The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   William J. White, Jr.
October 2, 1997                               Irene Hill
                                              (202) 663-4900
                                              TDD:   (202) 663-4494



WASHINGTON -- Based on the recommendations of an internal Working Group of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency is preparing to go forward with suggested ways to improve and streamline the federal sector EEO complaint processes. The recommendations, which represent the beginning of a mechanism for change, will make the EEO process more effective in addressing discrimination in the federal sector.

The Working Group was established by EEOC Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas, in part to address the criticism surrounding the federal sector complaint process. Some of the criticism has led many to believe that the current process allows federal agencies to police themselves, the process is too long with too many layers of review, and that the process is subject to abuse by employees who file multiple and unnecessary complaints and agencies which conduct inadequate investigations.

In following the model that the Commission successfully relied on to implement major changes to its private sector charge processing functions, adopting a National Enforcement Plan, and instituting a mediation program in each of its district offices, the Working Group carefully reviewed the federal sector systems and actively sought the input of a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. Based on the recommendations from the Working Group, EEOC is moving forward with important changes in its federal sector program. In particular and among other things, EEOC will:

Other areas of recommendations will include training requirements for federal EEO staff, and improving the procedures for handling class complaints.

In announcing the recommendations by the Working Group, EEOC has set up briefings with internal and external stakeholders to discuss the findings and secure feedback. Meetings have, or will soon take place with Congressional staff members, other federal agencies, and civil rights advocacy groups.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on October 2, 1997.

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