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Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part I
EEO Complaints Processing
Fiscal Year 2014

Table of Contents

PREFACE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  1. SUMMARY OF EEO STATISTICS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
    1. Section A. Integration of EEO Into Agencies' Strategic Mission
      1. 69.3 percent of Agency EEO Directors Report to Agency Head
      2. 100 percent of Agencies Provided Some of their EEO staff with Required Training
    2. Section B. Efficiency in the Federal EEO Process
      1. Federal Agency EEO Programs: Complaints Decrease and Processing Times Continue to Exceed Regulatory Deadlines
      2. EEOC Hearings and Appeals: Processing Times Increase For Hearings and Appeals
    3. Section C. Responsiveness and Legal Compliance
  2. PROFILES FOR SELECTED FEDERAL AGENCIES

APPENDIX I GLOSSARY / DEFINITIONS

APPENDIX II FEDERAL SECTOR EEO COMPLAINT PROCESSING PROCEDURES

APPENDIX III FEDERAL AGENCIES' PROGRAM STATUS

APPENDIX IV FEDERAL EEO COMPLAINTS PROCESSING TABLES

(Actual tables are available on the EEOC's website at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2014/index.cfm)

PREFACE

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) was established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), as amended, with the original mission of eradicating discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Since 1964, EEOC's role has expanded beyond Title VII. In the federal sector, the agency currently has responsibilities under the following nondiscrimination laws as well:

  • the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work performed under similar conditions;
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age (40 years of age and older);
  • theRehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination against federal employees and applicants with disabilities, and requires that reasonable accommodations be provided; and
  • the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information.

EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) adjudicates discrimination complaint appeals in the federal sector and monitors federal agency compliance with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and procedures. OFO also reviews and assesses the effect of federal 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 are 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.

Part I of the report covers the period from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, and contains selected measures of agencies' progress toward achieving the following elements of model EEO programs: the integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission, efficiency, and responsiveness and legal compliance.[1]

Part II of the report will be published at a later date and will contain selected measures of progress made by agencies in FY 2013 and 2014 toward the demonstrated commitment from agency leadership, integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission, management and program accountability, proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination, and responsiveness and legal compliance elements of model EEO programs.[2] Working within our mission to provide oversight and guidance, EEOC strives to create partnerships within the federal community.

The fiscal year (FY) 2014 Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part I, submitted to the President and Congress, presents a summary of selected EEO program activities of 69 federal agencies. The report provides valuable information to all agencies as they strive to become model employers.

In preparing this report, EEOC relied on the following: 1) EEO complaint processing data submitted and certified as accurate by 311 federal agencies and subcomponents in their FY 2014 Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints (EEO Form 462 reports) - note the African Development Foundation, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Election Assistance Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, National Council on Disability, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the Selective Service System did not file a FY 2014 EEO Form 462 report; and 2) hearings and appeals data obtained from EEOC's internal databases.[3]

The Commission would like to extend its thanks to those agencies that submitted accurate and verifiable EEO complaint processing data in a timely manner. EEOC encourages Agencies 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.

As in the past, agencies were provided an opportunity to review the draft of this report. The Commission thanks those agencies that responded with useful comments and suggestions.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
STATE OF EEO COMPLAINT PROCESSING IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

  • In FY 2014, 69.3 percent of agencies (with 100 or more employees) required to file a FY 2014 Form 462 reported compliance with MD-715's requirement that the EEO Director reports directly to the Head of the agency.
  • One hundred percent of agencies (with 100 or more employees) required to file a FY 2014 Form 462 reported they provided some of their EEO staff with the required training in FY 2014.
  • Pre-complaint EEO counseling and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs addressed many employee concerns before they resulted in formal EEO complaints. Of the 33,210 instances of counseling in FY 2014, 54.8 percent did not result in a formal complaint, due either to settlement by the parties or withdrawal from the EEO process.
  • In FY 2014, 14,343 individuals filed 15,013 complaints alleging employment discrimination against the federal government.
  • The number of complaints filed decreased by 1.4 percent compared to the previous year and there was a 0.7 percent decrease in the number of individuals who filed complaints over the same period. In FY 2014, 4.5 percent of the complaints were filed by individuals who had filed at least one other complaint during the year, less than the 5.1 percent in FY 2013.
  • Government-wide, a total of 11,281 investigations were completed in an average of 196 days in FY 2014. Seventy-three percent of the investigations were completed in a timely manner, up from 67.2 percent the previous year. Without the United States Postal Service's (USPS) investigations, the government-wide average was 64.7 percent, which is an increase from the 55.7 percent average in FY 2013.
  • Agencies issued 3,858 merit decisions without a decision by an EEOC Administrative Judge, and 52.2 percent of the merit decisions were issued in a timely manner, up from 50.1 percent issued in a timely manner in FY 2013. Without the USPS' merit decisions, the government-wide average dropped to 31.4 percent.
  • EEOC's hearing receipts increased from 7,077 in FY 2013 to 8,086 in FY 2014, up by 14.3 percent. The average processing time for a hearing was 419 days, a 9.4 percent increase from FY 2013's average of 383 days.
  • EEOC's appeal receipts decreased from 4,244 in FY 2013 to 4,003 in FY 2014, down by 5.7 percent. The average processing time for appeals in FY 2014 was 418 days, a 14.8 percent increase from the 364 days in FY 2013.
  • As a result of final agency decisions, settlement agreements, and final agency actions fully implementing EEOC Administrative Judges' decisions, agencies paid monetary benefits to EEO complainants totaling $44.8 million in FY 2014, down 20 percent from the $56 million paid in FY 2013. An additional $8.3 million was paid out in response to appellate decisions, a 25.9 percent decrease from the $11.2 million paid out in FY 2013.
  • In FY 2014, EEOC's training and outreach program reached 1,584 federal employees through 49 sessions.
  • In FY 2014, EEOC Form 462 reports were timely filed by 73.9 percent of the agencies (with 100 or more employees) that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report (65 of 88).

I. Summary of EEO Statistics in the Federal Government

Section A - 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. Two aspects of this Section are highlighted below.

1. 69.3 percentof 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 policies." 29 C.F.R. §1614.102(a). To implement its program, each agency must 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).

When the EEO Director is under the authority of others within the agency, the agency creates a potential conflict of interest where the person to whom the EEO Director reports is involved in or would be affected by the actions of the EEO Director. By placing the EEO Director in a direct reporting relationship to the agency head, the agency underscores the importance of EEO to the agency's mission and ensures that the EEO Director is able to act with the greatest degree of independence.

Of the 88 agencies with 100 or more employees that were required to submit an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2014, 69.3 percent (61) indicated that their EEO Director reports to the agency head, down from the 74.2 percent reported in FY 2013 and 11.2 percent less then the percentage as reported in FY 2010. Figure 1 below shows a five-year trend. See Appendix III for a detailed list of agencies' status.

Figure 1 - Percentage of EEO Directors Who Report Directly to the Agency Head
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Line graph depicting % of EEO Directors that report directly to agency head. For FY 2014 69.3%; FY 2013 74.2; FY 2012 71.43%; For FY 2011 - 73.62; For FY 2010 - 78.00%;

2. 100 percent of Agencies Provided Some of 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 Management Directive 110 for 29 C.F.R. Part 1614, as revised November 9, 1999 (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 32 hours of EEO counselor training and thereafter eight hours of training each year. Likewise, new EEO investigators are required to have 32 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 88 agencies with 100 or more employees that were required to file an EEOC Form 462 report in FY 2014, 100 ensured that some of their EEO staff received the required regulatory training, slightly higher than the 96.6 percent that reported in FY 2013. See Appendix III for a detailed list of agencies' status. Agencies ensured or provided the 32 hours of required training for 784 new EEO counselors and 110 new EEO investigators. Agencies also ensured or provided the required eight hour annual refresher training to 2,798 experienced EEO counselors and 1,943 experienced EEO investigators. Additionally, agencies reported ensuring or providing 24 EEO counselor/investigators with 32 hours of training and 265 with eight hours of training.

Section B - Efficiency in the Federal EEO Process

EEOC's regulations provide that each agency shall ensure 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 its 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 ranked in EEOC's Annual Report on the federal sector complaints process."

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

Agencies process EEO complaints from applicants for federal employment and federal employees under EEOC's regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. Individuals unable to resolve their concerns through counseling can file a complaint with their agency.[4] The agency will either dismiss[5] 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.[6]

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 OFO; 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 OFO. The complainant or agency may also request reconsideration of a decision on the appeal. At 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 adversarial, and lengthy, EEOC has encouraged agencies to promote and expand the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a means of avoiding the formal adjudicatory processes. Used properly, ADR can provide fast and cost-effective results while improving workplace communication and morale.[7]

a. Pre-Complaint Counselings Flat and Complaints Decrease

From FY 2013 to FY 2014, the number of completed counselings increased by almost 0.2 percent and decreased by over 18.1 percent since FY 2010. Formal complaints decreased by almost 1.4 percent from FY 2013 to FY 2014 and by 14.6 percent since FY 2010. Among the 33,210 completed counselings, 14,343 individuals filed 15,013 formal complaints in FY 2014.[8] The number of formal complaints filed represents 45.2 percent of all pre-complaint counseling activities in FY 2014. As Figure 2 shows, over the past five fiscal years, the number of pre-complaint counseling activities decreased from 40,563 in FY 2010 to 33,210 in FY 2014; and the number of complaints filed by individuals has declined over the past four-year period. During the same five-year period, the number of formal complaints filed continued to represent less than 50 percent of all pre-complaint counseling activities. See Figure 2. Significantly, while the United States Postal Service constituted 21.1 percent of the work force[9], it accounted for 38.5 percent of all EEO counselings, 27.2 percent of all complaints filed, 27.0 percent of all completed investigations and 31.2 percent of all complaints closed in FY 2014. See Tables B-1, B-9 and B-10 in Appendix IV at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Figure 2 - Completed Counseling to Formal Complaints Filed/Complainants
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Bar graph depicting Completed Counselings, complaints filed and number of complainants. For FY 2014 - 33,210 completed counselings; 15,013 complaints filed by 14,343 individuals; For FY 2013 - 33,147 completed counselings; 15,226 complaints filed by 14,444 individuals; For FY 2012 - 34,521 completed counselings; 15,837 complaints filed by 15,026 individuals; For FY 2011 - 36,642 completed counselings; 16,974 complaints filed by 15,796 individuals; and for For FY 2010 - 40,563 completed counselings; 17,583 complaints filed by 16,480 individuals;

Table 1 below shows that among the cabinet/large (15,000 or more employees) agencies in FY 2014, the U.S. Postal Service again reported the highest percentage (1.9 percent) of its work force that completed counseling, while the government-wide average was 1.1 percent. Among the medium sized agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees), Federal Reserve Board of Governors reported the highest percentage (3.9 percent) of its work force completed counseling. Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counselings were not included in the ranking. Small and Micro agencies (1-999 employees) typically have fewer than 25 completed/ended counselings and, therefore, are not ranked. Table B-1 in Appendix IV lists this information for all agencies and is located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Table 1 - Agencies with the Highest Counseling Rate in FY 2014

Agency

Total Work Force*

Percentage of Individuals Who Completed Counseling

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

U.S. Postal Service

614,472

1.9 %

Defense Logistics Agency

20,577

1.3%

Social Security Administration

65,974

1.3%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Federal Reserve Board of Governors

2,556

3.9%

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

1,428

3.0%

Government Printing Office

1,833

2.6%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

As shown in Table 2 below, in FY 2014, among the cabinet/large agencies (15,000 or more employees), the Department of Labor reported the highest complainant rate of .74 percent, while the government-wide average was 0.5 percent. Among the medium sized agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported the highest complainant rate of 1.7 percent. Agencies that had fewer than 25 complaints filed were not included in the ranking. Table B-1 in Appendix IV contains this information for all agencies and is located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.


Table 2 - Agencies with the Highest Complainant Rate in FY 2014

Agency

Total Work Force*

Complainants as % of Total Work Force

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

Department of Labor

15,984

0.74%

Department of Justice

114,378

0.72%

Social Security Administration

65,974

0.66%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

1,428

1.68%

Defense Commissary Agency

13,550

1.01%

Department of Housing and Urban Development

8,530

0.93%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

b. Pre-Complaint ADR Usage - Rates Rise in Two Major Categories

Beginning in FY 2006, ADR offer and participation rates were measured in completed/ended counselings at the end of the fiscal year to ensure greater uniformity, consistency, and quality in the reporting and utilization of ADR data. Therefore, comparison of FY 2006 through FY 2014 data with prior years' data is not possible.

In FY 2014, the government-wide offer rate was 87.8 percent based upon 29,158 ADR offers made in 33,210 completed/ended counselings, up from the 86.8 percent reported in FY 2013. The participation rate was almost 53 percent, based upon the 17,588 counselings accepted into agencies' ADR programs of the total completed/ended counselings, up from the 51.2 percent reported in FY 2013.

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

In FY 2014, the U.S. Postal Service again reported the highest ADR participation rate in the pre-complaint process (73.6 percent) among the cabinet/large agencies, while the government-wide average was almost 53 percent. Among the medium sized agencies, the General Services Administration reported the highest pre-complaint ADR participation rate (60 percent). The government-wide average falls below 40.1 percent without the U.S. Postal Service. See Table 3. Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counseling were not included in the ranking. See Tables B-1 and B-4 in Appendix IV for information on all agencies, which is located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Table 3 - Highest ADR Participation Rate in the Pre-Complaint Process FY 2014

Agency

Total
Work Force*

Completed/
Ended
Counselings

Participation
in ADR

Participation Rate

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

U.S. Postal Services

614,472

12,774

9,402

73.60%

Defense Logistics Agency

20,577

284

187

65.85%

Department of Homeland Security

191,975

2,067

1,170

56.6%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

General Services Administration

11,504

130

78

60.00%

Defense Commissary Agency

13,550

201

118

58.71%

Defense Contract Management Agency

11,584

82

47

57.32%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

c. Agencies Meet Counseling Deadlines in 93.5 percent of Cases

On average in FY 2014, agencies met timeliness requirements for EEO counseling in 93.5 percent of all completed/ended counselings, which was an increase from 92.3 percent in FY 2013 and from the 91.5 percent in FY 2010. 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 Pre-Complaint Resolution Rate Up Slightly in FY 2014

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 2014, the government-wide resolution rate average was 54.4 percent, marginally exceeding the 53.5 percent in FY 2013.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors Again Holds the Highest Pre-Complaint Resolution Rate

In FY 2014, the Federal Reserve System-Board of Governors, a medium sized agency, reported the highest pre-complaint resolution rate (90 percent) among all agencies with more than 25 completed/ended counselings. Among cabinet/large agencies, Defense National Guard Bureau reported the highest pre-complaint resolution rate (75.6 percent). See Table 4. Agencies that had fewer than 25 completed/ended counselings were not included in the ranking. However, four agencies, American Battle Monuments Commission, Federal Election Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and Postal Regulatory Commission, in this category had 100 percent resolution rates. Table B-3 in Appendix IV contains this information for all agencies and is located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Table 4 - Highest Pre-Complaint Resolution Rates FY 2014

Agency

Total Work Force*

Completed Counselings

Total Resolved

Resolution Rate

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

Defense National Guard Bureau

64,913

45

34

75.6%

Defense Army and Air Force Exchange Service

29,246

247

172

69.6%

U.S. Postal Service

614,472

12,774

8,640

67.6%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Federal Reserve System-Board of Governors

2,556

100

90

90.0%

Broadcasting Board of Governors

1,574

28

19

67.9%

Government Printing Office

1,833

58

39

67.2%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

The Department of the Navy Had the Highest ADR Resolution Rate in FY 2014

In FY 2014, the Department of the Navy reported the highest ADR resolution rate in the pre-complaint process (79.5 percent) among those agencies with 25 or more ADR closures, whereas the government-wide average was 64.8 percent. See Table 5. The government-wide ADR resolution rate fell to 51.5 percent for FY 2014, when the U.S. Postal Service resolution rate (76.3 percent) is excluded from the government-wide average, which was up from the 52.6 percent in FY 2013. Agencies that had fewer than 25 ADR closures were not included in the ranking. Table B-5 in Appendix IV contains this information for all agencies and is located at www.eeoc.gov/.


Table 5 - Highest Pre-Complaint ADR Resolution Rates FY 2014

Agency

Total

Work Force*

ADR Closures

ADR

Resolutions

ADR Resolution Rate

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

Department of the Navy

243,060

707

562

79.5%

U.S. Postal Service

614,472

9,402

7,174

76.3%

Defense Army & Air Force Exchange Service

29,246

115

86

74.8%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Defense Finance and Accounting Services

11,038

53

34

64.2%

General Services Administration

11,504

78

39

50.0%

Defense Contract Management Agency

11,584

47

21

44.7%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

e. Average Monetary Benefits in Pre-Complaint Phase Rise

Monetary benefit amounts awarded in settlements during the pre-complaint phase, shown in Table 6, rose in FY 2014 from the FY 2010 amounts as did the number of settlements with monetary benefits. The data showed an increase in the average amount of monetary benefits from $3,928 in FY 2013 to $5,086 in FY 2014.


Table 6 - Monetary Benefits Awarded in Settlements During the Pre-Complaint Stage of the EEO Process FY 2010 - FY 2014

FY

Completed Counselings

Total Resolutions

Total Settlements

Total Settlements with Monetary Benefits

Settlement Monetary Benefits

Average Award per Resolution with Monetary Benefits

# % # % # %

2010

40,563

22,094

54.5

6,332

15.6

577

9.1

$3,148,563

$5,457

2011

36,642

19,460

53.1

5,799

15.8

627

10.8

$3,042,646

$4,853

2012

34,521

18,449

53.4

5,353

15.5

740

13.8

$3,442,719

$4,652

2013

33,147

17,743

53.5

4,829

14.6

744

15.4

$2,922,056

$3,928

2014

33,210

18,064

54.4

4,860

14.6

742

15.3

$3,773,943

$5,086

f. The Most Frequently Alleged Basis and Issue Remain Unchanged

Of the 15,013 complaints filed in FY 2014, the basis most frequently alleged was reprisal/retaliation (7,018) and the issue most frequently alleged was non-sexual harassment (6,102). As shown in Tables 7 and 8, this has remained unchanged for the past five fiscal years. In FY 2014, the number of complaints filed with allegations of disability (physical) once again exceeded those complaints filed with allegations of race (Black/African American).

An agency may not take an adverse action or otherwise "retaliate" against applicants or employees because they engaged in a protected activity. See EEOC's Facts About Retaliation for examples of adverse actions, protected activities and other guidance on retaliation.

Table 7 - Top 3 Bases in Complaint Allegations Filed for FY 2010 - FY 2014

Basis

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

FY 2013

FY 2014

Reprisal/Retaliation

7,712

7,553

7,457

7,339

7,018

Age

5,314

5,105

4,915

4,803

4,697

Race - Black/African American

4,232

4,389

4,042

3,838

3,838

Disability (Physical)

3,817

In FY 2014, allegations of race discrimination were made in 37.5 percent of all complaints, down from the 37.7 percent of all complaints filed in FY 2013. In FY 2014, there was a 14.6 percent decrease in the number of complaints filed since FY 2010, and the percentage of complaints alleging discrimination based on race also decreased by almost 10 percent. During that same period, the percentage of complaints filed alleging discrimination based on color increased 4.2 percent, from 1,817 in FY 2010 to 1,894 in FY 2014.[10]

Table 8 - Top 3 Issues in Complaint Allegations Filed for FY 2010 - FY 2014

Issue

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

FY 2013

FY 2014

Harassment - Non-Sexual

5,907

5,863

5,991

6,127

6,102

Terms/Conditions

2,546

2,492

2,506

2,734

2,445

Promotion/Non-Selection

2,530

2,683

2,250

2,221

2,227

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 Compliance Manual Section 15: Race and Color Discrimination.

g. The Number of Timely Investigations Rises and Agencies Continue to Exceed Time Limits for Issuing Final Agency Decisions
Investigations

Investigations into claims 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 an extension of no more than 90 days (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 a total of 360 days.

In FY 2014, agencies completed investigations in a timely manner 73 percent of the time, up from 67.2 percent in FY 2013 (including written agreements to extend the investigation and consolidated or amended complaints). When the U.S. Postal Service is not included, the percentage of investigations completed in a timely manner also increased to 64.7 percent government-wide from the 55.7 percent completed in a timely manner in FY 2013. Agencies' average time to complete investigations decreased from 207 days in FY 2013 to 196 days in FY 2014, leaving the FY 2010 reported average of 181 days as the best time for the previous twenty-two years.[11] See Figure 3 below.

Figure 3 - Average Processing Days for Investigations for FY 2010 - FY 2014

Line graph depicting the average days to do an investigation government-wide. For FY 2014 - 196 days; For FY 2013 - 207 days; For FY 2012 - 187 days; For FY 2011 - 183 days; and For FY 2010 - 181 days.

Of those investigations required to be completed within the 180-day time limit, agency in-house investigators averaged 215 days to complete the investigation in FY 2014, while contract investigators averaged 188 days. Several years ago, in a review of the investigatory practices of selected agencies, EEOC identified several reasons for untimely investigations: poorly staffed EEO offices, unnecessary and time-consuming procedures,[12] 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.

Four Agencies Timely Completed 100 percent of Investigations[13]

Among the agencies that completed 25 or more investigations in FY 2014, four agencies completed 100 percent of their investigations in a timely manner. See Table 9 below. Among cabinet or large agencies, the Department of Commerce timely completed 100 percent of its 156 investigations in FY 2014. Agencies that had completed fewer than 25 investigations were not included in the ranking. Table B-9 in Appendix IV contains this information for all agencies and is located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Table 9 - Highest Percentage of Timely Completed Investigations for FY 2014

Agencies

Total

Work Force*

# Completed

Investigations

# Timely Completed

% Timely

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

Department of Commerce

46,893

156

156

100.0%

Defense Logistics Agency

20,577

58

57

98.3%

Department of Transportation

54,800

219

212

96.8%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

6,965

41

41

100.0%

Tennessee Valley Authority

11,530

41

41

100.0%

Office of Personnel Management

5,403

31

31

100.0%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

In FY 2014, the government-wide average cost for contracting out complaint investigations was calculated at $3,089.51, a 1.1 percent decrease from the FY 2013 average cost of $3,122.99. Similarly, the FY 2014 average cost of agency (in-house) investigations ($6,772.12) decreased almost 1.2 percent from the FY 2013 average cost of $6,852.39. Average costs to contract out investigations in FY 2014 were approximately 74.7 percent less than the average costs of agency (in-house) investigations, which represent a decrease from 54.4 percent in FY 2013.

Final Agency Actions

EEOC regulations require an agency to take a final action on each formal complaint filed. Table 10 below provides a breakdown, with processing times, 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. In FY 2014, the government-wide average processing time for issuing a decision dismissing a complaint on procedural grounds was 94.4 days, an increase from FY 2013's 83.1 days. EEOC maintains that, in general, acceptance letters/dismissal decisions should be issued well in advance of the 180 day time limit for completing an investigation and has suggested a more practical time would be within 60 days of the filing of the formal complaint.

Table 10 - EEO Complaint Closures by Type with Government-Wide Average Processing Times in Days (APD) in FY 2010 - FY 2014

FY

Complaint Closures

Merit Final Agency Actions With AJ Decisions

Merit Final Agency Decisions Without

AJ Decisions

Procedural Dismissals With & Without AJ Decisions

Settlements

Withdrawals

Total

APD

Total

APD from Comp. Filed

Total

APD

APD from Date Required

% Timely

Total

APD

Total

APD

Total

APD

2010

17,124

361

2,771

685

4,282

481

201

51.5%

5,091

100

3,623

388

1,357

220

2011

17,436

346

2,998

673

4,428

429

128

56.5%

4,853

73

3,785

382

1,372

234

2012

15,706

388

2,640

713

4,118

462

144

48.6%

3,515

92

4,076

409

1,357

232

2013

14,716

420

2,536

851

4,205

451

127

50.1%

3,101

83

3,637

420

1,237

276

2014

13,375

418

2,382

834

3,858

439

121

50.1%

2,792

94

3,103

418

1,240

277

An agency may also issue a decision after an investigation, either finding discrimination or finding no discrimination. In FY 2014, agencies issued 52.2 percent of their final agency merit decisions in a timely manner, an increase from the 50.1 percent completed in FY 2013 in a timely manner. Commission regulations require agencies to issue final decisions within 60 days of a complainant's request for such a decision or Administrative Judge's remand for a final agency decision. In addition, regulations require agencies to issue a final agency decision within 90 days after completion of an investigation if the complainant has not requested either a final decision or an EEOC hearing. In FY 2014, agencies issued merit final agency decisions without an Administrative Judge's decision in an average of 121 days, down from 127 days in FY 2013.

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

In FY 2014, the U.S. Postal Service reported it had issued 98.1 percent of its merit decisions without an EEOC Administrative Judge decision in a timely manner. The FY 2014 government-wide average for merit decisions issued in a timely manner percentage was 52.2 percent with the U.S. Postal Service and dropped to 33.4 percent without the U.S. Postal Service. See Table 11 below.[14] Agencies that issued fewer than 25 merit decisions without a hearing were not included in the ranking. For information on all agencies, see Table B-14 in Appendix IV located at http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Table 11 - Agencies with the Highest Percentage of Timely Issued Merit Decisions (Without an Administrative Judge Decision) in FY 2014

Agencies

Total Work Force*

Merit Decisions without an AJ Decision

# Timely %

Cabinet or Large (15,000 or more employees)

U.S. Postal Service

614,472

1,203

1,180

98.1%

Department of the Treasury

105,466

122

109

89.3%

Department of Homeland Security

191,975

301

161

53.5%

Medium Agencies (1,000 to 14,999 employees)

Defense Army and Air Force Exchange Service

29,246

31

30

96.8%

Department of Commerce

46,893

77

63

81.8%

Department of Labor

15,984

46

32

69.6%

* Work force numbers as reported by the agency in its FY 2014 462 report.

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 the decision and simultaneously appealing to EEOC. In FY 2014, agencies issued 2,454 final orders implementing and 38 orders not implementing the Administrative Judges' procedural and merit decisions. 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 2014, agencies issued orders on Administrative Judge merit decisions in an average of 837 days after the complaint was filed, down from the 851 days in FY 2013 and up from the 680 days in FY 2010.

h. Percentage of Findings of Discrimination and Average Monetary Benefits Decrease

In FY 2014, the percentage of findings of discrimination dropped to 2.6 percent from the 2.7 percent in FY 2013. Table 12 also shows that the total number of merit decisions decreased as did the number of settlements in FY 2014.


Table 12 - Amounts Awarded in Resolution of Formal

EEO Complaints Before Appeals FY 2010 - FY 2014

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

2010

17,124

7,053

233

3.3%

3,623

21.2%

3,803

22.2%

$46.9

$12,335

2011

17,436

7,426

212

2.9%

3,785

21.7%

3,953

22.7%

$43.5

$11,000

2012

15,706

6,758

214

3.1%

4,076

25.9%

4,257

27.1%

$51.4

$12,084

2013

14,716

6,741

184

2.7%

3,637

24.7%

3,795

25.8%

$56.0

$14,763

2014

13,375

6,240

162

2.6%

3,103

23.2%

3,240

24.2%

$44.8

$13,852

Average monetary benefits awarded in resolution of formal EEO complaints decreased by 6.2 percent between FY 2013 and FY 2014, and increased by 12.3 percent since FY 2010. Table 12 above shows the total monetary benefits awarded during the formal complaint process for the past five fiscal years, while Figure 4 below indicates the portion of these benefits awarded for compensatory damages, attorney's fees, and lump sum payments, respectively.

Figure 4 - Monetary Benefits Awarded in the Formal Complaint Stage
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Bar graph depicting monetary benefits awarded in the formal complaint stage. For FY 2014 there were $44.8 million dollars total awarded in the formal complaint process, of which $23.2 million was paid as lump sum payments, $7.8 million was for compensatory damages and $11.5 million was paid in attorney fees. For FY 2013 there were $56 million dollars total awarded in the formal complaint process, of which $30 million was paid as lump sum payments, $9.1 million was for compensatory damages and $15.2 million was paid in attorney fees. For FY2012 there were $51.4 million dollars total aarded in the formal complaint process of which $25.6 million was paid as lump sum payments, $8.7 million dollars for compensatory damages and 14.1 million was paid in attorney's fees. For FY 2011 there were $43.5 million dollars total awarded in the formal complaint process, of which $21.4 million was paid as lump sum payments, $7.2 million was for compensatory damages and $12 million was paid in attorney fees. And for FY 2010 there were $46.9 million dollars total aarded in the formal complaint process of which $20.2 million was paid as lump sum payments, $13.9 million dollars for compensatory damages and 10.2 million was paid in attorney's fees.

i. Affirmation Rate of Final Agency Decisions on Appeal Rises

As demonstrated by Table 13 below, 70.7 percent of final agency decisions (FADs), excluding those in which an Administrative Judge issued a decision, were affirmed on appeal in FY 2014. This represents a 3.8 percent increase from the FY 2013 affirmation rate and a 2.2 percent increase from the FY 2010 affirmation rate.

Table 13 - Affirmation Rate of Final Agency Decisions on Appeal

FY 2010 - FY2014

Fiscal Year

FADs Decided

on Appeal

FADs Affirmed

on Appeal

Percentage of FADs Affirmed

on Appeal

FY 2010

2,543

1,759

69.2%

FY 2011

2,274

1,624

71.4%

FY 2012

2,471

1,578

63.9%

FY 2013

2,102

1,431

68.1%

FY 2014

1,924

1,361

70.7%

In FY 2012, some of the totals were corrected from totals reported in previous Annual Reports.

2. EEOC Hearings and Appeals: Processing Times Increase for Hearings and Appeals

By federal regulation, EEOC becomes involved in the handling of an EEO complaint from an applicant for federal employment or 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 adjudicating appeals from final actions issued by federal agencies on complaints of employment discrimination. These final actions may involve an agency's decision to dismiss procedurally 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 implement fully 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 made by the Merit Systems Protection Board involving claims of discrimination and petitions for review of final grievance decisions when claims of discrimination are permitted to be raised in the grievance procedure.

In addition to, and equally important to its adjudicatory role, is EEOC's engagement 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, which includes conducting program reviews throughout the federal government to evaluate agencies' efforts to develop and maintain model EEO programs. OFO also 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 training and, with staff from various EEOC offices throughout the country, delivers these courses to federal agencies and other interested parties on a wide variety of federal-sector EEO topics.

a. Hearings
i. Hearings Inventory Continues to Rise

The year-end hearings inventory grew from 8,512 in FY 2013 to 10,453 in FY 2014, which represents an increase of 22.8 percent. Since FY 2010, the hearings inventory has increased 45.9 percent.

Figure 5 - Hearings Inventory FY 2010 - FY 2014

Line graph depicting the number of cases in inventory at the hearing stage. In FY 2014 there were 10,453 cases in inventory at the hearing stage; in FY 2013 there were 8,512 cases in inventory at the hearing stage; in FY 2012 there were 8,146 cases in inventory at the hearing stage; in FY 2011 there were 8,037 cases in inventory at the hearing stage, and for FY2010 there were 7,164 cases in inventory.

ii. Hearing Requests Increase

Hearing requests increased by 14.3 percent from 7,077 in FY 2013 to 8,086 in FY 2014, and increased by 4.9 percent since FY 2010. For comparison purposes, the 8,086 hearings requested comprised 53.9 percent of the total complaints filed in FY 2014.

Figure 6 - Comparison of Requests for EEOC Hearings to Complaints Filed
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Horizontal bar graph depicting the number of hearing requests and total complaints filed by year. For FY 2014, there were 15,013 total complaints filed and 8,046 hearing requests made. For FY 2013, there were 15,226 total complaints filed and 7,077 hearing requests made. For FY 2012, there were 15,837 total complaints filed and 7,728 hearing requests made. For FY 2011, there were 16,974 total complaints filed and 8,113 hearing requests made. For FY2010, there were 17,583 complaints filedand 7,707 hearing requests made.

iii. Hearing Closures

During FY 2014, EEOC's Hearings Program resolved 6,347 cases (including 27 class actions), which represents a 6.5 percent decrease from the 6,789 cases resolved in FY 2013 and a 12 percent decrease from the 7,213 cases closed in FY 2010. Excluding the class actions, the 6,320 individual cases in FY 2013 were closed in the following manner: 8.3 percent were by decisions following a hearing; 29.1 percent were by decisions on the record; 31.3 percent were by settlements; 12.8 percent were by procedural dismissals; and 18.6 percent were withdrawals. See Table 14 for a comparison of FY 2010 - FY 2014.

Table 14 - Hearings Program Individual Case Closures: FY 2010 - FY 2014

Closure Type

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

FY 2013

FY 2014

#

%

#

%

#

%

#

%

#

%

Decisions Following a Hearing

806

11.2

822

12.2

806

11.2

561

8.3

522

8.3

Decisions On the Record

2,102

29.3

1,919

28.6

2,102

29.3

1,905

28.3

1,839

29.1

Settlements

2,120

29.6

1,892

28.2

2,120

29.6

2,199

32.6

1,977

31.3

Procedural Dismissals

924

12.9

859

12.8

924

12.9

847

12.6

806

12.8

Withdrawals

1,217

16.9

1,220

18.2

1,217

16.9

1,231

18.3

1,176

18.6

Total Individual Case Closures

7,169

6,712

7,169

6,743

6,320

iv. Average Processing Time for Hearings

The average processing time for hearing closures increased from 383 days in FY 2013 to 419 days in FY 2014 and represents an increase from the 332 days in FY 2010. The average age of the pending inventory increased to 378 days in FY 2014 from 364 days in FY 2013, down from the 380 days in FY 2010.

Figure 7 - Average Processing Days for Hearings
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Bar graph depicting the average processing days for hearings and the average age of the pending inventory at the end of the fiscal year. For FY 2014, hearings took an average of 419 days and the average age of the pending inventory was 378 days. For FY 2013, hearings took an average of 383 days and the average age of the pending inventory was 364 days. For FY 2012, hearings took an average of 370 days and the average age of the pending inventory was 395 days. And in FY 2011, hearings took an average of 345 days and the average age of the pending inventory was 584 days. For FY2010, it took 332 days for a hearing and the average age of the pending inventory was 380 days.

v. Agencies Challenge Findings of Discrimination

In FY 2014, EEOC Administrative Judges issued 126 decisions finding discrimination, which was 5.3 percent of all decisions on the merits of complaints. In comparison to the 122 decisions in FY 2013, the 126 decisions finding discrimination that Administrative Judges issued in FY 2014, represents a 3.3 percent increase. Agencies may either fully implement the Administrative Judge's decision or not fully implement and simultaneously appeal the Administrative Judge's decision to the OFO. In FY 2014, agencies appealed only 1.5 percent of all Administrative Judge decisions. However, they appealed 26 percent of the cases where an Administrative Judge found discrimination.

Table 15 - Agency Actions on Administrative Judge Decisions FY 2010 - FY 2014

FY

Finding Discrimination[15]

Finding No Discrimination

Totals

Implemented

Appealed

Implemented

Appealed

Implemented

Appealed

# % # % # % # % # % # %

2010

119

69.2%

53

30.8%

2,596

99.9%

3

0.12%

2,715

98.0%

56

2.0%

2011

116

72.5%

44

27.5%

2,833

94.7%

5

0.18%

2,954

98.5%

49

1.6%

2012

124

80.0%

31

20.0%

2,481

99.8%

4

0.16%

2,605

98.7%

35

1.3%

2013

82

75.9%

26

24.1%

2,419

99.6%

9

0.37%

2,501

98.6%

35

1.4%

2014

74

74.0%

26

26.0%

2,272

99.6%

10

0.43%

2,346

98.5%

36

1.5%

vi. Monetary Benefits Increase at Hearings

In FY 2014, Administrative Judges' decisions and settlements at the hearings stage awarded $74 million in benefits, as compared to the $56.2 million in FY 2013 and the $63.1 million awarded in FY 2010. Note that benefits awarded by decisions of Administrative Judges 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 2010 - FY 2014

Bar graph depicting the monetary benefits awarded at the hearings stage. For FY 2014, there were $74 million dollars total paid of which $17.9 was for compensatory damages and $16 were for attorney's fees. For FY 2013, there were $56.2 million dollars total paid of which $18.8 was for compensatory damages and $12.1 were for attorney's fees. For FY 2012, there were $61.8 million dollars total paid of which $17.7 was for compensatory damages and $14.8 were for attorney's fees. For FY 2011, there were $58 million dollars total awarded at the hearing stage, of which $16.3 million dollars was for compensatory damages and $11.3 million was paid for attorney's fees. For FY 2010, there were $63.1 million dollars total awarded at the hearing stage, of which $17.5 million dollars was for compensatory damages and $15.1 million was paid for attorney's fees.

vii. Affirmation Rate of AJ Decisions on Appeal Drops Slightly

As demonstrated by the table below, 93.6 percent of Administrative Judges' decisions were affirmed on appeal in FY 2014.[16] The number of appealed Administrative Judges' decisions decreased by almost 13 percent over the five year period between FY 2010 to FY 2014; the affirmation rate fell by 0.6 percent during this time period.

Table 16 - Affirmation Rate of AJ Decisions on Appeal

FY 2010 - FY 2014

Fiscal Year

AJ Decisions Appealed

AJ Decisions Affirmed on Appeal

% of AJ Decisions Affirmed on Appeal

Total

Appeal By Agency[17]

Appeal By Appellant

Total

Appeal By Agency

Appeal By Appellant

Total

Appeal By Agency

Appeal By Appellant

2010

972

55

917

916

47

869

94.2%

85.5%

94.7%

2011

1,065

39

1,026

989

34

955

92.9%

87.2%

93.1%

2012

830

46

784

741

33

708

89.3%

71.7%

90.3%

2013

1,019

29

990

939

25

914

92.1%

86.2%

92.3%

2014

846

331

815

792

26

766

93.6%

83.8%

93.9%

b. Appeals
i. Appeals Inventory Increases

OFO's appellate inventory, at the close of FY 2014, rose to 4,541, which represents a 5.5 percent increase from the 4,305 case inventory at the close of FY 2013 and a 23.7 percent increase from the 3,671 case inventory at the close of FY 2010.

Figure 9 - Appellate Inventory FY 2010 - FY 2014

Line graph depicting the number of cases in the appellate inventory. In FY 2014 there were 4,541 cases; In FY 2013 there were 4,305 cases; In FY 2012 there were 4,422 cases; In FY 2011 there were 4,337; In FY 2010, there were 3,671 cases.

ii. Appeal Receipts on the Decline

OFO received 4,003 appeals in FY 2014, representing a 5.7 percent decrease from the 4,244 appeals filed in FY 2013. FY 2014 appeal receipts represented an almost 12 percent decrease from the 4,545 appeals received in FY 2010. In FY 2014, 29.9 percent of closed complaints were appealed, which was more than the 26.5 percent in FY 2010.

Figure 10 - Comparison of Appeals Receipts to Complaint Closures
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Horizontal bar graph depicting the number of Appeals receipts and the total number of complaint closures. In FY 2014, there were 13,375 complaint closures and 4,003 appeal receipts; In FY 2013, there were 14,716 complaint closures and 4,244 appeal receipts; In FY 2012, there were 15,706 complaint closures and 4,350 appeal receipts; In FY 2011, there were 17,436 complaint closures and 5,176 appeal receipts. In FY 2010, there were 17,124 complaint closures and 4,545 appeal receipts;

iii. Appeal Closures Down

OFO closed a total of 3,767 appellate cases in FY 2014, down from the 4,361 appellate cases closed in FY 2013. Of the FY 2014 closed cases, 2,415 (64.1 percent) alleged violations of Title VII; 895 (23.8 percent) involved the Rehabilitation Act; 963 (25.6 percent) alleged violations of the ADEA; 11 (0.3 percent) involved the Equal Pay Act of 1963; and five or (0.1 percent) involved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). In FY 2013, OFO closed a total of 4,361 appellate cases, of which 2,721 (62.4 percent) were Title VII cases; 1,077 (24.7 percent) involved the Rehabilitation Act; 1,037 (23.8 percent) alleged violations of the ADEA; 14 (0.3 percent) involved the Equal Pay Act of 1963; and five (1 percent) involved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act 2008 (GINA).[18] See Figure 11 for the appeal closures from FY 2010 to FY 2014.

Figure 11 - Appeal Closures FY 2010 - FY 2014

Horizontal bar graph depicting the number of appeal closures by statute as set forth in the previous text.

Table 17 below provides a breakdown by appeal type of all FY 2014 appellate receipts and closures.

Table 17 - Types of Receipts and Appeals FY 2014

Types of Appeals

Receipts

Closures

#

% of Total

#

% of Total

Total

4,003

3,767

Initial Appeals from Complainants

3,273

81.8

3,115

82.7

Initial Appeals from Agencies

39

0.9

37

0.9

Petitions to Review MSPB Decisions

83

2.1

55

1.5

Appeals from a Grievance/Arbitration of FLRA Decisions

16

0.4

11

0.3

Petitions for Enforcement

22

0.5

25

0.7

Requests for Reconsiderations

570

14.2

524

13.9

In FY 2014, OFO closed 1,592 appeals addressing the merits of the underlying discrimination claims and made a total of 86 findings of discrimination, which represents 5.4 percent of the total. By comparison, in FY 2013, OFO closed 1,864 appeals addressing the merits of the underlying discrimination claims and made a total of 76 findings of discrimination, which represented almost 4.1 percent of the total. In FY 2014, OFO reversed 23.6 percent of the 1,831 appeals of procedural dismissals.

iv. Average Processing Time of Appeal Closures

The average processing time for appeal closures rose to 418 days in FY 2014, representing a 14.8 percent increase from 364 days in FY 2013 and a 43.2 percent increase from 292 days in FY 2010.

OFO resolved 1,621 (43 percent) of the 3,767 appeals closed in FY 2014 within 180 days. The average age of the pending inventory at the end of FY 2014 was 360 days, a 4.7 percent increase from the 344-day average age at the end of FY 2013 and a 0.6 percent increase from the 358-day average age of the open inventory at the end of FY 2010.

Figure 12 - Average Processing Days on Appeal
FY 2010 - FY 2014

Bar graph depicting the the average processing days on appeal and average age of pending inventory. In FY 2014, the average number of processing days was 419 and average age of pending inventory was 360 days; In FY 2013, the average number of processing days was 364 and average age of pending inventory was 344 days; In FY 2012, the average number of processing days was 361 and average age of pending inventory was 318 days; For FY 2011, the average number of processing days was 378 and average age of pending inventory was 284 days; In FY 2010, the average number of processing days was 292 and average age of pending inventory was 358 days.

*During FY 2011 OFO closed substantially more aged appeals than in recent fiscal years, resulting in the increase to average processing time and a corresponding decrease in the average age of the pending inventory.

v. Three Most Prevalent Bases and Issues on Appeal

Since FY 2007, reprisal has been the top basis of discrimination alleged in closed appeals. In FY 2014, race was the second most alleged basis, with age as the third most prevalent basis of discrimination alleged in closed appeals. Harassment, removal, and promotion were again the three most prevalent issues of discrimination alleged in closed appeals.

vi. $8.3 Million Awarded on Appeal

In FY 2014, the $8.3 million in monetary benefits awarded in compliance with appellate decisions (including settlement agreements resolving appeals) represented a 25.9 percent decrease from the $11.2 million awarded in FY 2013 and a 56.6 percent increase from the $5.3 million awarded in FY 2010.

Figure 13 - Monetary Benefits Awarded from Appeals[19]
FY 2010 - FY 2014 (In Millions of Dollars)

Bar graph depicting the monetary benefits awarded in the appellate stage. In FY 2014, $8.3 million dollars total was awarded, of which $2.1 million was compensatory damages and $1.6 million was attorney's fees; In FY 2013, $11.2 million dollars total was awarded, of which $3.4 million was compensatory damages and $2.7 million was attorney's fees; In FY 2012, $10.9 million dollars total was awarded, of which $1.8 million was compensatory damages and $1.9 million was attorney's fees; In FY 2011, $9.2 million dollars total were awarded, of which $2.9 million was compensatory damages and $2.5 million was attorney's fees; In FY 2010, $5.3 million dollars total were awarded, of which $1.8 million was compensatory damages and $1.1 million was attorney's fees;

vii. Training and Outreach Conducted By EEOC

In FY 2014, 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, and provided agency managers and supervisors with a better understanding of how to prevent employment discrimination within their workplace. OFO staff members, as well as staff from various EEOC offices throughout the country, provided these training sessions.

Specifically, staff members conducted 49 training sessions reaching 1,584 federal employees, including 63 new EEO counselors, 126 new EEO investigators, and 111 EEO professionals in affirmative employment programs.

In an ongoing effort to provide the federal sector EEO community and stakeholders with timely and accurate information, OFO staff members responded to more than 3,848 calls concerning the federal sector EEO complaint process.

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

Section C - Responsiveness and Legal Compliance

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

1. 74 percent of Submitted EEOC Form 462 Reports Were Timely

EEOC regulation 29 C.F.R. § 1614.602(a) requires agencies to report to the EEOC information concerning pre-complaint counseling, ADR, and the status, processing, and disposition of complaints 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 Regulatory 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.

In FY 2014, 65 or 73.9 percent of the 88 agencies (with 100 or more employees) submitted in a timely manner the EEOC Form 462 Report, an increase from the 69.7 percent submitted in a timely manner in FY 2013. In FY 2008 EEOC made the report submission paperless for agencies by assigning a unique personal identification number (PIN) to agency EEO Directors for use as their signatures. The PIN needed to be entered on the secure web site by the deadline to be considered timely. In FY 2013, the EEOC opened its new electronic submissions portal, FedSEP to agencies for 462 report submission. In this system, EEOC must accept the agency's report prior to the November 3rd deadline to be considered timely.[20] See Appendix III for the list of agencies' FY 2014 report submission times.