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.
Native American Indian Heritage Month
Every November, the Department of Defense (DoD) joins the Nation in celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month. The event is also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. For 2023, The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) has chosen the theme: “Tribal Nations Soaring to New Heights.”
Native Americans have a distinguished legacy in the Army - many thousands have served in the armed forces from the early days of the Revolutionary War, with the Lewis and Clark expedition, as Scouts with the U.S. Cavalry and as Code Talkers in World War II.
Former Spc. 5 Dwight Birdwell, a member of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma, received the Medal of Honor from President Joe Biden at the White House on July 5, 2022. Birdwell distinguished himself
by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Troop C, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam on Jan. 31, 1968. For his actions on that day, then Spc. 5 Birdwell was awarded the Silver Star. On Oct. 22, 2019, the Secretary of the Army recommended upgrade of his award to the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Henry Villarama).
Birdwell continues a long tradition of Native Americans serving in the armed forces.
After his service, he went on to have a successful career in law, first serving as a
member of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, then as its chief justice and finally as
an Oklahoma City attorney.
As the first people to live on the land we all cherish, American Indians and Alaska
Natives have profoundly shaped our country’s character and cultural heritage.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have built a legacy of professionalism and selfless
service that inspires future generations.
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)
National Minority and Women’s Organizations
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!
- Ask the offender to stop the unwanted conduct.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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.