Press Release


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Gradual Improvements Cited in Efficiency of Processing Discrimination Complaints

WASHINGTON – Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the issuance of the EEOC’s Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for Fiscal Year 2005 (covering October 2004 through September 2005). The comprehensive report, which informs and advises the President and the U.S. Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity (EEO) government-wide, is available on the agency’s web site at

This year’s annual report follows the structure of the requirements set forth in the EEOC’s Management Directive (MD)-715 and includes practical tips and best practices for improving EEO performance. MD-715, which became effective in October 2003, is an extensive guidance document for federal agencies promoting EEO principles and best practices.

“I’m pleased to see that progress is being made toward the prompt resolution and even prevention of EEO complaints. But our work is not yet finished,” said Chair Dominguez. “The EEOC will continue to work side-by-side with our sister agencies to ensure that the federal government is a model employer.”

Data in the 2005 annual report are presented both in individual agency profiles and in government-wide aggregate form. In FY 2005, federal employees and applicants filed 18,017 complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal. That figure represents a decline of 5.3% from FY 2004. While exceeding the 180-day time frame required by federal regulations, agencies considerably reduced the average processing time for conducting investigations from 280 days in FY 2004 to 237 days in FY 2005. In addition, the average processing time for closing complaints was 411 days, a significant decrease from the 469 days in FY 2004.

Federal regulations allow complainants to request a hearing before the Commission after a federal agency has investigated a complaint. During FY 2005, the EEOC received 10,266 hearing requests and closed 10,221 complaints. The average processing time was 249 days, representing a 29.9% decrease from FY 2004’s average of 355 days. Agencies closed 22,974 EEO complaints. Approximately, 48.8% resulted in final action on the merits, 24% resulted in a procedural dismissal, and 18.6% were settlements. Of the 11,213 final actions on the merits, 3.1% resulted in a finding of illegal discrimination. The full text of the report is available on the EEOC’s web site at

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