The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
STATE OF EEO IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
In FY 2003, 18,077 individuals filed 20,226 complaints against the federal government alleging employment discrimination.
The number of complaints filed declined by 8% from the number filed the previous year, but there was a 4% increase in the number of individuals who filed complaints over the same period. Eleven percent (11%) of the complaints filed were by individuals who had already filed at least one other complaint during the year.
Pre-complaint EEO counseling and alternative dispute resolution programs were successful at addressing employee concerns before they resulted in a EEO formal complaint. Of the 45,030 instances of counseling in FY 2003, 62% did not result in the filing of a formal complaint.
Federal agencies, as a whole, continued to exceed the regulatory time frames for investigating EEO complaints. There were a total of 13,248 investigations completed government-wide in FY 2003 in an average of 267 days. Regulations require these investigations to be completed in 180 days or less. Only 5,307, or 40%, of the investigations were completed within this regulatory time frame.
Agencies averaged 475 days in FY 2003 to issue a final agency decision when there was no decision from an EEOC administrative judge, well over the approximately 270 days allowed by regulations for agencies to issue merit decisions. This average processing time increased significantly from the year before when final agency decisions were issued in an average of 326 days.
Since FY 1999, EEOC's hearings inventory has decreased by nearly 34% from 12,808 cases to 8,467 in FY 2003.
At the end of FY 2003, EEOC's appellate inventory stood at 3,831, a 68% reduction from the inventory high of 11,918 appeals in January 2000. The average processing time for appeals in FY 2003 was 285 days, a 39% reduction from FY 2002's average of 467 days.
In FY 2003, agencies paid monetary awards totaling $40.3 million to EEO
complainants in response to final agency decisions, settlement agreements and final agency actions in which agencies agreed to fully implement EEOC AJ decisions. An additional $20.9 million was awarded in the appellate process.
- In FY 2003, there were 2.4 million women and men employed by the federal government across the country and around the world.
- 57.4% were men and 42.6% were women, a ratio which has remained
essentially unchanged for the last ten years.
- 67.1% were White, 18.6% were Black, 7.2% were Hispanic, 5.5%
were Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.5% were American Indian or
- Although there have been some modest gains in the last decade,
the number of Hispanics and White women employed by the federal
government remained below their availability in the civilian labor
force as reported in the 2000 census.
- The number of employees with targeted disabilities has been
steadily declining, resulting in a net loss of about 20% in the
past ten years. By 2003, individuals with targeted disabilities
were only 1% of the total workforce.
- Women have made the most gains in securing senior level positions
in the federal government, occupying 25.5% of those positions in
2003, up from 16.4% in 1994.
- The average grade level for white collar federal employees was
10.1. Blacks (9.0), Hispanics (9.4) and American Indian/Alaskan
Natives (8.5) all had average grade levels lower than the
- The average grade for women was 9.3, more than one-and-one-half
grades below the average grade level for men of 10.9.
- The average grade level for people with targeted disabilities was
8.4, nearly two grades below the government-wide average of
This page was last modified on May 14, 2004.
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