The Responsibility. To develop, coordinate, and evaluate all EEO activities; including affirmative action. To advise the installation commander on EEO matters; and to manage the EEO Complaint Process.
The Commitment. To ensure equal opportunity for civilian applicants and employees. To create and nurture a workplace based on respect and equality, where all employees can contribute fully to the accomplishment of the Army mission and reach their highest potential.
The Challenge. To continue to monitor policies, procedures and practices that result in disparate treatment or create an adverse impact. To monitor the Equal Employment Opportunity profile of the workplace, provide a variety of training programs and sponsor special observances.
The Determination. To achieve excellence with a workforce that is as diverse as America.
Affirmative Employment Plan
Fort Lee continues to be part of the Army climate that deals with budget cuts, hiring freezes and authorization decrements. In spite of that, we have been successful in putting the focus on affirmative action in consideration of new hires, promotions and training opportunities. The command continues to focus on increasing the representation of women and minorities at the senior grade levels, and promises that affirmative employment objectives will be an integral part of the command's focus in the upcoming year. Because of the constraints existing in current hiring, Fort Lee commits to the development of the skills and upward mobility of those employees that are serving us so well today.
An analysis of the USACASCOM&FL work force under Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, Other, and Blue Collar (PATCOB), grade grouping and targeted series was conducted using data from the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS). Civilian Labor Force (CLF) data for populous occupations and PATCOB were taken from 1990 census data.
About the Individuals with Disabilities Program
(1) Strive for the achievement of a civilian work force in which disabled individuals (including persons with targeted disabilities and disabled veterans) are represented in every major organizational element, occupational category, and grade level.
(2) Provide reasonable accommodation and ensure equal opportunity in hiring, advancement, training, and treatment of disabled individuals.
As a model employer, Fort Lee continues to strive to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against and will ensure they enjoy full access to equal opportunities in employment at this installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is an individual with a disability?
An individual with a disability has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; and, is regarded as having such impairment.
What is a major life activity?
A major life activity is a function that the average person in the general population can perform with little or no difficulty. Major life activities include activities such as caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, speaking, learning, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, and working.
Who is a qualified individual with a disability?
A qualified individual with a disability has the skills, experience, education, and other requirements of the job the individual holds or desires, and can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, protects qualified employees and applicants with disabilities in the Executive Branch of the Federal government from employment discrimination based on disability. In 1992, the substantive employment standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 12111, et seq., were made applicable to the Federal Government through the Rehabilitation Act. The amended law requires Federal employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities so that employees with disabilities can enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities.
The amended law also requires Federal agencies to provide reasonable accommodation for known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants, unless doing so would cause undue hardship.
A reasonable accommodation may include adapting the job site or job functions for a qualified person with a disability. This does not mean that the employer must lower the standards of work for the position or change the job requirements. Reasonable accommodations that can be requested may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Making existing facilities accessible
- Utilizing part-time or modified work schedules
- Providing qualified readers and interpreters
- Acquiring or modifying equipment
Disabled Veteran Affirmative Action Plan
It is the policy of this installation to take positive steps to hire, place, advance, and retain qualified disabled veterans. This policy is not meant to establish preferential treatment in employment and advancement of disabled veteran employees except as required by law or regulation.
Special Emphasis Program (SEP)
The Special Emphasis Program Committee is authorized under the provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office established by the Civil Service Commission (now the Office of Personnel Management) and by Presidential Executive Order 11375. The program was established to address those special employment issues and concerns affecting all employees and to serve in conjunction with all levels of management in designing a program which will further the installation's affirmative actions goals at the United States Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) and tenants.
- Act as a channel for communication between the workforce and management, seeking to create a climate of understanding and cooperation.
- Analyze statistical data concerning the composition of the workforce by organization, type and grade of positions, in order to identify those areas in which minorities, women and the disabled are significantly underrepresented.
- Study issues involved in complaints of discrimination in order to identify patterns of practices, attitudes, and other problem areas which result in the denial of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women and the disabled in employment, promotion, training, awards, and recognition.
- Provide leadership to assure equal employment opportunity for persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, mental or physical handicap, or age.
- Bring to the Commander's attention attitudes, policies and practices creating artificial barriers for minorities', women's and disabled employee's entry into certain occupations.
- Assist in the development and the carrying out of affirmative action goals and feasible timetables for accomplishment of those goals.
- Provide a means of informing applicants and employees on where assistance may be obtained on career counseling, training, complaint processing, and civilian human resource management procedures.
- Provide an avenue for an effective communication network between minorities, women, the disabled, and the installation and local community.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
This policy outlines the procedures and establishes responsibility of personnel of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command & Fort Lee (USACASCOM&FL) and Tenant Activities under this ADR or early resolution process for EEO precomplaints. USACASCOM&FL offers mediation as the alternative dispute resolution process to resolve EEO complaints.
- Early resolution of EEO pre-complaints.
- Establish a fair, non-adversarial process for such resolutions.
- Offer an alternative to potential litigation.
- Avoid potentially huge outlays of resources.
- Improve work relationships through open communication and understanding.
Mediation Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mediation?
Mediation is the intervention into a dispute by an impartial and neutral third party who assists the disputing parties in voluntarily reaching a settlement. This third party, called the mediator, assists in clarifying issues, identifying underlying causes, and arriving at appropriate remedies to resolve disputes. The mediator does not impose resolution on the parties, but works to improve communications to guide the parties toward voluntary resolution.
Who May Participate in Mediation?
Department of Defense employees, applicants for employment, and former employees who allege discrimination on matters concerning their employment may be offered or may request mediation. Participation is voluntary.
When is Mediation Initiated?
Mediation is usually offered within 20 days of the initiation of EEO counseling. The aggrieved will be allowed a brief time in which to accept or reject the offer of mediation. If mediation is rejected, the EEO counseling process will continue. If mediation is accepted, the EEO counseling will be held in abeyance to allow the mediation process to take place.
How Does Mediation Work?
During mediation, parties will be provided the opportunity for joint discussion, as well as individual and confidential discussion, with the mediator. With the exception of the settlement agreement, the mediator will not retain records of the mediation. The mediator will not willingly testify for or against either party in an administrative or court proceeding regarding information unique to the mediation conference. Unless obligated by law, such as in criminal activity, the mediator will not divulge information conveyed in confidence by either party.
What Happens When Mediation is Completed?
If a dispute is resolved through mediation, a written settlement agreement will be signed by both parties and EEO counseling will be terminated. If a dispute is not resolved, EEO counseling will continue and the aggrieved will be provided the right to file a formal complaint.
How Does Mediation Benefit Me?
- MEDIATION utilizes an impartial third party to assist the involved parties in resolving the dispute.
- MEDIATION encourages open communication, often improving or mending broken working relationships.
- MEDIATION allows parties to resolve disputes themselves, thereby avoiding lengthy and expensive litigation or administrative procedures.
- MEDIATION results in a win/win situation, especially where it results in a mutual and voluntary settlement to a dispute. Even if mediation does not result in resolution, open discussion often results in better understanding and better working relationships.
EEO Counselors have been appointed by the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee (CASCOM) to counsel and assist individuals from any serviced organizational element on complaints and problems related to equal employment opportunity. Any civilian employee, former employee or applicant for employment may contact the individuals listed a counselor if they feel they have been the victim of discrimination in employment on the basis of their age, race, sex, physical or mental handicap, color, religion or national origin. In accordance with AR 690-600, a counselor will be referred or assigned by the EEO Officer to conduct precomplaint counseling.
The names of counselors are posted on organizational bulletin boards. Individuals who believe they may be the victims of discrimination should call the Equal Employment Opportunity Office at (804)734-6696.
The Role of EEO Counselors
- The role of an EEO counselor is that of a mediator and fact-finder during the processing of your complaint. The EEO Counselor is not a representative for you or for management.
- In this role, the EEO Counselor cannot "build" a case for you or obtain privileged information and papers for you.
- The EEO Counselor will not reveal your name to anyone unless you give written permission to do so.
- During the initial interview, the EEO Counselor will determine necessary facts needed to conduct inquiries and interviews with persons who may have information pertinent to issues involved in your allegations.
- It is important that you give the EEO Counselor all facts and/or papers relevant to your issues at the earliest possible stage in the informal process. Do not hold anything back. To do so may hinder the Counselor in obtaining a resolution of your allegations.
- The EEO Counselor’s inquiry into the facts of your issue(s) is designed to only get enough essential information to reach an informal resolution of your allegations.
- After the EEO Counselor makes all inquiries to get the facts in the case, to include the examining of records and speaking with personnel involved, he/she will discuss it with you and attempt informal resolution. If resolution is possible, the complaint will be closed at the informal stage.
- If the EEO Counselor cannot resolve your issues or complaint within 30 calendar days after the first interview, on the 30th day he/she must advise you in writing of your right to file a formal complaint of discrimination unless you sign an agreement to extend counseling. However, every effort will be made to complete the inquiry in the shortest timeframe possible. Your cooperation in helping the Counselor to do this is appreciated.
- If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to bring them up for discussion.
It is the policy of the Department of Army (DA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees and applicants for employment in every aspect of their employment and working conditions.
Important aspects of an effective equal employment opportunity program are a vigorous affirmative action program and a discrimination processing system which facilitates the early informal resolution of complaints raised. This table provides specific information on how the administrative EEO process works.
Complaints of discrimination may be filed by any DA or DOD employee or applicant for a DA or DOD job who believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of:
- national origin
- sex (includes sexual harassment)
- age (40 and up)
- disability (physical and mental)
Filing: Complainant (employee or applicant) must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action. (Names of EEO Counselors may be obtained from bulletin boards in DA or DOD buildings, the local EEO office or by assessing the counselor page on this website.)
Counseling: The EEO Counselor will try to resolve the matter informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial interview with complainant. Counseling may be extended up to 60 additional days, upon agreement of complainant and EEO office, or if an established Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure is utilized.
Formal Complaint Process
Filing: Complainant may file a written formal complaint with the EEO office, servicing EEO office or Agency Head, within 15 calendar days after the final interview with the EEO counselor.
Acceptance/Dismissal: If the complaint is accepted by the EEO officer, an investigator will be assigned to collect all relevant information pertaining to the complaint. If portions of the complaint are dismissed, the complainant will be provided, in writing, the reason(s) for dismissal and informed of his/her right to appeal the decision.
Investigation: The OCI (Office of Complaints Investigation) is required to complete the investigation within 180 days from the filing of the formal complaint, with a possible extension of 90 additional days, upon mutual agreement. After the investigation, complainant may request a Final Agency Decision or a hearing by EEOC. (Complainant may also request a hearing after 180 days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, if the investigation has not been completed.)
Agency Final Decision: If complainant requests a Final Agency Decision, the DA Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Complaints Review Agency (EEOCCRA) or the applicable DOD Agency head will issue the Department’s decision on the complaint. The decision, based on information in the investigative file, is issued within 60 days.
EEOC Hearing: If complainant requests a hearing by EEOC, an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) conducts a hearing and submits his/her findings and conclusions, within 180 days of the request. If the agency does not issue a final order within 40 days of receipt of the AJ’s decision, the AJ's decision shall become the final action of the agency.
Appeals: Complainant, if dissatisfied with the Agency’s Final Decision, may appeal to EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) or file a civil action in a U.S. District Court.
Right to file a civil action: Complainant, if dissatisfied with OFO’s decision, may request reopening and reconsideration by EEOC or may file a civil action in a U.S. District Court. Complainants who raise a claim under the AgeDiscrimination in Employment Act may bypass the administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with EEOC at least 30 days before filing a civil action in court
EEO Process vs. Union Process: Employees covered by bargaining agreements (e.g. the Local 1178, AFGE; Local R4-27, NAGE; or Firefighters Association) may use the union grievance procedures or the EEO complaint process as applicable.
Class Complaints: The EEO office will provide counseling in "class" complaints. The EEO officer will designate a counselor for "class" complaints as in the informal process. Formal Class Complaints will be processed by the agency's headquarters EEO office.
Additional information pertaining to the EEO complaint process may be obtained from the EEO Office, 1403 Mahone Avenue - Suite D, Fort Lee, Virginia 23801-1603, 804-734-6835, and EEO Counselors.
Documents and Related Resources
- Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
- U.S. Government Printing Office
- Merit Systems Protection Board
- Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program
- Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation
- National Image,Inc.
- Federal Asian Pacific American Council(FAPAC)
- Blacks In Government
- NativeWeb-Resources for Indigenous Cultures
- Federally Employed Women(FEW)