1. INTRODUCTION Affirmative Employment is a legal concept that requires managers and supervisors to develop strategies to effectively recruit, employ, and promote qualified members of EEO protected groups. Rather than merely ensure nondiscrimination in employment practices, managers are required to identify and remove barriers that impede employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.
EEOC Management Directive 110 - Chapter 1, Delegation of Authority
EEOC Management Directive 714
USDA Departmental Directive M.P. 4713.1 - Civil Rights
USDA Departmental Regulation 4230-2 - Special Emphasis Programs
29 CFR Part 1608 - Affirmative Action Appropriate under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Amended
29 CFR Part 1614 - Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity
3. COVERAGE This issuance outlines the policies and procedures Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance (CREC) staff use to develop and implement the Affirmative Employment Program, Special Emphasis Programs, and the Civil Rights Advisory Committees as authorized by USDA and EEOC.
4. POLICY It is APHIS policy to ensure that all work sites are free from discrimination; retaliation; and reprisal based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, marital status, familial status, parental status, or sexual orientation.
Affirmative Employment: 29 CFR Part 1608 - 1608.1(b)(c) Congress enacted Title VII in order to improve the economic and social conditions of minorities and women by providing equality of opportunity in the work place. The principle of nondiscrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and the principle that each person subject to Title VII should take voluntary action to correct the effects of past discrimination and to prevent present and future discrimination without awaiting litigation are mutually consistent and interdependent methods of addressing social and economic conditions which precipitated Title VII. Voluntary affirmative action to improve opportunities for minorities and women must be encouraged and protected in order to achieve the Congressional intent embodied in Title VII. 1608.4 An affirmative employment plan or program under this section shall contain three elements: a reasonable self analysis; a reasonable basis for concluding action is appropriate; and reasonable action. - Reasonable Self Analysis: The objective of self analysis is to determine whether employment practices tend to exclude, disadvantage, restrict, or result in adverse impact or disparate treatment of previously excluded or restricted groups or leave uncorrected the effects of prior discrimination, and if so, attempt to determine the reason. - Reasonable Basis: If the self analysis indicates that one or more employment practices have or tend to have an adverse effect on employment opportunities of members of previously excluded groups, or groups whose employment or promotional opportunities have been artificially limited; leave uncorrected the effects of prior discrimination; or result in disparate treatment, the person conducting the self analysis has a reasonable basis for determining that action is appropriate. It is not necessary that the self analysis establishes a violation of Title VII. This reasonable basis exists without any admission or formal finding that the person has violated Title VII, and without regard to whether there exists arguable defenses to Title VII actions. - Reasonable Action: The action taken pursuant to an affirmative action plan or program must be reasonable in relation to the problems disclosed by the self analysis. Such reasonable action may include goals and timetables or other appropriate employment tools which recognize the race, sex, or national origin of applicants or employees. It may include the adoption of practices which will eliminate the actual or potential adverse impact, disparate treatment, or effect of past discrimination by providing opportunities for members of groups which have been excluded, regardless of whether the persons benefited were themselves the victims of prior policies or procedures which produced the adverse impact or disparate treatment or which perpetuated past discrimination. Affirmative employment plans are tailored to solve the problems identified in the self analysis. The race, sex, and national origin conscious provision of the program plans will be maintained only as long as is necessary to achieve these objectives. Goals and timetables will be reasonably related to considerations such as the effects of past discrimination, the need for prompt elimination of adverse impact or disparate treatment, the availability of basically qualified or qualifiable applicants, and the projected number of available employment opportunities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires agencies to prepare an Affirmative Employment Plan (AEP). Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance (CREC) prepares and issues guidelines for preparing input to the APHIS AEP and the Accomplishment Report and Update. To ensure that the AEP includes input from APHIS programs, each AEP Liaison is requested to complete and submit reports in the categories of AEP and FEORP Noteworthy Accomplishments, Fiscal Year Hiring Objectives, Program Analyses, Problem Statements and Action Items. Each program manager is responsible for implementing the action items and the hiring objectives provided in the national AEP.
Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP) - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides guidelines on preparing the FEORP Plan, which is a recruiting initiative designed to eliminate under representation of minorities and women in the Federal service. It was established and assigned to OPM by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, (5 U.S.C. 7201). Federal agencies are required to use FEORP as a resource to develop strategic plans to increase diversity, as well as to develop recruitment and retention programs. Agency heads are encouraged to ensure that the FEORP is clearly understood by selecting officials and all levels of management. FEORP Occupational Categories: The occupational categories covered under the FEORP are White-Collar and Blue-Collar. The White-Collar category contains Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, and Other White-Collar occupations. Professional occupations typically require a baccalaureate degree, and along with Administrative occupations, are the usual sources for selections to senior management and executive positions. Positions in the Technical, Clerical, Other, and Blue-Collar occupations are usually limited to lower grades with limited opportunity for promotion to management levels. 5 CFR, Section 720-202: Under representation is defined as a situation in which the number of women or members of a minority group within a category of civil service employment constitutes a lower percentage of the total number of employees within the employment category than the percentage that women or the minority group constitutes within the civilian labor force of the United States.
5. SPECIAL EMPHASIS PROGRAMS (SEPs) - The primary purpose of the APHIS Special Emphasis Programs is to address the unique concerns of women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities in the employment and program delivery functions. Special Emphasis Programs are an integral part of the APHIS civil rights program. The following Special Emphasis Programs are authorized within USDA:
*Federal Women's Program (FWP)
*Hispanic Employment Program (HEP)
*Disability Employment Program (DEP)
African American Program (AAP)
Asian/Pacific American (A/PAP)
Native American Program (NAP)
Small and Limited Resource Farmer s Initiative
*Federal Women's Program (FWP) - Goal: To improve employment and advancement opportunities for women in government. To increase respect for the work of women employees at all grade levels. To work toward the elimination of sexual harassment in the workplace.History: In October 1967, Executive Order No. 11478 added sex to the other prohibited forms of discrimination race, color, religion, and national origin. In response the existing Civil Service Commission, currently the Office of Personnel Management, established the Federal Women's Program. In August 1969, Executive Order 11478 integrated the FWP into the overall Equal Employment Opportunity Program and placed the FWP under the direction of Directors of Civil Rights for each Federal agency. Public Law (PL) 92-261, The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, brought Federal employees and agencies under the EEO provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Public Law requires Federal agencies to allocate sufficient resources for the Federal Women s Program. APHIS Women s Information Network (WIN): In support of the APHIS FWP, the Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance established the APHIS WIN in January 1992. The WIN committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. The objectives of the FWP are to increase professional and personal achievement of women employees by encouraging them to set realistic goals. To eliminate false barriers, customs, and attitudes that hinder women from moving into certain occupations at high level positions. To improve self-confidence in women employees through education and training so they will become more competitive. To identify problems and solutions with respect to the recruitment and advancement of women in APHIS.
*Hispanic Employment Program (HEP) - Goal: To ensure equal opportunity for Hispanics who compete in all aspects of Federal employment, e.g. recruitment, training, career enhancement activities, counseling, and promotions. Definition of Hispanics: Persons whose culture is of Spanish or Latin-American origin, and whose native or ancestral language is Spanish,. e.g. Puerto Rican, Cuban American, Mexican American, and those whose origins are in Central and South America, or Spain. Included in this group are persons of Hispanic background, regardless of race, who because of marriage or for other reasons do not presently possess Spanish surnames. History: On November 5, 1970, a Presidential statement was issues which created the foundation for a program within the Federal government to provide equal employment opportunity for Hispanics. In 1973, this program was entitled the Sixteen Point Program after specific actions were identified to implement the program. On February 28, 1978, the program was retitled the Hispanic Employment Program. APHIS Hispanic American Issues Council (HAIC): The council was established in 1992 and is open to all headquarters and field employees. The HAIC serves as a communication network for dissemination of information. The council is a forum for employees to discuss concerns of Hispanic Americans and current events that are of interest to the Hispanic community.
*Disability Employment Program (DEP) - Goal: To ensure compliance with legal obligations under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 791), 29 CFR 1614.203, and Section 3112 of Title 5 U.S.C., and Title 38 U.S.C. 2014. To promote the recruitment, employment, advancement and retention of people with disabilities, particularly those with severe targeted disabilities, and disabled veterans with special emphasis on outreach activities for disabled veterans with a 30 percent or more compensable service connected disability. To ensure nondiscrimination against people with disabilities and foster full participation in and access to all USDA programs, activities, and services. To provide technical support and assistance in providing reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. To develop and implement an continuing comprehensive approach to the Department's Affirmative Action Program for Individuals with Disabilities and Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program. To provide technical employment information on the non-competitive, excepted service appointing authorities and assistance to applicants and employees with disabilities and potential employers. To ensure that qualified applicants and employees with disabilities receive the necessary work related accommodations in order to receive USDA services and/or carry out their duties. To conduct disability awareness training to educate managers, supervisors, and coworkers on how to interact, respect, and work with people with disabilities. To dispel myths, fears, and misconceptions about what people with disabilities can or cannot accomplish. APHIS Disability Employment Program Managers Role and Responsibilities - Measure effectiveness of barrier elimination activities - Review employment needs of persons with disabilities and with targeted disabilities, including persons with severe disabilities, to assure they are afforded adequate employment and training opportunities. - Assure that agency goals are established and fulfilled. -Serve as liaison between regional Disability Employment Program Managers (DEPMS) and the Disability Employment Issues Council (DEIC), for effective communication - Provide innovative approaches for eliminating any psychological or architectural barriers that may exist in the work place - Monitor implementation efforts of action items that are contained in Regional DEP Work plan submissions Work Force Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities:
Work Force Recruitment Program (WRP) - The recruitment outreach program is co-sponsored by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Department of Defense (DOD) and a consortium of 16 other Federal agencies. Background: The WRP is designed to assist college students with disabilities again employment with Federal agencies. Experienced recruiters interview students each at more than 96 colleges and universities nationwide. The most qualified applicants are entered into a data bases that is shared with each participating agency. Usually students are hired at grades GS-3/5. The average cost for summer employees depends on the grade of the positions. The DOD provides free adaptive technology to any student who requests such service for the duration of employment. Students seek temporary, permanent, and continuing educational employment. This program exposes students and minorities with disabilities to Federal careers opportunities.
6. APHIS SPECIAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM MANAGERS (SEPMs) - Special Emphasis Program Managers provide assistance to managers and supervisors in the implementation of the six authorized Special Emphasis Programs. Special Emphasis Program Manager Appointments: Deputy Administrators, Regional Directors, and Division Directors may appoint any permanent employee to serve as a collateral duty Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM). The assignment should be documented as an addendum to the official position description, and include the provision that collateral-duty employees are allowed to spend up to 20% official duty time implementing the Special Emphasis Programs. Who Should Be Appointed: The collateral duty SEPM positions are open to all interested permanent employees who are able to spend the necessary time to performing the duties and implementing the objectives of the position. There are no grade nor occupational series requirements for collateral duty SEPM positions. Employees will be appointed without regard to race, gender, age, color, national origin, religion, or disability. Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU): A Memorandum of Understanding between the appointee and the immediate supervisor should be developed and submitted to CREC during the first 30 days of the appointment. CREC will provide the guidance and the appropriate form for completing the MOU. To avoid conflict with official duties and responsibilities, CREC recommends that no employee hold more than one collateral duty special emphasis program appointment. Length Of Appointment: The SEPMs appointments are 2-year terms with an option for extension. CREC should be contacted prior to the extension of any appointment. Technical Assistance: CREC Specialists will provide technical assistance and some training to all SEPMs on the implementation of duties and responsibilities. Newly appointed managers should contact CREC immediately after their appointment to arrange a telephone briefing and to receive the orientation packet. Training: Formal training is available on a limited basis for FWP, HEP, and DEP. Employees appointed to serve AAP, NAP, and A/PAP may also attend any of the special emphasis training. Evaluation of Collateral Duty Performance: The SEPMs will be evaluated as part of the CREC critical element or a separate element may be established. Managers and supervisors should obtain input from CREC for the appraisal of SEPM performance.
7. SEPMs OBJECTIVES - The major functions of the Special Emphasis Program Managers are, but not limited to, the following duties and responsibilities:
- To identify and assist in removing discriminatory practices and procedures and other barriers to equal opportunity in all employment and program delivery activities. - To initiate and conduct programs and other activities to increase the representation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities where these groups are under-utilized. Programs and other activities include outreach endeavors, a comprehensive public notification system, effective monitoring and evaluation systems, special observance and educational and awareness activities.
- To continually improve hiring, training, retention and advancement opportunities for all qualified individuals that would result in a diverse work force.
- To improve the program composition or work force profile to reflect the population served. - To utilize the knowledge, skills and abilities of all qualified individuals to include participation on boards, committees, and task groups, upward mobility programs, special projects, details, temporary promotions, and career enhancing opportunities.
- To provide an effective channel of communication to management, regarding women, minorities and individuals with disabilities, to express particular concerns and issues of the group. - To focus on customer service and expand the customer base to include all qualified individuals and entities.
Black History Month February
Women's History Month March
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month May
Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 - Oct. 15
Disability Employment Awareness Month October
Native American Heritage Month November
USDA/APHIS Bulletin 92-6, April 30, 1992 - Payment for Refreshments and Other expenses Under the APHIS Incentive Awards Program - establishes policy regarding the use of appropriated funds to pay for light refreshments and other necessary expenses in connection with the honorary recognition of employees.Information about each observance may be obtained from any SEP Manager or members of the CREC Staff. 10. Civil Rights Advisory Committees - The Civil Rights Advisory Committees serve as links between managers and employees. However, they are not authorized to handle discrimination complaints or related matters. Such complaints are handled through the APHIS ADR Center. Civil Rights Advisory Committees have been established for each program area. Each committee has a Chairperson, Charter, and Mission Statement, and function independently of each other. The major functions of the advisory committee are, but not limited to, the following items: - Development and implementation of the Affirmative Employment Program Plan. - Meet quarterly to analyze, evaluate, and provide guidance on the status of the work force and civil rights activities. - Review and identify personnel polices and practices which are barriers to hiring, developing or advancing minorities, women and individuals with disabilities and recommend corrective action. - Compile and analyze statistical data pertinent to affirmative action and federal recruitment. - Develop external/internal recruitment strategies and procedures, to attract minorities, persons with disabilities, and women applicants, consistent with the AEP Plan. - Develop human resources through internal programs (LEAD, WELL, XCEL). - Communicate and maintain contact with managers, supervisors, minorities, persons with disabilities, and women employees or applicants, outreach organizations, educational institutions, and community groups. - Review area accomplishments and report progress of activities, problems, and achievements to the managers and supervisors. There are two National Civil Rights Leadership Committees (NCRLC) established within APHIS, one in PPQ and the other in VS. NCLCs provide assistance to managers and supervisors in implementing the units civil rights goals and objectives. The Chairpersons for the NCRLCs are responsible for providing leadership, direction and guidance to the regional committees regarding the USDAs and APHIS policies and initiatives within the program areas.
Anna P. Grayson, Director
Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance