Effective October 1, 2003 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) set forth guidance to federal agencies for establishing and maintaining effective affirmative programs of equal employment opportunity. The governing document for this guidance is Equal Employment Opportunity Management Directive 715 (EEO MD-715).
Management Directive 715 requires:
• Attainment of a model EEO program
• Barrier Identification and Elimination
• Annual Reporting to EEOC
EEOC provides the following six essential elements which, when fully integrated, will result in the model program:
• Demonstrated commitment from agency leadership;
• Integration of EEO into the agency’s strategic mission;
• Management and program accountability;
• Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination;
• Responsiveness and legal compliance.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires agencies to conduct a self-assessment in order to identify and eliminate barriers. Barrier identification and elimination is the process by which agencies uncover, examine and remove barriers to equal participation at all levels of the workforce. A barrier is an agency policy, principle or practice that limits or tends to limit employment opportunities for members of a particular sex, race or ethnic background, or based on an individual’s disability status. Barrier removal is vital to achieving the common goal of making the federal government a model employer. The instructions for conducting barrier identification and elimination are provided in EEOC Management Directive 715. The Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion (OCRDI) prepares and issues guidelines for preparing input to the APHIS EEO Program Status Report which includes a barrier analysis.