Equal Employment Opportunity
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) administers and ensures Agency compliance with the laws, regulations, policies, and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the Federal workplace based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, genetic information, or reprisal.
The Central Office Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office and the Regional EEO Offices are primarily responsible for encouraging resolution and processing of EEO informal and formal complaints, in accordance with applicable federal EEO laws and regulations. In addition to complaints processing, the EEO Offices are responsible for ensuring that agency associates are trained in EEO and the agency’s EEO alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program.
The Title VII Nationwide Program team is primarily responsible for preparing final decisions for the Associate Administrator's review and signature and ensuring that the agency is in compliance with the requirements of federal EEO laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the monitoring of nationwide EEO Office complaint processing activities.
GSA’s Central and Regional EEO Offices process EEO complaints filed by GSA associates (employees) and applicants for employment.
Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 USC 206(d) (EPA) which amends the Fair Labor Standards and is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in the payment of wages.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 USC 2000e (Title VII) which bars employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, genetic information, or retaliation with respect to applicants or employees of the Federal government.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Public Law 90-2002 (ADEA) prohibits employment discrimination against persons who are age 40 or older.
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §§501 and 505 as amended, Public Law 93-112 (Rehabilitation Act) requires each Federal department or agency to develop an affirmative action plan for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Public Law 95-555 (Pregnancy Act) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Titles I and V, Public Law 101-336 (ADA) applies to Federal agencies by virtue of an October 1992 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act, above.
- The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA) states that its purpose is "to reinstate a broad scope of protection" by expanding the definition of the term "disability." Congress found that persons with many types of impairments - including epilepsy, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, intellectual disabilities (formerly called mental retardation), major depression, and bipolar disorder - had been unable to bring ADA claims because they were found not to meet the ADA's definition of "disability". Yet, Congress thought that individuals with these and other impairments should be covered and revised the ADA accordingly. Congress explicitly rejected certain Supreme Court interpretations of the term "disability" and a portion of the EEOC regulation that it found had inappropriately narrowed the definition of disability. As a result of the ADAAA, it will be much easier for individuals seeking the law's protection to demonstrate that they meet the definition of "disability", and far more ADA cases will focus on whether discrimination actually occurred. For more information visit the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa_info.cfm
- The Civil Rights Act of 1991, Public Law 102-166 amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964, above, by authorizing payment of compensatory damages for such things as emotional pain and suffering and future economic losses; providing for punitive damages (although the Federal government is exempt from this provision); and reversing a Supreme Court decision that had placed all aspects of the burden of proof in a disparate or adverse impact cases on the plaintiff.
- The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, as amended, Public Law 101-552 (ADR Act) promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques by Federal agencies. The Act provides agencies with the explicit authorization to consider and use means other than litigation to resolve disputes that arise in connection with administrative proceedings, including those related to EEO matters.
- The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (NO FEAR Act), Public Law 107-174 became effective on October 1, 2003 and requires Federal agencies to be accountable for violations of anti-discrimination and whistle-blower protection laws.
- 29 CFR Part 1614, Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended November 9, 1999 provides instruction and guidance to assure that each Federal agency maintains a continuing affirmative program to promote equal employment opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminator practices and policies.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Management Directive EEO MD-110, effective date November 9, 1999 provides Federal agencies with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission policies, procedures, and guidance relating to the processing of employment discrimination complaints governed by the regulations in 29 CFR Part 1614, above.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) signed into law in May 2008, prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on individual's genetic information. Genetic information includes the results of genetic tests to determine whether someone is at increased risk of acquiring a condition (such as some forms of breast cancer) in the future, as well as an individual's family medical history. For more information visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) website at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/genetic.cfm
The following are available by going to the Department of Justice website.
- The Freedom of Information Act of 1974, as amended, 5 USC 552 (Freedom of Information Act) provides access to Federal records and information.
- The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 USC 552a (Privacy Act) provides privacy protections to Federal employees.