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.
National Hispanic Heritage Month
From 15 September through 15 October, the National Hispanic Heritage Month observance commemorates the contributions of Hispanic Americans, whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Our country has been profoundly influenced and greatly enhanced by the histories, cultures, and heritages of the Hispanic community. In 2011, Present Barack Obama said, “The future of America is inextricably linked to the future of our Hispanic community. Our country thrives on the diversity and ingenuity of all our people, and our ability to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world will depend greatly on the success of Hispanics.” The Hispanic population of the United States is projected to grow to 119 million by 2060. According to this projection, the Hispanic population will make up the nation’s largest minority. Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population — roughly 120 million.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated during this timeframe due to many significant events for various Hispanic communities. Key historical events include:
- In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Hernandez v. Texas that Hispanics have equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This victory provided a legal avenue for combatting discrimination for Hispanic Americans.
- In 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, Congress deemed the week, including September 15 and 16, National Hispanic Heritage Week to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the Hispanic community.
- September 15th was chosen as the starting point of Hispanic Heritage Month because of the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in 1821. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16th, 1810.
- In 1988, the observance was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to a month-long period, which includes El Dia de la Raza on October 12, celebrating the influences of the people who came after Christopher Columbus.
Many Hispanics fought on both sides in the Civil War. By the end of the war, more than 20,000 Hispanics had served. Be sure to visit the First Territorial Capitol of Kansas located here on Fort Riley at 18 Huebner Road. This site was where the first territorial legislature met in July 1855 and was hoped to be the state capital. State rights and slavery were debated at this site prior to the Civil War. For more information on other historical sites on Fort Riley, visit the Fort Riley Museum page.
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 (NEO, SHARP, EEO for Super-visors, 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 are implemented and observed primarily to ensure that minorities, women and people with various disabilities are provided an equal opportunity in employment and program delivery activities.
These programs improve the workplace environment by promoting and fostering diversity in the workplace through awareness and educating employees and others to appreciate, value, understand, and celebrate social and cultural similarities and differences.
The Minority College Relations Program is responsible for policy development, technical assistance and direction concerning employment and liaison efforts of Army personnel in the minority college relations arena.
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs): Donnelly College, Kansas City, KS
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Harris Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO; Lincoln University, Jefferson, MO; Langston, Langston, OK
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs): Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS.
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).
Hostile Work Environment
The EEOC affirmed the decision of an Administrative Judge who found that the plaintiff had established a claim of hostile work environment harassment on the basis of her sex. The AJ found that while her accused supervisor behaved inappropriately and unprofessionally towards both men and women, he treated women worse.
The AJ noted that the supervisor's conduct towards women included: 1) speaking to them in curt and rude tones; 2) making derogatory comments about women; 3) screaming and yelling at them; 4) repeatedly criticizing them in public and in private; 5) micromanaging them more than men when their performance did not merit increased supervision; 6) circumventing the chain of command and undermining her supervisory authority over her subordinates; and 7) displaying physically intimidating behavior such as aggressive body language, slamming doors and slamming his fists on the desk.
On appeal, the agency argued that the AJ had erred in crediting the testimony of the plaintiff and her witnesses over the agency's witnesses. In its decision, the EEOC declined to reweigh the parties' credibility on appeal and noted that the agency had not pointed to any objective documentary evidence contradicting the testimony of the plaintiff and her witnesses. The EEOC affirmed the AJ's award of $125,000 in non-pecuniary compensatory damages and more than $103,000 in attorney fees. The EEOC noted that the plaintiff had experienced a stress breakdown which necessitated her eventual separation from the agency and that she still suffers the effects of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The EEOC found that substantial evidence in the record supported the AJ's award of $125,000, which was not "monstrously excessive" "nor the product of passion or prejudice." The EEOC also held that the AJ's reduction in requested attorney fees was appropriate based on the fact that the fee petitions contained many excessive, redundant, unnecessary, or inadequately documented expenditures. In its order, the EEOC ordered the agency to consider appropriate disciplinary action against the responsible management officials and specifically noted that training is not considered disciplinary action.
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.
Section 508 and Architectural Barriers Act:
Personal Assistive Services
- 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) 239-3261
- DPM will provide assistance and help with locating resources as needed.
Affirmative Action Plan
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.