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EEOC Issues Federal Workforce Report for 2015

Small Gains Made in Diversity, Discrimination Complaint Filings Rise Slightly

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2015 Annual Report on the Federal Workforce, showing small increases in both workplace diversity and equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint filings and small declines in complaint processing time.

The annual report informs and advises the President and the Congress on the state of EEO throughout the federal government. Data in the report, available online at www.eeoc.gov, details government-wide workforce and EEO complaint statistics, with agency-specific data contained in appendix tables. This report continues the EEOC's efforts to catch up on federal sector reporting obligations, after issuing the FY 2012-2014 Annual Reports on the Federal Workforce last fiscal year.

The federal government is the nation's largest employer, with close to 2.5 million employees, and it strives to serve as a model employer by promoting EEO and an inclusive work culture. In FY 2015, most racial and ethnic groups had greater participation rates in the federal government than in the 2010 civilian labor force (CLF), except for Hispanic/Latino males (5.0% vs. 5.2% in the CLF), Hispanic/Latina females (3.6% vs. 4.8% in the CLF), white males (36.8% vs. 38.3% in the CLF), and white females (25.0% vs. 34.0% in the CLF). Statistics also reveal, however, declining participation rates for most groups at higher pay grades in the General Schedule pay system, except for white males, who continue to hold the majority of Senior Executive Service positions, and Asians of both sexes. Additionally, the percentage of federal employees with targeted disabilities increased to 1.00%.

"This information should be very useful to ensure that the federal government continues to make steady progress in achieving model EEO employer status," said Carlton Hadden, director of the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations.

Pre-complaint counseling and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs addressed many employee concerns before they resulted in formal EEO complaints. Only 42% of completed counsel­ings resulted in a formal complaint filing. Nonetheless, 15,490 complaints alleging employment discrimination were filed against the federal government in FY 2015 - up 3.2% from the prior year. Once filed, investigators required an average of 184 days to complete investigations during FY 2015, down 6% from the previous year. Of the 6,009 cases closed on the merits, 2.8% resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination.

In addition, parties involved in discrimination charges entered into 3,495 settlement agreements, which were 26.1% of the total complaint closures. In FY 2015, the monetary benefits obtained through settlements and awarded for findings of discrimination at the complaint stage, including administrative judge decisions and final agency decisions, amounted to nearly $62 million, a 38% increase from FY 2014.