../plan.css">The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Commission believes that the preferred method to eradicate employment discrimination from the work place is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We have a statutory mandate to provide education, outreach and technical assistance to our various stakeholders to facilitate voluntary compliance with the laws we enforce. The outreach, education and technical assistance programs are key components of the Commission's enforcement strategy.
The Comprehensive Enforcement Plan (CEP) requires a strategic and coordinated approach to outreach, education and technical assistance activities. Enforcement and legal staff jointly and actively participate in outreach and educational activities. Their collaboration strategically links the agency's resources to ensure that prevention activities are more comprehensive, user friendly and of high technical quality, resulting in the delivery of fair, effective and efficient service to the public. We provide education and technical assistance to a broad range of stakeholders on EEOC's interpretations of the laws we enforce, and on how we carry out our enforcement responsibilities. These activities benefit our stakeholders, but they also provide valuable input on improving our processes and providing better service to the public.
The CEP also requires a coordinated approach to outreach, education and technical assistance in the field and at headquarters. In fiscal year 2002, we will identify trends across offices and opportunities for regional and national outreach programs. In addition, we will continue to implement the three-year Outreach Plan, which was developed in 1999 to ensure a coordinated approach between the primary EEOC programs having responsibilities for the agency's outreach, education and technical assistance activities.
STRATEGIC GOAL 2
Promote Equal Opportunity in Employment Through Education and Technical Assistance.
Strategic Objective 2.1.
Encourage and facilitate voluntary compliance with equal employment opportunity laws among employers and employer groups in the private and federal sectors.
|2.1.1.||The number of consultations with employer stakeholders on operational and legal issues.||500||1,232||1,200||1,213||1,200||1,200|
|2.1.2.||The number of representatives of private sector and federal sector employers attending technical assistance activities, other than Revolving Fund activities.||10,000||46,500||At least 46,500||49,766||50,000||50,000|
|2.1.3.||The number of outreach events provided to employers to encourage participation in EEOC's mediation program.||X||X||X||X||250||250|
|2.1.4.||The number of small employers with approximately 15-99 employees provided EEOC's education and information materials, as part of a special outreach initiative.||X||X||X||X||5,000||5,000|
|2.1.5.||This measure is for Revolving Fund activities and is reported in Section V, Education, Technical Assistance and Training Revolving Fund.|
|2.1.6.||Develop and implement an outreach plan for fiscal years 2000-2002 to provide education and technical assistance and to proactively distribute EEOC's education and information materials to small private sector employers and to federal sector employers.||Develop plan.||Plan developed||Implement plan activities for FY2000.||Implemented FY2000 activities.||Implement plan activities for FY2001.||Implement plan activities for FY2002.|
|2.1.7.||The number of outreach, education, or other technical assistance activities conducted to assist federal agencies make EEO program improvements, including establishing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs throughout the EEO process.||X||X||X||X||At least 120||At least 120|
|2.1.8.||The number of on-site evaluations of federal agency EEO programs conducted.||X||X||14||20||20||20|
We exceeded our ambitious fiscal year 2000 targets for our outreach, education and technical assistance efforts to the private- and federal sector employer communities (measures 2.1.1., 2.1.2., 2.1.5., 2.1.6. and 2.1.8.). Our Fiscal Year 2000 Annual Performance Report accompanying this Budget Request in Appendix C-4 gives a complete description of these achievements. Our efforts in the past few years have accomplished many of our initial goals to reach out more to our various stakeholders. For fiscal years 2001 and 2002, we will focus some of our prevention resources on specific activities and audiences in the expectation that we can further enhance our prevention programs. We have added several new measures and balanced our limited resources in establishing our target values among all of our measures.
In fiscal year 2002, the Commission will continue to expand and diversify its proactive outreach efforts aimed at the employer community. Prior to fiscal year 2000, EEOC's non-fee outreach efforts to employers focused primarily on consultations with employers and technical assistance events on legal and operational issues. EEOC will continue these efforts in fiscal year 2002. We will continue to consult with a significant number of our employer stakeholders on operational and legal issues (measure 2.1.1.), continue to provide technical assistance to private sector and federal sector employers and employer representatives, including small to mid-sized businesses (measure 2.1.2.), and continue to conduct fee-based training for employers under the Revolving Fund (measure 2.1.5.). [The Revolving Fund is discussed separately in Section V.]
Beginning in fiscal year 2000, however, we started to redirect some of our outreach efforts towards several new agency-initiated activities. As a result of a series of meetings and dialogues initiated by the Chairwoman, we learned that employers and businesses wanted the agency to expand its voluntary mediation program and provide greater availability of public information materials. In fiscal year 2001, we added two new measures to address these issues and will continue both of them in fiscal year 2002. We will conduct outreach events specifically aimed at increasing employer participation in EEOC's mediation program (measure 2.1.3.).
The mediation program has been a tremendous success. In fiscal year 2000, we resolved 7,438 charges through mediation and obtained $108.4 million in monetary benefits. The program achieved a settlement success rate of 65%, and resolved charges in 96 days on average. For those appropriate charges eligible for mediation in fiscal year 2000, 81% of the charging parties chose to participate in mediation, while only 31% of the employers chose to participate. While the employer rate has risen since the expanded mediation program was launched in fiscal year 1999, it remains substantially lower than the employee participation rate. This is one aspect of the program that we want to improve. We are hopeful that expanded outreach focusing on the benefits of mediation will increase employer participation in our program.
EEOC is also expanding the availability of, and access to, informational materials on EEOC laws and procedures. We will continue a measure initiated in fiscal year 2001 focusing on providing our education and information materials to small employers with only approximately 15-99 employees (measure 2.1.4.). Employers of this size typically do not have human resources or legal staff to help them understand their obligations, or effective techniques, to provide a discrimination-free workplace. In addition, this measure supports our Small Business Initiative. The Initiative promotes voluntary compliance in the small and mid-sized employer community by building a more cooperative and collaborative relationship, and addressing concerns expressed by, these key stakeholders.
Federal agencies are another important employer community. The EEOC is a part of this community as well as a vital source for education and technical assistance to other federal agencies to foster discrimination-free workplaces throughout the federal government and make it a model employer for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). Outreach, education, and technical assistance programs have a primary role in the Commission's federal sector Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP). Our federal sector program is proactive in its outreach efforts to prevent discrimination and make the federal EEO process fairer and more efficient and effective for both federal agencies and employees. The number of formal complaints filed can be reduced if the Commission better educates federal employees and agencies so that they understand their rights and responsibilities. EEOC fulfills its outreach, education and technical assistance role in several ways.
An important tool for fostering discrimination-free federal sector workplaces and carrying out EEO oversight functions is to use onsite visits as part of a comprehensive, strategic enforcement approach. Onsite reviews are conducted for several reasons. We identify and address underlying problems that lead to complaints of employment discrimination. We identify barriers to equal employment opportunities for minorities, women, and people with disabilities and provide advice and assistance to help agencies eliminate them. Finally, we determine if agencies are in compliance with the Commission's affirmative employment and EEO complaints processing requirements. In fiscal year 2001, we are developing guidance to assist EEOC's staff to conduct onsite reviews. The guidance and its specific criteria establish a uniform approach to improve the quality to enhance EEO programs.
Under our federal sector CEP, we are reviewing all sources of information to select agencies for onsite reviews, including potential problems identified in complaints in our hearings or appeals cases and information obtained in our outreach contacts with stakeholder groups, where appropriate. Technical assistance is offered and follow-up visits are scheduled after onsite reviews to ensure that agencies comply with our recommendations.
We will conduct at least 20 comprehensive or limited onsite reviews of federal agency operations In fiscal year 2002 (measure 2.1.8.).
Another way we foster discrimination-free workplaces, and successfully implement the federal- sector CEP initiative, is to support the new Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provisions in EEOC's Part 1614 federal regulations. ADR is an effective tool for resolving disputes early in the EEO process at federal agencies and, ultimately, reducing EEOC's hearings and appeals workload. The Commission's new regulations require that all federal agencies provide an ADR program designed to fit the agency's unique circumstances. Although the Commission has used a variety of approaches in the past to help agencies develop these programs, it has introduced a new measure in fiscal year 2001 and 2002 to initiate additional efforts to provide in-depth ADR technical assistance to federal agencies currently developing or implementing an ADR program (measure 2.1.7.).
The Commission will ensure that its guiding principles for effective ADR programs and the requirements of the Commission's regulations are properly reflected in federal agencies' ADR programs. EEOC staff will continue to be available for consultations to assist agencies implement their programs. In addition, in fiscal year 2002 we will continue our successful Federal sector Mediation Services Pilot Program to provide mediation services for small agencies with limited resources.
In fiscal year 2002, we will maintain and update the Commission's web site to provide information and links to other web sites and resources about ADR and other EEO areas (for example, EEOC's Management Directive-110 on the EEO process and procedures, its quarterly EEO Digest, and various fact sheets and questions and answers on the 1614 regulations). In particular, we will continue to maintain and update the Commission's federal sector decisions on its web site. Our web site, and links to other resources, provide public access to a wealth of federal sector informational materials on employment discrimination and federal EEO procedures previously available only through paid legal research services.
The Commission also will conduct semi-annual briefings for federal agency EEO Directors on federal sector developments and will conduct semi-annual meetings for stakeholders to announce federal sector initiatives and provide guidance on federal sector processing issues. In addition, we will conduct Town Hall Meeting(s) at regional locations and/or headquarters to provide opportunities for public input and feedback to federal sector policy makers. Our headquarters and field office staffs will continue speaking before federal sector employers and employee stakeholder groups and participating in no cost outreach and educational activities for employer and/or employee stakeholders.
Finally, the Commission is forging ahead with important technological projects, which will have an enormous impact on the Commission's training efforts. One of these projects is a computer-based training (CBT) approach on the revised federal sector regulations Part 1614. The CBT provides information indexing and testing on the regulations. We are starting to distribute the CBT during fiscal year 2001 and will continue to disseminate it to federal agency EEO staff and employer/employee stakeholders in fiscal year 2002.
This page was last modified on May 3, 2001.
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