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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Improved Data Analysis, Practical Tips and Best Practices Included to Help Agencies Boost EEO Performance

WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has released the EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for Fiscal Year 2004, which provides detailed agency-by-agency profiles of discrimination complaint processing and other equal opportunity measures. The full text of the report, which informs and advises the President and the U.S. Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity (EEO) throughout the federal work force, is available on the Commission's web site at

The report contains practical tips and best practices to help agencies improve their EEO performance, including the processing of discrimination complaints. Additionally, the report presents a refined analysis of data examining the three major stages of the EEO complaint process: pre-complaint counseling, complaint investigation, and issuance of a final agency decision.

"This year's Annual Report on the Federal Work Force contains a wealth of data presented in a user-friendly format that allows for a comparison of agencies' EEO performances and pinpoints areas for improvement," Chair Dominguez said. "The report should help agencies with their diversity and non- discrimination efforts."

The EEOC has been collecting and issuing extensive data on the federal work force for more than two decades. The Commission also has responsibility for Title III of the 2002 Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act ("No Fear" Act), which requires agencies to post discrimination complaint data on their public web sites. The Commission's reporting requirements and No Fear Act postings provide comprehensive data on the current status of EEO.

The data contained in the federal sector report show that more than 19,000 discrimination complaints were filed against federal agencies in FY 2004 and agencies took nearly 300 days on average to investigate a complaint.

"Despite some agencies' better efforts to process discrimination complaints, they are constrained by a system that is costly, cumbersome and inefficient," said Chair Dominguez. "The volume of complaints filed is still too high, and the time it takes to investigate complaints is still too long. We at the EEOC are assisting agencies through aggressive outreach, training, and technical assistance to improve the process."

Some of the report's key findings are:

  • There were 19,024 discrimination complaints filed against federal agencies by 17,878 individuals (some of whom were repeat filers) - a 6% decline from FY 2003.
  • The most frequent bases of allegations continue to be: reprisal (7,782), age (5,449), race-black (5,021), and sex-female (4,613). The top issues cited in complaints continue to be harassment (non-sexual), promotion/non-selection, and terms/conditions of employment.
  • Only about 43% of investigations by federal agencies were completed on time, as agencies overall continued to exceed the regulatory 180-day time frame. A total of 11,876 investigations were completed government-wide in an average of 280 days during FY 2004 - up from 267 days the previous year.
  • Complainants obtained approximately $55 million in total monetary benefits which includes findings and settlements through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) - as a result of EEO complaints closed by the employing agency or on appeal - down from $61 million in FY 2003.
  • Reflecting the diversity of the nation, 66.9% of federal employees in 2004 were white, 18.2% were Black, 7.5% were Hispanic, 5.8% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1.7% were American Indian or Alaskan Native. Women have made the most gains in securing senior level positions in the federal government.

The FY 2004 report also contains the following new information:

  • Data on workforce participation rates of managers by race, gender and national origin in agencies with 500 or more employees, and specific components of certain large federal agencies;
  • Information on the timeliness of agencies' submissions of Management Directive (MD) 715 and Form 462 reports. MD-715, which became effective in October 2003, is a comprehensive guidance document for federal agencies on promoting EEO principles and create model workplaces. Form 462 reports provide information on discrimination complaint processing data and ADR efforts, which form the basis for the complaint activity in the report.

The EEOC enforces the nation's laws in the private and federal sectors prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age and disability. These statutes include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available online at

This page was last modified on April 22, 2005.