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The primary goal of the equal employment opportunity program is to manage workforce diversity and to maintain a discrimination-free workplace. This is high on the list of critical functions performed by federal managers and supervisors. Equal Employment is the law of the land. It is the right of all people to be protected from discrimination in employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and age, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation.
The EEO Office ensures equal employment opportunity for civilians under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Independence Day

The most famous Independence Day might be the Fourth of July, celebrated in the United States. However, it is not the only one. More than 150 countries celebrate Independence Day around the globe. Mexicans celebrate their independence on September 16 and Indians on August 15 – both with parades and celebrations not unlike the ones seen in the USA.

    

Many countries celebrate their independence from the United Kingdom or Great Britian.  So, as you might guess, they do not have an Independence Day. They do, however, have a United Kingdom National Day, also known as the Union Jack Day, is a day to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the United Kingdom. It is celebrated every year on April 23rd and is marked by various events, including parades, festivals, and traditional dishes. The day is also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of Saint George’s Day and the cultural diversity of UK.

 

A few other countries like Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania in Europe gained their independence from the Ottoman Empire. One of the greatest empires in history, the Ottoman empire grew from a Turkish stronghold in Anatolia into a vast state that at its peak reached as far north as Vienna, Austria, as far east as the Persian Gulf, as far west as Algeria, and as far south as Yemen. The empire’s success lay in its centralized structure as much as its territory: Control of some of the world’s most lucrative trade routes led to vast wealth, while its impeccably organized military system led to military might. But all empires that rise must fall, and six centuries after the Ottoman Empire emerged on the battlefields of Anatolia, it fell apart catastrophically in the theater of World War I.

 

The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I, also known as Osman Ghazi. Born around 1258, Osman ruled a Turkmen principality in northwestern Anatolia. Osman was a charismatic and ambitious young man who possessed military prowess and strategic vision. He expanded his tribe's territory by conquering neighboring lands and forging alliances with other tribes.

Osman's most significant achievement was the establishment of a state based on Islamic principles, which eventually grew into the Ottoman Empire. He united the Turkish tribes under his leadership and transformed them into a powerful military force. He also implemented a system of governance based on the principles of justice and equality, which earned him the respect and loyalty of his subjects. His conquests paved the way for the Ottoman Empire to expand its territory and become a dominant power in the world. Osman's military successes were attributed to his military genius, as well as his faith in Allah and his determination to spread the message of Islam.

Several countries have more than one Independence Days, partly because they attained independence twice in the course of their history. Countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Lithuania first attained independence from their colonizers then later declared independence from the Soviet Union between 1991 and 1992. Other countries considered to be having two independence days are Slovenia, Colombia, and Chile.

Another interesting fact is that out of the 196 countries on Earth, the vast majority became independent after 1800. Only 20 were independent before the start of the 19th century—a mere 10%— and by 1900, only 49 or 25% of the countries of today were independent. Japan and China declared their independence in 660 and 221 BCE respectively. 

Hopefully this has sparked your interest to explore that many different countries to discover when, how and who they gained their independence.

Kathy Bellinder, EEO Officer

Six Essential Elements of a Model EEO Program

When establishing a model EEO program, an agency should incorporate into the design a structure for effective management, accountability and self-analysis which will ensure program success and compliance with EEO MD-715. Agency personnel programs and policies should be evaluated regularly to ascertain whether such programs have any barriers that tend to limit or restrict equitable opportunities for open competition in the workplace.

The six essential elements for a model EEO program, as described in EEO-MD-715, at PART A, II. A-F, and PART B, III. A-F, are as follows:
1. Demonstrated commitment from agency leadership: Post EEO Policy Statements in all offices and on bulletin boards. Demonstrate the value of EEO to the agency and employees. Seek input (e.g., using employee surveys and focus groups, discussions with employee advisory groups, etc.) regarding the workplace environment. Provide/request EEO training as needed.
2. Integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission: Encourage regular visits from the EEO Office to your work environment. The EEO team can assist leaders with evaluating workforce demographics and trends.
3. Management and program accountability: Make clear that all managers and supervisors share responsibility with EEO program and human resources officials for the successful implementation of EEO programs.
4. Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination: Ensure all your employees attend EEO training (Garrison Riley Onboarding Welcome [GROW], SHARP, EEO, Reasonable Accommodations) whether or not training is mandatory.
5. Efficiency: Ensure your approach to a situation is efficient, fair and impartial. Managers should always be receptive to resolving issues at the lowest level.
6. Responsiveness and legal compliance: Ensure all final Negotiated Settlement Agreements (NSA) are monitored for compliance and timeliness.

**Don't wait for a complaint to be filed to do something! **

 

Special Emphasis Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) are an integral part of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Program. The purpose of these programs is to ensure that agencies take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity to all employees in all areas in the employee life cycle. The term, “Special Emphasis Programs,” refers specifically to employment related programs which focus special attention on groups that are conspicuously absent or have a lower than expected participation rate in a specific occupational category or grade level in the agency’s work force.

The goals of the Special Emphasis Programs are to:

  • Improve employment and advancement opportunities for their respective constituents in the Federal service.
  • Identify systemic causes of discrimination against minorities, women, and people with disabilities.
  • Seek ways to help minorities, women, and people with disabilities to advance by using their skills more fully.
  • Monitor agency progress in eliminating discrimination and adverse impact on minorities, women, and people with disabilities in employment and agency programs.
  • Educate Federal employees and managers about the extent of various forms of discrimination within the Federal service.

Special Emphasis Programs

Black Employment Program; Federal Women’s Program; Hispanic Employment Program; Asian/Pacific Islander American Program; American Indian/Alaskan Native Program; Individuals with Disabilities Program (Workforce Recruiting Program for College Students w/Disabilities).

Special Emphasis Observances

  • January – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • February – African American History Month
  • March – National Women’s History Month
  • May – Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
  • June – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month
  • June 19th – Juneteenth
  • September 15th – October 15th – National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • October – National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • November – National American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month

Minority College Relations Program

  • Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs): Donnelly College, Kansas City, KS; Dodge City Community College, Dodge City, KS; Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Harris Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO; Lincoln University, Jefferson, MO
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs): Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS

Educational Links (TCUs/HSIs/HBCUs)

American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

National Minority and Women’s Organizations

Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)

Federally Employed Women, Inc. (FEW)

Hispanic Employment Program Managers (HEPM) Council

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE)

National Image, Inc. (Image)

National Organization of Women (NOW)

National Urban League (NUL)

Society of American Indian Government Employees

Blacks in Government (BIG)

National Latina Symposium

More can be found in this link!

Hostile Work Environment

      • A hostile work environment, as defined by the Department of the Army, is caused by any conduct, implicit or explicit, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to alter the terms, conditions, or privileges of the employee’s employment or otherwise create a hostile or abusive work environment.
      • Examples of unlawful harassment can include: unwelcome conduct, intimidation, ridicule, insult, offensive comments or jokes, slurs, name-calling, threats, or physical conduct. These would be based on a Title VII basis, which are race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40+), disability, genetic information, or reprisal.
      • Keep in mind that the harasser can be anyone ranging from supervisor (whether your own or from another section), fellow employees, contractors, vendors, and customers.
      • What should you do if someone harasses you?
        • Ask the offender to stop the unwanted conduct.
          • If you are uncomfortable in doing so, reach out to your supervisor and/or chain of command.
        • You can also report this to the EEO office, Inspector General, CPAC LMER personnel, union officials, or chaplains.
        • If you witness or become aware of this type of conduct, it is your responsibility to report it.
          • SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
      • Keep in mind that management is responsible for ensuring your work environment is free of any type of harassing behavior and address these types of behaviors to put a stop to it. This means: if a complaint is made, management will be held responsible for the negative conduct during the complaint processing, NOT the harasser, because they are expected to know what is going on for the areas they are responsible for.

Advisory Services

Advises all levels of management regarding EEO related issues. Includes providing program overview, conducting assessments, recommending courses of action to supervisors, participating in strategic planning and special committees, presenting briefings, researching special problems, and conducting sensing session.

Personal Assistive Services

Request Process

  • Notify supervisor.*
    * Guests and visitors should contact the EEO Disability
    Program Manager (DPM) directly.
  • Complete Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
    (Contact EEO DPM for required forms if necessary.)
  • Provide request form to supervisor.
    • Supervisor will forward request form to EEO Disability Program Manager
    • (785) 239-3263
  • DPM will provide assistance and help with locating resources as needed.

LGBTQ Commonly used Acronyms

The four letters of LGBT have been used since the 1990s, but the acronym has come to be an evolving abbreviation following an increased awareness of the need to be inclusive of other sexual identities and offer better representation. In honor of Pride Month, we have compiled a list of commonly used acronyms for your awareness. The terms themselves can be overwhelming to some and may even overlap, which may confuse those who are not a part of the LGBTQ community. How do I address this individual? What should they be called? Why so many acronyms? A good approach/start is to familiarize yourself with the substantial list of labels under the LGBTQ umbrella.

First the basics, LGBT:

  • L (Lesbian): A lesbian is a woman/woman-aligned person who is attracted to other women.
  • G (Gay): Gay is usually a term used to refer to men/men-aligned individuals who are only attracted to other men. Lesbians can also be referred to as gay. Today, bisexual and pansexual people sometimes use gay to casually refer to themselves when they talk about their similar gender attraction.
  • B (Bisexual): Bisexual indicates an attraction to more than one gender. The recognition of bisexual individuals is important, since there have been periods when people who identify as bisexual have been misunderstood as being gay. This used to mean attraction to both men and women, but recently the term refers to someone who is attracted to two or more genders out of all the gender identities. Bisexuality has included transgender, binary and non-binary individuals.
  • T (Transgender): Transgender is a term which indicates that a person's gender identity is different from the gender associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. This term can be associated with Trans, Trans* and Trans+, which acts as a more inclusive term for gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals.

Next, LGBTQ:

  • Q (Queer or Questioning): Queer is an umbrella term for anyone who is non-cisgender or not heterosexual. Initially queer was used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by LGBTQ communities. Some still find the term offensive and it should not be placed on all members of the community. Questioning refers to people who may be unsure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

From the basic LGBTQ acronym, it expands to LGBTQIA:

  • I (Intersex): Refers to people who naturally have biological traits which do not match what is typically identified as male or female. There are many different variations (e.g., XXY chromosomes, ambiguous genitalia or internal sex organs). This term is not linked to sexual orientation or gender identity; Intersex individuals can have different sexual orientations, gender identities and/or expressions.
  • A (Asexual): An umbrella term used for individuals who do not experience, or experience only a low level, of sexual desire. This identity can include those who are interested in having romantic relationships, and those who are not. Also referred to as “Ace,” a person who does not identify with any sexual orientation.
  • A (Ally): People who identify as cisgender and straight, but believe in social and legal equality for LGBTIQ+ people, are referred to as allies.

In many contexts, the “A” in LGBTQIA will only refer to Asexual individuals. The “A” is more likely to be short for both Ally and Asexual when LGBTQIA is being used to talk about a broader community that believes in the human rights of LGBTIQ people.

And finally, adding on a + (plus) making it LGBTQIA+:

  • + (Plus): The 'plus' is used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations which are not specifically covered by the other five initials. The term could indicate other gender identities on the spectrum that have not been defined yet.

Below are some additional “+ (plus)” identities in no particular order:

  • Cisgender: One whose gender identity and expression matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Also referred to as heterosexual or straight.
  • Pansexual: A term used to describe a person who is sexually, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to people regardless of their sex or gender identity; can be referred as ‘Pan.” There is some overlap of this term with Bisexual.
  • Polysexual: People who have romantic, sexual, or affectional desire for more than one gender. This term has some overlap with bisexuality and pansexuality.
  • Gender Non-conforming (or G.N.C.): One who expresses gender outside traditional norms associated with masculinity or femininity. Not all gender-nonconforming people are transgender, and some transgender people express gender in conventionally masculine or feminine ways.
  • Gender Fluid: A term used by people whose identity shifts or fluctuates. Sometimes these individuals may identify or express themselves as more masculine on some days, and more feminine on others.
  • Gender-Neutral: Someone who prefers not to be described by a specific gender, but prefers “they” as a singular pronoun.
  • Non-Binary: A person who identifies as neither male nor female and sees themselves outside the gender binary.
  • Gender Queer: Another term often used to describe someone whose gender identity is outside the strict male/female binary. They may exhibit both traditionally masculine and feminine qualities or neither.
  • Androgyne: A person with a gender that is both masculine and feminine or in between masculine and feminine.
  • M.A.A.B. /F.A.A.B. /U.A.A.B.: Male-assigned at birth/female-assigned at birth/unassigned at birth.
  • Two-Spirit or 2-Sprit: A tradition from Indigenous Native American identity that encompasses both male and female spirits. There are a variety of definitions and feelings about the term “two spirit” — and this term does not resonate for everyone; it is a cultural term reserved for those who identify as Indigenous Native American.

Keep in mind, this list may not include all acronyms as it is always growing and represents a diverse range of sexual orientations. It is important to know that the terms serve as an effort to be more inclusive and represent gender identity. Gender identity is defined as an individual’s personal sense of their own gender and how a person labels themselves. Gender identity is changing and some individuals are no longer limiting themselves to society’s standards. These labels help build community and encourage self-expression. It could be a complex topic and some may find it sensitive to discuss; therefore, it is normal to feel like you do not know where to start. When asking or inquiring, it is important to be open-mined and respectful — especially if you are not familiar with an acronym. This is new to a lot of people and it is also important for members in the LGBTQIA+ community to be understanding, open-minded and patient.

EEO Complaint Process Flowchart

EEO_Flowchart Complaint Process.jpg

  AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

  BUILDING ACCESSIBILITY

 REASONABLE ACCOMODATIONS

Reasonable Accommodations are a form of assistance that would allow an employee who has an underlying medical condition to perform the essential function of their position without causing an undue hardship. The Reasonable Accommodation process is interactive between employees and their supervisor with recommendations from the EEO office. Employees are entitled to an effective Reasonable Accommodation. If the employee's underlying medical condition is not obvious, medical documentation needs to have the diagnosis, prognosis ,and how the requested accommodation would assist the employee with performing the essential functions of their position.

AVAILABLE EEO TRAININGS

Policy Letters

Army Anti-Harassment Policy:   AR 690-12 Appendix D
Secretary of the Army-Army Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Policy Statement
Secretary of the Army-Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Garrison Policy #2 - EEO and Affirmative Employment
Garrison Policy #3 - EEO Policy on Anti-Harassment
Garrison Policy #4 - EEO Policy on Commitment to Alternative Dispute Resolution
EEO Policy on Reasonable Accommodation
Civilian Human Resources Agency EEO Policy
 

Publications

Filing a Discrimination Complaint - Civilian Employees
EEO Quarterly Newsletter - FY24 Q1
Reasonable Accommodations: AR 690-12 Appendix C
Results of the FY23 Command Climate Survey
 FY 23 MD-715 Executive Summary