Naomi Churchill Earp assumed the role of Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on August 31, 2006, after serving as Vice Chair of the Commission since April 28, 2003.
I am pleased to present the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC’s) Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year (FY) 2006. I am pleased that we have received an unqualified opinion for the third consecutive year from independent auditors.
Employment discrimination has changed fairly dramatically over the past 40 years. In the years before and immediately after Title VII was passed, discrimination was blatant and pervasive. Newspapers published sex-segregated job ads, and employers implemented or continued policies of segregating employment facilities by race, paying female employees less than male employees, restricting employment and promotion opportunities for women and minorities, and enforcing mandatory retirement policies to force older workers out.
Today, discrimination has become more subtle and thus more difficult to prove. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to overcome summary judgment motions and achieve favorable rulings from courts in employment discrimination cases. Furthermore, a victory in trial court does not guarantee success on appeal. In addition to the procedural and legal difficulties presented by discrimination cases, current demographic changes, such as the graying of the workforce and the increased gender and ethnic diversity of the workforce, also present new challenges and opportunities for employees, employers, and the Commission. To effectively address these existing and newly emerging issues, we must all work together sharing resources and expertise.
In FY 2006, we focused on working together to move forward. We worked together to begin new initiatives to strengthen our systemic enforcement efforts and help the Federal Government take the lead in hiring people with disabilities. We worked together to change our field structure to have more staff work directly with the public, and we are implementing changes to our National Contact Center to make it more responsive and effective. We continued to work with our partners to educate young workers and disseminate best practices. We are continuing to recognize and reward specific practices and activities that produce results and reflect an abiding commitment to access and inclusion in the workplace through the EEOC’s Freedom to Compete Award.
We also worked together to manage our internal controls. Based on a review of agency-wide materials and the assurances of the agency’s senior managers, the agency’s management and financial controls environment under the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) was sound in FY 2006, with the exception of findings of one material weakness in information security controls and seven financial non-conformances. Six of the financial non-conformances have already been corrected and the remaining one non-conformance and one material weakness have corrective action plans in place to resolve the findings in FY 2007.
Throughout the long history of this nation, discrimination has been a persistent problem. Since the EEOC opened its doors more than 40 years ago, government and community efforts to end this discrimination have made tremendous progress. However, bias and other barriers to equal employment opportunity continue to separate people in the workplace. We can overcome these barriers if we all put our energy into confronting the problem directly. When we work together, we become far more powerful than the sum of our individual efforts.
Naomi C. Earp
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
November 8, 2006
This page was last modified on December 7, 2006
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