.  In comparison to the 232 decisions finding discrimination that Administrative Judges issued in FY 2005, the 203 decisions in FY 2006 represent a 12.5% decrease.  Agencies may either fully implement or appeal the Administrative Judge's decision to the OFO.  In FY 2006, agencies appealed only 2.0% of all Administrative Judge decisions; however, they appealed 42.5% of the cases where an Administrative Judge found discrimination.

Table 23 - Agency Actions on Administrative Judge Decisions
FY 2002 - FY 2006
FY Finding Discrimination[17] Finding No Discrimination Totals
Implemented Appealed Implemented Appealed Implemented Appealed
# % # % # % # % # % # %
2002 197 65.0% 106 35.0% 3,644 100.0% 0 0% 3,841 97.3% 106 2.7%
2003 159 63.3% 92 36.7% 3,639 99.9% 3 0.1% 3,798 97.6% 95 2.4%
2004 124 71.3% 50 28.7% 4,515 98.7% 59 0.3% 4,639 97.8% 109 2.2%
2005 182 69.7% 79 30.3% 4,567 99.9% 4 0.1% 4,749 98.3% 83 1.7%
2006 108 57.5% 80 42.5% 4,089 99.9% 6 0.1% 4,197 98.0% 86 2.0%
vi. Monetary Benefits Decrease at Hearings

In FY 2006, Administrative Judge decisions and settlements at the hearings stage awarded $51.9 million in benefits, as compared to the $58.7 million in FY 2005 and the $92.7 million awarded in FY 2002.  Note that benefits at the hearings stage are preliminary, pending a decision on implementation by the agency or on appeal.

Figure 8 - Monetary Benefits Awarded from Hearings (In Millions of Dollars)
FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image
vii.  High Affirmation Rate of AJ Decisions on Appeal

As demonstrated by the table below, over 94% of Administrative Judge's decisions were affirmed on appeal in FY 2006.[18]  Although the percentage has declined for the last three years, the five-year trend has shown nearly a 5.2% increase of affirmed Administrative Judge's decisions since FY 2002. 

Table 24 – Affirmation Rate of AJ Decisions on Appeal
FY 2002 - FY 2006
Fiscal Year AJ Decisions Appealed AJ Decisions Affirmed on Appeal % of AJ Decisions Affirmed on Appeal
Total Appeal By Agency[19] Appeal By Appellant Total Appeal By Agency Appeal By Appellant Total Appeal By Agency Appeal By Appellant

2002

2,033 57 1,976 1,811 37 1,774 89.1% 64.9% 89.8%

2003

1,772 123 1,649 1,703 87 1,616 96.1% 70.7% 98.0%

2004

1,828 152 1,676 1,741 107 1,634 95.2% 70.4% 97.5%

2005

1,712 93 1,619 1,616 71 1,545 94.4% 76.3% 95.4%

2006

1,443 58 1,384 1,361 47 1,313 94.3% 81.0% 95.0%
b. Appeals
i. Appeals Inventory Turns Upward

OFO's appellate inventory rose in FY 2006 to 3,887, which represents a 7.7% increase from the 3,610 case inventory at the close of FY 2005 but a reduction of 19.2% from the 4,809 cases in inventory at the close of FY 2002. 

Figure 9 - Appellate Inventory FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image
ii. Appeal Receipts Create Two-Year Downward Trend

OFO received 6,743 appeals in FY 2006, representing a 10% decrease from the 7,490 appeals filed in FY 2005.  FY 2006 appeal receipts, however, still represent an increase of 0.3% from the 6,725 appeals received in FY 2002. 

Figure 10 – Comparison of Appeals Receipts to Complaint Closures
FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image
iii. Appeal Closures Remain Steady

OFO closed a total of 6,466 appellate cases in FY 2006, of which 5,118 (79.2%) alleged violations of Title VII; 1,703 (26.3%) involved the Rehabilitation Act; 1,721 (26.6%) violations of the ADEA; and 2 (0.03%) involved the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  In FY 2005, OFO closed a total of 7,514 appellate cases, of which 5,831 were Title VII cases (77.6%); 2,040 involved the Rehabilitation Act (27.1%); 1,941 alleged violations of the ADEA (25.8%); and one involved the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (0.01%).[20]  See Figure 11 for the appeal closures from FY 2002 to FY 2006.

Figure 11 - Appeal Closures FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image

Table 25 below provides a breakdown by appeal type of all FY 2006 receipts and closures.

Table 25 - Types of Receipts and Appeals FY 2006
Types of Appeals Receipts Closures
# % of Total # % of Total

Total

6,743   6,466  

Initial Appeals from Complainants

5,356 79.4 5,112 79.1

Initial Appeals from Agencies

94 1.4 67 1.0

Petitions to Review MSPB Decisions

133 2.0 125 1.9

Appeals from a Grievance/Arbitration of FLRA Decisions

15 0.2 15 0.2

Petitions for Enforcement

45 0.7 32 0.5

Requests for Reconsiderations

1,100 16.3 1,115 17.2

In FY 2006, OFO closed 2,637 appeals addressing the merits of the underlying discrimination claims, and made a total of 134 findings of discrimination, which represents 5.1% of the total.  In FY 2005, OFO closed 3,000 appeals addressing the merits of the underlying discrimination claims, and made a total of 145 findings of discrimination, which represented 4.8% of the total.  In FY 2006, OFO reversed 19.7% of the 3,266 appeals which addressed procedural closures.

iv. Average Processing Time of Appeal Closures

The average processing time for appeal closures rose to 220 days in FY 2006, representing a 13.4% increase from 194 days in FY 2005 and a 52.9% decrease from 467 days in FY 2002.  OFO resolved 3,863 (59.7%) of the 6,466 appeals closed in FY 2006 within 180 days.  The average age of the pending inventory at the end of FY 2006 was 205 days, a 3.5% increase from the 198-day average age at the end of FY 2005 and a 19.9% reduction from the 256-day average age of the open inventory at the end of FY 2002.

Figure 12 - Average Processing Days on Appeal
FY 2002 - FY 2006

Image
v.  Three Most Prevalent Bases and Issues on Appeal Remain Unchanged

In FY 2006, reprisal, age and disability were the most prevalent bases of discrimination in closed appeals.  In FY 2004 and FY 2005, reprisal, race (Black) and disability were the three most prevalent bases of discrimination in appeals.  For all three years, harassment (non-sexual), promotion and removal were the most prevalent issues of discrimination in closed appeals.

vi. $11.7 Million Awarded on Appeal

In FY 2006, the $11.7 million in monetary benefits awarded in compliance with appellate decisions (including settlement agreements resolving appeals) is a decrease of 22.5% from the $15.1 million awarded in FY 2005 and a 30.8% decrease from the $16.9 million awarded in FY 2002.

Figure 13 - Monetary Benefits Awarded from Appeals[21]
FY 2002 - FY 2006 (In Millions of Dollars)

Image
vii.  Training and Outreach Conducted By EEOC

In FY 2006, EEOC staff members informed a large number of federal employees of their rights and responsibilities under the EEO process, affirmative employment programs and laws that the Commission enforces.  EEOC's proactive prevention activities targeted multiple agencies, which provided to their managers and supervisors a better understanding of how to prevent employment discrimination within their workplace.  These training sessions were provided by staff members from the OFO and various EEOC offices throughout the country.

Specifically, staff members conducted 161 training sessions reaching 3,875 federal employees, including 221 new EEO counselors, 141 new EEO investigators and 456 EEO professionals in affirmative employment programs.  Additionally, staff members participated in 37 outreach sessions which reached another 2,283 individuals.

EEOC staff members also responded to more than 8,240 calls regarding the EEO complaint/appeals process, thereby providing the federal sector EEO community and employees with timely information.  Additionally, in FY 2006 EEOC staff members provided 138 agencies and subcomponents with a written assessment of their FY 2005 MD-715 reports.  Staff also provided technical assistance for affirmative employment programs through 80 in-person visits and 16,353 telephonic and email responses.

The Commission's training and outreach information can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/outreach.

Section F - Responsiveness and Legal Compliance

The sixth MD-715 element, "Responsiveness and Legal Compliance," encompasses timely filing of required reports with EEOC and timely compliance with EEOC's issued orders. 

1. 94% of Submitted EEOC 462 Reports Were Timely

EEOC regulation 29 C.F.R. § 1614.602(a) requires agencies to report to EEOC information concerning pre-complaint counseling, ADR, and the status, processing, and disposition of complaints under this part at such times and in such manner as the Commission prescribes. 

The requirement to file an EEOC Form 462 Report applies to all federal agencies and departments covered by 29 C.F.R. Part 1614, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1614.103(b).  This includes Executive agencies as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, military departments as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102, the Government Printing Office, the Postal Rate Commission, the Smithsonian Institution, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the United States Postal Service, and those units of the judicial branch of the federal government having positions in the competitive service.  All covered agencies must file Form 462 Reports with the Commission.  EEOC Form 462 Reports are due on or before October 31st of each year. 

Of 91 agencies (with 100 or more employees) that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2006, 86 or 94.5% submitted them timely.

2. 68% of Submitted FY 2005 MD-715 Reports Were Timely

EEOC regulation 29 C.F.R. § 1614.601(g) requires agencies to report to EEOC "on employment by race, national origin, sex, and handicap in the form and at such times as the Commission may require."  In addition, EEOC regulation 29 C.F.R. § 1614.602(c) requires agencies to "submit annually for the review and approval of the Commission written national and regional EEO plans of action."

MD-715 reports provide information on an agency's progress in achieving the model EEO program elements, elimination of barriers, and ability to conduct a wide array of examinations of the agency's Title VII and Section 501 work force profiles.  MD-715 applies to all Executive agencies and military departments (except uniformed members) as defined in Sections 102 and 105 of Title 5. U.S.C. (including those with employees and applicants for employment who are paid from non-appropriated funds), the United States Postal Service, the Postal Rate Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Smithsonian Institution, and those units of the judicial branch of the federal government having positions in the competitive service.  These agencies and their Second Level Reporting Components are required to file an EEOC FORM 715-01 on or before January 31st of each year.

Sixty-eight percent or 107 of the 158 agencies and subcomponents submitted timely MD-715 reports in FY 2005. 

Program Tip
No FEAR Act&

EEOC's Role OPM's Role
Prescribe the time, form and manner in which a federal agency shall post on its public Web site summary statistical data pertaining to EEO complaints filed with the agency. Issue rules regarding an agency's obligation to: 1) reimburse the Judgment Fund; 2) notify and train employees, former employees, and applicants, of their rights under antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws; and 3) report annually on certain topics regarding antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws, including disciplinary actions taken for conduct that is inconsistent with these laws.
Post on its public Web site summary statistical data relating to (1) hearings requested before an EEOC administrative judge and (2) appeals filed with EEOC from final agency actions which it gathers from its own sources. Conduct a study to identify best practices within the executive branch for taking appropriate disciplinary actions against Federal employees for conduct inconsistent with antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws. Issue advisory guidelines based on these best practices which an agency may then follow when taking disciplinary action.
Post its own summary statistical data pertaining to complaints of employment discrimination filed against it. Post its own summary statistical data pertaining to complaints of employment discrimination filed against it.
Like all agencies, submit its own annual report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, certain Congressional Committees and others. Like all agencies, submit its own annual report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, certain Congressional Committees and others.
Final Rule: Posting Requirements in Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity -Title III of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), Pub. L. 107-174. 5 CFR Part 724 -- RIN 3206-AK55 -- Implementation of Title II of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002--Reporting & Best Practices http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=E6-22242

[1] All measures under EEOC's regulations and management directives are equally important, and the inclusion of certain measures in this Report does not indicate a higher degree of importance for those measures.

[2] The September 30, 2006 snapshot includes only employees in pay status; thus, some permanent employees, like seasonal employees or those on active military tours of duty, are not included.

[3]  Certain agencies do not provide total work force numbers for national security reasons.  The 2000 EEO Special File does not control for citizenship.

[4] Source: Office of Personnel Management's The Fact Book-Federal Civilian Workforce Statistics, 1998 edition.

[5] Because separate data is unavailable, the Asian American/Other Pacific Islander data prior to 2006 throughout this report includes the data for Asian with "Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders."  Additionally, the remainder of the tables will not include data on persons of Two or More Races unless their participation rate was at least 0.02%.

[6] These tables report break outs of the employment data for specific components of certain large federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs, as well as certain defense agencies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Postal Service.

[7]  Where an EEO group has a low participation rate in the feeder grade/applicant pool, there is a strong likelihood that the group will be absent or have a low participation rate in the next higher grade level.  See General Accountability Office Report No.GAO-03-34, Senior Executive Service: Agency Efforts Needed to Improve Diversity as the Senior Corps Turns Over (January 2003).

[8] Concerns involving both claims of discrimination and agency actions appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board follow one of the processes set forth at 29 C.F.R. § 1614.302.

[9] There are several reasons an agency may dismiss a complaint, including the complainant's failure to state a claim, timely contact an EEO counselor, or failure to provide necessary information to the agency.  See 29 C.F.R. §1614.107(a).

[10] The 180-day period may be extended by 90 days if both parties agree.  See 29 C.F.R. § 1614.108(e).  The regulations also extend the 180-day time limit for consolidated and amended complaints to the earlier of 180 days from the date of the most recent consolidated or amended complaint, or 360 days from the date of the earliest pending complaint.  See  29 C.F.R. § 1614.108(f).

[11] See Jeffery M. Senger, Federal Dispute Resolution: Using ADR with the United States Government, 1-7 (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons, 2003).

[12] Counseling may be provided via EEO Counselor or ADR Intake Officer.

[13] Complaints may contain multiple bases and issues.

[14] For example, time-consuming procedures may appear in lengthy approval of investigative plans, or cumbersome procurement processes.

[15] Twenty one agencies with fewer than 25 total investigations timely completed 100% of their investigations.

[16] We note that fourteen agencies issued 100.0% of their merit decisions in a timely fashion but issued fewer than 25 total merit decisions.

[17] These numbers do not parallel Administrative Judge findings of discrimination because agencies may not take final action in the same fiscal year as the decision was issued, or they may settle a complaint where the Administrative Judge has found discrimination.

[18] Administrative Judge decisions reported here do not include Petitions for Enforcement.

[19] Appeal By Agency occurs when the agency did not fully implement the AJ decision.

[20] The number and percentage of resolutions by statute will be greater than the number of cases closed, because one or more statutory bases may be alleged in each appeal.

[21] Note: Hearings Benefits should not be added to Appeals Benefits for a grand total, as Hearings Benefits are only preliminary.


This page was last modified on January 22, 2008.