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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

5. Efficiency

  • 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.

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