EEOC: Workforce Complaints Down, Investigation Times Improved

Naomi C. Earp, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on Tuesday released the Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, covering October 2006 through September 2007. The report, which informs and advises the president and Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity government-wide, is available on the agency's Web site at www.eeoc.gov/federal/fsp2007/index.html.

The report shows that in FY 2007, federal employees and applicants filed 16,363 complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, and reprisal -- down from 16,723 complaints in FY 2006 and 18,000 complaints in FY 2005. Agencies also reduced the average processing time for conducting investigations from 186 days in FY 2006 to 176 days in FY 2007, the best investigation times reported in the last 14 years. The average processing time for closing complaints was 355 days, a decrease from the 367 days in FY 2006. Of the 7,673 cases closed on the merits, 2.8 percent resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination. In addition, the parties entered into settlements in 3,262 complaints, or 20.6 percent of the total complaint closures.

"As a former EEO Director, I have a particular interest in the Federal EEO Complaint System," Earp said. "It is my goal to improve the quality and efficiency of the Federal Sector process and help to make the federal government a model workplace. I look forward to seeing continued improvement in workforce diversity and complaint processing."

During the past 10 years, there have been subtle changes in the composition of the federal workforce. Overall, the representation of women, Latinos, African-Americans, and Asians has slightly increased; but the number of workers with targeted disabilities continues to decline. EEOC, through its LEAD Initiative (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities), said it is reaching out to agencies with enhanced technical assistance and guidance to increase the population of individuals with disabilities employed by the federal government.

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