2310.7 ADM General Services Administration (GSA) Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Washington, DC 20405
December 18, 2015
SUBJECT: General Services Administration (GSA) Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
1. Purpose. This directive defines and prescribes GSA's policy on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). This directive updates GSA's long-standing commitment to provide a workplace free of unlawful discrimination in accordance with laws, Executive orders, regulations, policies, and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the Federal workplace.
2. Goal. GSA’s goal is to prevent and address workplace discrimination and retaliation in order to create and maintain a world-class workplace where all employees and applicants for employment with GSA have the freedom to compete in a fair and equitable manner.
3. Cancellation. This directive cancels GSA Order, ADM P 2310.6, issued on December 16, 2014.
4. Policy. It is the policy of GSA that:
a. All employees and applicants for employment with GSA are to be treated equitably and without prejudice in accordance with the laws, regulations, Executive orders, policies, and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the Federal workplace based on any of the following:
(4) Sex -- including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex role stereotyping,
(5) National Origin,
(9) Genetic information;
(10) Parental Status,
(11) Marital status, and
(12) Political Affiliation.
b. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) now interprets the sex discrimination provision in the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, as prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Complaints alleging discrimination based on gender identity will be processed under the GSA EEO complaints process. Complaints alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation will be processed under the GSA EEO process unless the complainant specifically requests to use a different complaint process after being advised by GSA that sexual orientation discrimination claims are ordinarily processed through the EEO complaints process.
c. Differences and disputes will be resolved in a fair and timely manner.
d. Discriminatory conduct will not be condoned or tolerated in any form in GSA programs and activities.
e. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal.
f. It is strictly voluntary for the aggrieved person/complainant to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). If ADR is offered and the aggrieved person/complainant accepts, it is mandatory for management to participate in ADR unless the Associate Administrator for Civil Rights determines ADR would be inappropriate.
g. All Federal employees must fully cooperate during the processing of an EEO investigation, which includes providing testimony, information, documentation, and/or signed statements under oath or affirmation in connection with an EEO investigation or hearing. Failure to provide the above information during the investigation process within the time set by the investigator could subject you to disciplinary action and may result in sanctions being imposed against the agency by EEOC.
5. Applicability. EEO covers all personnel and employment programs as well as management practices and decisions including, but not limited to:
c. Merit promotion,
f. Training and career development,
g. Benefits, and
6. Harassment claims. For claims involving harassment (both sexual and non-sexual), employees should refer to the "GSA Policy Statement on Harassment, including Sexual and Non-sexual" (ADM 2325.8).
7. Delegations. EEO functions are delegated to the Associate Administrator for Civil Rights, (who is responsible for GSA's nationwide civil rights program), and to the Office of Human Resources Management, (which is responsible for GSA's nationwide human capital programs). These delegations assure a high level of expertise and accountability in these areas. GSA executives, along with managers, supervisors, and employees, share responsibility for ensuring that barriers to recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfer, reassignment, training and career development, and retention are eliminated or mitigated from the workplace.
8. Cooperating with complaint processing regarding matters under the jurisdiction of the EEOC. It is the duty of all employees when asked to cooperate fully to assist GSA's EEO staff, counselors, investigators, mediators, and/or other EEO officials to ensure that EEO complaints are processed in a timely and impartial manner.
9. EEO complaint procedures and requirements.
a. How to file an EEO complaint. An employee (current or former) or applicant for employment with GSA who wishes to initiate an EEO complaint must contact the Office of Civil Rights within 45 calendar days of: (a) the date of the incident alleged to be discriminatory, or (b) the date when the employee reasonably should have known that the discriminatory matter occurred. Employees should not wait until an internal GSA inquiry (such as on a harassment claim) is completed to contact the Office of Civil Rights if waiting will result in the 45-day time limit expiring.
The quickest and easiest way to initiate an EEO complaint is by using eFile (available at insite.gsa.gov/efile). EEO complaints may also be initiated by contacting the Office of Civil Rights by email (email@example.com); by phone (202-501-4571 or FedRelay 1-800-877-8339); or by mail at:
U.S. General Services Administration
Office of Civil Rights (AK)
1800 F Street, NW (Room 2331)
Washington, DC 20405
b. Information on filing an EEO complaint. Information on how to contact an EEO official to file an EEO complaint along with information regarding EEO laws, regulations, policies, and procedures are available on the GSA Office of Civil Rights’ website. For more information regarding the EEO complaint process, employees may consult GSA's EEO brochure, "Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint and Resolution Process." This and other documents are available online in the Office of Civil Rights’ library. Additionally, "Frequently Asked Questions" regarding the EEO complaint process are available through the Civil Rights homepage on GSA lnSite.
c. EEO complaint reporting. The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002, commonly referred to as the No FEAR Act, was enacted to hold Federal agencies accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws. This Act requires each Federal agency to post quarterly, on its public website, statistical data relating to EEO complaints. GSA posts No FEAR Act data to the No FEAR Act library.
10. Parental status, marital status, or political affiliation claims. For a claim of unfair treatment based on parental status under Executive Order 13152, "Further Amendment to Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment in the Federal Government" (signed May 2, 2000); and/or marital status or political affiliation under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978”, an employee may attempt resolution through the EEO pre-complaint (informal) process, which includes counseling and, if requested by the employee, ADR. These claims will not be part of the formal EEO complaint process. Instead, GSA Office of Civil Rights staff will refer cases involving parental, political and marital status to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which receives and investigates allegations of prohibited personnel practices under Title V of the Civil Service Act. More information about how to file a prohibited personnel practice complaint with OSC can be found at: https://www.osc.gov/ppp.
11. Allegations of discrimination due to sexual orientation may still be filed with OSC, but will be considered under the GSA EEO complaints process unless specifically requested otherwise by the complainant. Additionally, an employee who feels that he or she has been subjected to unfair treatment due to one of these bases may pursue the claim, as appropriate, with the following authorities:
a. Office of Personnel Management (www.opm.gov) at (202) 606-1800,
b. Merit Systems Protection Board (www.mspb.gov) at (202) 653-7200, and/or
c. Office of Special Counsel (https://osc.gov) at (202) 254-3670 or (800) 872-9855.
12. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit the independent authority of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) under the Inspector General Reform Act with regards to OIG's program and personnel.
DENISE TURNER ROTH