AFFIRMATIVE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (AEP) MANAGEMENT DIRECTIVE (MD) - 715
Affirmative Employment Program
What is the Affirmative Employment Program (AEP)?
The Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR Part 720) requires Federal agencies to have an Affirmative Employment Program (AEP). The focus of the AEP is to ensure that certain targeted demographic groups have equal access to hiring, promotions and other opportunities in the Federal workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists the targeted groups as: Hispanic or Latino, White, Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races. The data for each of these groups is tracked by gender. The benchmark for on board ratios is the National Civilian Labor Force, which is the number of people in the workforce aside from the military.
The EEOC also requires agencies to track the number of employees who self-identified as having a disability. Agencies are to report separately the number of employees who have targeted disabilities, defined by EEOC as: blindness, deafness, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, epilepsy, and dwarfism. The current on board goal for this group is two percent of the workforce. Disability is the only EEO-protected group where quotas, head counts, hiring goals, etc. can be used, as they are required by the Rehabilitation Act and EEOC.
Goals of the Affirmative Employment Program (AEP)
- Identify and eliminate barriers to employment and opportunity for groups with low participation
- Expand recruitment of the groups with low representation rates
- Identify ways to provide promotion opportunities to qualified employees
- Improve retention by investigating the reasons for separations
The EEO Program Plan’s main instructions are organized as follows:
Section I: The Model EEO Program – This section focuses on six “Essential Elements”. The ultimate goal in achieving a Model EEO Program helps to ensure an agency has a discrimination free work environment, characterized by an atmosphere of inclusion and free and open competition for employment opportunities. The six elements identified as necessary are: Demonstrated commitment form agency leadership; Integration of EEO into the agency’s strategic mission; Management and program accountability; Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination; Efficiency; and Responsiveness and legal compliance.
1. Demonstrated commitment from CNIC Leadership
- EEO must be embraced by agency leadership, and communicated through the ranks from the top down
- EEO principles must be a fundamental part of DON Secretariat culture
- The EEO Office must issue annual EEO and anti-harassment policy statements
2. Integration of EEO into DON/AA strategic mission
- Command Deputy EEO Officer has regular access to DON/AA and senior management
- EEO works collaboratively with Human Resources, supervisors/managers, counsel and other stakeholders
- EEO program has sufficient resources
- Managers and employees are provided EEO training
- EEO is briefed on the State of the “EEO Program”
3. Management and Program Accountability
- Provide regular EEO updates to senior management
- Establish procedures to prevent all forms of discrimination
- Evaluate managers and supervisors on efforts to ensure equal opportunity
- Maintain effective reasonable accommodation procedures
- Maintain clearly defined and fair personnel policies, selection and promotion procedures, rules of conduct, and training systems
4. Proactive Prevention of Unlawful harassment
- Conduct annual self-assessments to monitor progress and identify areas where potential barriers may exclude certain groups
- Develop strategic plans to eliminate identified barriers
- Maintain an efficient, fair, and impartial complaint resolution process
- Separate the investigation and adjudication functions of the complaint resolution process from the legal defense arm or other offices with conflicts
- Encourage the widespread use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Maintain an effective data collection system to track the workforce, applicant, reasonable accommodation, and complaints
6. Responsiveness and legal compliance
- Ensure full compliance with Title VII and Rehabilitation Act, including EEOC regulations, orders, and other written instructions
- Report agency program efforts and accomplishments to the Department of the Navy
- Comply with final EEOC orders for corrective action and relief
Do you have questions regarding the Affirmative Employment Program? Contact contact the CNIC HQ EEO office by phone, individuals call (202) 433-8229 and leave a message; or they can send an email.
The Complaints and ADR Programs are responsible for ensuring that CNIC employees have a fair, neutral, timely and responsive avenue of redress when they believe they have been subjected to discrimination based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and/or reprisal for having participated in protected Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) activity. These ADR program is also designed to help resolve any type of workplace dispute. The goal of the Complaints and ADR Programs is to resolve issues at the lowest possible level and to get beyond the issues, so that employees and managers can more quickly return to the CNIC’s mission. The Pre-Complaint/ADR Program Manager serves as a technical advisor, and is responsible for:
- Ensuring that Informal Discrimination Complaints are quickly addressed;
- Determining if the issues raised are appropriate for ADR;
- Scheduling mediation and providing appropriate notice to complainants, management officials, and witnesses;
- Providing prompt, fair, and impartial processing of complaints;
- Communicating the Agency’s policies regarding Equal Opportunity, Sexual Harassment and ADR through appropriate training to the CNIC workforce.
The Complaints and ADR Programs are regulated by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The 29 Code of Federal Regulation Part 1614 and the EEOC Management Directive (MD) 110 provide guidance and implementing instructions regarding Agency complaint and ADR programs.
EEO Complaint Process
Phase 1 - Informal Complaint Process
- Once an alleged discriminatory event occurs, you must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discrimination or in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days from the effective date of the action
- An EEO Counselor will be assigned to explain your rights and responsibilities in the EEO complaint process
- If you choose to elect traditional counseling, the EEO Counselor has 30 calendar days to conduct a limited inquiry regarding the complaint
- You will be provided an opportunity to elect to participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process
Do you have questions regarding the Informal Complaint Process? Contact Us
Phase 2 - Formal Complaint Process
- If your complaint is not resolved in the informal phase, the EEO Counselor will issue you a Notice of Right to File a Formal Discrimination Complaint
- Upon receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Formal Discrimination Complaint, you have 15 calendar days to file a formal EEO complaint with the EEO office
- Once you have filed a formal complaint, the CNIC HQ EEO office will review the complaint and make a determination to accept and/or dismiss the complaint
- If the complaint is accepted, an investigation will be conducted. The agency has 180 days from the day the formal complaint of discrimination was filed to complete the investigation
- When the investigation is completed, the agency will issue a notice giving you two choices: (1) either request a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administrative Judge or (2) request the agency to issue a final agency decision as to whether the discrimination occurred
Do you have questions regarding the Formal Complaint Process? Contact the CNIC HQ EEO office by phone, individuals call (202) 433-8229 and leave a message; or they can send an email.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
ADR is an alternative avenue, in lieu of litigation or administrative proceedings, for resolving workplace issues alleging discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or reprisal for engaging in prior EEO activity. Participation in ADR is voluntary. However, Department of the Navy managers and supervisors are strongly encouraged to participate in ADR processes when employees choose this mechanism for resolution of work place disputes and EEO complaints. ADR empowers and enables the participating parties to develop and seek mutually acceptable solutions.
The preferred method of ADR for the Department of the Navy is mediation. Mediation is an informal process and uses a neutral third party known as a mediator to facilitate the parties' resolution of the dispute. The mediators will not provide legal or personnel advice. The mediator has no power to make a decision or evaluate the merits of the issues at the table; instead, the mediator works with all parties to facilitate discussion that may or may not lead to the parties reaching a voluntary agreement of their own making. A mediation agreement, however, may not violate any of the parties or other third parties rights as found in law, regulation, policy, or under any collective bargaining agreement.
What are some benefits?
ADR creates an opportunity for early resolution, improves working relationships and communications, enable parties to maintain considerable control over the process, decide their own outcome and restore productivity and mission effectiveness.
Is Mediation right for me?
To assess whether or not mediation is right for you, please consider the following:
a) Does the issue involve a continuing relationship?
b) Do the parties want it settled informally?
c) Do the parties want a voice in shaping an agreement?
ADR Program Guidance:
SECNAVINST 5800.13 "Alternative Dispute Resolution"
Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996
29 Code of Federal Regulations 1614
DOD Directive 5145.5 " Alternative Dispute Resolution"
To learn more about ADR visit: www.adr.navy.mil
Do you have questions regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution? Contact the CNIC HQ EEO office by phone, individuals call (202) 433-8229 and leave a message; or they can send an email.
The Disability Employment Program (DEP) is responsible for ensuring that all employment matters affecting people with disabilities are provided throughout the CNIC. The program works to promote the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities and to advise both management and Individuals with Disabilities (IwDs). The program is in place to monitor and address overarching concerns that are determined to be affecting IwDs in the workplace throughout their careers, from recruitment to retirement.
A Disability is defined as (1)A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (2) A record of such an impairment; or (3)Being regarded as having such an impairment
The DEP is regulated by The Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal Agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1992 Congress made the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA essentially the same by amending the Rehabilitation Act to apply the ADA standards to federal employment.
The following are CNIC Employment Initiatives:
Schedule A (hyperlink)
Schedule A can be a fast track method for Federal Agencies to bring onboard talented individuals with disabilities. Schedule A is an excellent way to tap into a diverse and vibrant talent pool without going through the traditional hiring process. If an applicant meets the Schedule A eligibility requirements and the minimum qualifications for the position he or she is interested in, the applicant may be hired for the position without competing with the general public. Schedule A can be used to hire people in all professions from clerical staff to attorneys.
Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) (hyperlink)
The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Candidates apply to the WRP each fall through participating campuses managed by a School/University Coordinator. They are interviewed and pre-screened by federal employees who serve as volunteer recruiters. Candidates represent all majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate - and law-school students. Information from these candidate interviews is compiled in a searchable database that is available to employers.
WRP is recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. Since the program's expansion in 1995, thousands of students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
On August 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13583-- Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the Federal Workforce, which calls for all federal agencies to develop and implement a strategic plan for Diversity and Inclusion.
In the Executive Order, the President emphasizes his commitment to promoting the Federal workplace as a model of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.
Specifically, he states “Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”
Therefore, CNIC has an obligation to be a model employer and to comply with Executive Order 13583.
Diversity and Inclusion Defined
Diversity is all the different characteristics and attributes of the workforce that are consistent with our core values, integral to overall readiness and mission accomplishment, and reflective of the nation we serve.
Inclusion is the means by which we embrace diversity, backgrounds and perspective of the workforce. It is essential to leveraging a diverse workforce by empowering individuals to contribute to their fullest potential.
Our Layers of Diversity
The Core Dimension (Thinking Style): This is how we think and communicate
Internal Dimensions: are largely out of our control but have a powerful impact on behaviors and attitudes
External Dimensions: are largely within our control and our choices formed by environmental, social/cultural factors and experiences
Organizational Dimensions: are largely defined and influenced by the group or organization in which we work
Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
Critically drive innovation and leading edge technologies, and are intrinsically linked to optimal strategic outcomes
Attract, develop, and retain top, high performing talent
Engage and foster acceptance of multiple voices with new ideas and new strategies, encourages and respects out-of-box thinking
Enrich the workplace by broadening employee perspectives, strengthening teams, offering greater resources to problems
Ensure success and mission readiness with a return on investment (ROI) in performance and sustainable mission readiness by leveraging the knowledge, skills, abilities, talents, intellectual capital, perspectives, and engagement of the workforce
Do you have questions regarding Diversity and Inclusion? Contact the CNIC HQ EEO office by phone, individuals call (202) 433-8229 and leave a message; or they can send an email.
SPECIAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM
What is the Special Emphasis Program?
Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) are an integral part of Equal Employment Opportunity. The purpose of these programs is to ensure that agencies take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity to minorities, women and people with disabilities in all areas of employment. The term, "Special Emphasis Programs," refers specifically to employment related programs which focus special attention on groups that are conspicuously absent or underrepresented in a specific occupational category or grade level in the agency's work force. These programs serve as a channel to management officials. The goals of the Special Emphasis Program include:
Improve employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women and people with disabilities in the Federal service
Identify systemic barriers to opportunity for minorities, women and people with disabilities
Seek ways to help minorities, women and people with disabilities to advance by using their skills more fully
Monitor agency progress in eliminating discrimination and adverse impact on minorities, women and people with disabilities in employment and agency programs
Educate Federal employees and managers about the extent of various forms of discrimination within the Federal Service
Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs)
Special Emphasis Program Managers are members of the management team. They participate in the review of agency policies, practices, and procedures in order to help eliminate any that discriminate against minorities, women and people with disabilities. SEP Managers also analyze information and data and present recommendations to improve all aspects of employment as they relate to targeted groups. These Managers serve as subject matter experts, staff advisors, fact finders, sources of information and program advocates. SEPMs perform many functions including but not limited to the following:
Keep managers and key personnel aware of program goals, objectives and accomplishments
Perform liaison between recruiters and organizations which can assist in recruitment efforts and activities
Develop and maintain positive working relationships with community, professional and national organizations, college and universities
Publicize program goals, objectives and successful initiatives
Special Emphasis Observances and Authority
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (January) - Public Law 98-144 established a federal legal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., which is celebrated on the third Monday in January of each year.
African-American/Black History Month (February) - First Presidential Proclamation: February 1976.
Women’s History Month (March) - Authority: Public Law 100-9, March 1987.
Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust (April/May) - The United States Holocaust Memorial Council (USHMC) was established in 1980 by Public Law 96-388.
Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month (May) - US Code Title 36—Ceremonies, and Organizations Sec. 169k.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (June) - Presidential Proclamation, May 31, 2011
Women’s Equality Day (August 26) - On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution.
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) - Authority: Public Law 100-402, August 1988
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October) - Authority: 36 USC 121
American Indian Heritage Month (November) - • Authority/comment: Public Law 102-188, March 1992
Do you have questions regarding the Special Emphasis Program? Contact the CNIC HQ EEO office by phone, individuals call (202) 433-8229 and leave a message; or they can send an email.
1. What is illegal discrimination? (HYPERLINK)
Making an employment decision based on a prohibited factor such as: race, sex (including sexual orientation and sex stereotyping), color, religion, national origin, age (40 and above), disability (mental or physical), genetic information, and reprisal (for prior EEO involvement).
2. What are the theories of discrimination?(HYPERLINK)
There are four theories of discrimination: (1) disparate treatment and, (2) adverse impact, (3) reasonable accommodation (failure to accommodate), and (4) harassment (sexual and non-sexual).
3. What is disparate treatment? (HYPERLINK)
Disparate treatment occurs when an employee is intentionally treated differently from other employees who are in similar situations because of a prohibited factor (race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age (40 and above), disability, reprisal (for prior EEO involvement), sexual identity or sexual orientation).
4. What is adverse impact? (HYPERLINK)
Adverse impact occurs when a system is designed to treat everyone equally, but in reality, it more harshly impacts a certain protected group and it cannot be justified by business necessity.
5. What is harassment? (HYPERLINK)
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
6. What is a reasonable accommodation? (HYPERLINK)
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace (or in the ways things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. The law requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. Reasonable accommodation for disability might include, for example, providing a ramp for a wheelchair user or providing a reader or interpreter for a blind or deaf employee or applicant.
Reasonable accommodation also applies to religion. The law also requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause difficulty or expense for the employer. This means an employer may have to make reasonable adjustments at work that will allow the employee to practice his/her religion, such as allowing an employee to voluntarily swap shifts with a co-worker so that he/she can attend religious services.
7. What do I do if I feel I am being discriminated against? (HYPERLINK)
Contact an EEO Counselor or the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity within 45 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory event.
8. Which one of the following is the best explanation of equal employment opportunity? (HYPERLINK)
Employment practices that do not result in illegal discrimination
7. What law prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, nationality, sex, and religion? (HYPERLINK)