Equal Employment Opportunity
Section 1. Statement of Purpose
a. The Department and Local 12 recognize that the mere declaration not to
discriminate in employment is not enough to ensure equality of opportunity.
Therefore, the parties agree that positive steps shall be taken to provide
equality of opportunity for all employees and to prohibit any discrimination
because of race, color, sex, (including pregnancy and gender identity),
national origin, religion, age, marital status, political affiliation, disability,
status as a parent, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran.
b. The Department and Local 12 agree to cooperate in providing equal
opportunity for employment and promotion to all employees, to cooperate
in ending discrimination, and to promote the full realization of equal
employment opportunity through a positive and continuing effort.
c. The Department agrees to promote affirmative employment, and to
discourage discrimination, while it applies and upholds Title VII, its
implementing regulations, as well as all other Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEO) laws and regulations.
Section 2. Management Commitment
a. The parties agree to work cooperatively to implement programs designed to
achieve the fullest utilization of employee skills and potential on an equal
basis. In this regard, such programs should be designed and implemented
according to law and applicable higher-level regulations such as 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-16; 29 U.S.C § 633(a); 29 U.S.C. § 791; 29 U.S.C. § 206(d); 5 U.S.C.
§ 2302(b); 29 CFR 1614 et seq.; 29 CFR 1607 et seq.; the Americans with
Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, and/or any
agreements mutually acceptable to both parties.
b. The Department is committed to providing a workplace free of a “glass
ceiling” in the Department of Labor. A “glass ceiling” is defined as those
barriers based on attitudinal or organizational biases that prevent qualified
individuals from advancing upward in their organization into Managementlevel
positions. The Department agrees to work with Local 12 to identify and
ultimately eliminate any such workplace barriers which may exist at the
Department of Labor through training and outreach in accordance with
Section 6 of this Article.
c. The Department will assure equality of opportunity for current personnel
and agrees that the application of equal employment principles and
practices will include taking appropriate steps to assure equality for present
employees. In addition, the Department shall conduct continuing programs
for recruitment of minority group members, individuals with disabilities, and
women for positions in the Department to carry out the policy of eliminating
underrepresentation. Agencies shall direct special efforts at recruiting in
minority group communities; in women’s organizations; in educational
institutions with a significant representation of women and minorities; and
from other sources from which members of minority groups, individuals with
disabilities, and women can be recruited.
d. The Department agrees to provide the maximum opportunity for all
employees to enhance their skills and for promotional opportunities within
available resources. The Department shall advertise such opportunities and
programs to all employees on an equitable basis.
e. he Department shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the
Department’s EEO rules and regulations are in full compliance with EEOC
and OPM directives for Federal agencies. This does not preclude the Union
from raising to the Department issues relating to EEO.
f. EEO Counselors shall be made available and accessible to all employees in
the bargaining unit.
Section 3. Harassment
a. The Department and the Union recognize that harassment is a form of
misconduct which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship
and adversely affects employee opportunity. All employees must be allowed
to work in an environment free from harassment. Therefore, the parties
mutually agree to identify and work to eliminate such occurrences in
accordance with the provisions of this Article.
b. Sexual harassment may consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Unwelcome conduct based on sex (including pregnancy and gender
identity), race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic
information, parental status, or sexual orientation constitutes harassment
when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly
a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or
rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for
employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the
purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work
performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working
Section 4. Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation
The Department commits to eliminating hostile work environments and to
providing work environments free from retaliation for engaging in a protected
activity or exercising any rights granted by law under Title VII, its implementing
regulations, as well as all other EEO laws and regulations.
Section 5. Training
a. At the request of the Union, but not more than once a year, the Department
and Local 12 shall provide joint training to Departmental officials and
bargaining unit employees on EEO.
b. Upon request, the Department will provide Local 12 stewards the same
training in the EEO process as that given to EEO counselors. This training
will include information regarding the role of the Department’s Civil Rights
Section 6. Committees and Communications
a. At the request of the Union, semi-annual meetings will be held between the
Director of Civil Rights or her/his designee and Local 12 to discuss EEO
matters and concerns. The Union will be entitled to a total of three (3)
representatives at this meeting, unless the parties agree otherwise. The
time and place for such meetings shall be determined by mutual agreement
of the parties.
b. When an individual Agency and Local 12 agree, a special Agency EEO
Committee may be established within that Agency. In Agencies where this
is not done, EEO concerns at the Agency level may be brought before the
Agency Labor-Management Relations Committee (ALMRC), and if not
resolved there, then at the Departmental Labor-Management Relations
Section 7. Affirmative Employment Plans and Programs
a. The Department shall review any employment practice or policy which has a
disproportionate impact on members of minority groups, women, individuals
with disabilities, and any other protected classes as defined by law, with a
view towards eliminating such practice.
b. The Department shall develop a results-oriented program for affirmative
employment to resolve problems of underutilization and
underrepresentation of members of minority groups, women, persons with
disabilities, and any other protected classes as defined by law. The
affirmative employment plan shall be developed in accordance with Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Personnel
Management (OPM) guidelines. The Department agrees to provide Local 12
with the link to all relevant MD - 715 reports, as well as the current report,
as soon as it becomes available.
c. Union input on the development of the Agency Affirmative Employment
Plans shall be provided through the Agency EEO Committee, the ALMRC or
the DLMRC. Such input could include possible steps to resolve the
affirmative employment issues raised by the Union. Such steps may include
affirmative recruiting, additional training, objectives, and/or timeframes. At
the conclusion of these discussions, Management shall provide a written
response to the Union concerning what appropriate action Management
intends to take to address the Union’s concerns, if any.
d. Each Agency, upon request, shall provide to the Union access to applicant
flow data that is available from the Department’s automated system.
Section 8. Processing of Allegations of Discrimination
a. The Department agrees to carefully, justly, and expeditiously consider and
adjudicate allegations of discrimination filed through the EEO administrative
complaint process or the negotiated grievance procedure. The Department
and Local 12 agree to cooperate in attempting to bring about informal
resolution of such allegations.
b. Persons who allege discrimination or who participate in the presenting of
such complaints shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion,
discrimination, or reprisal. The Department has the discretion to take
meaningful disciplinary action against a manager when retaliation or
discrimination is proven.
c. An employee may raise an informal complaint of discrimination through the
Department’s EEO administrative complaint process, which does not
constitute an election of remedies. In order to continue the EEO process,
the employee is encouraged to review the information at:
which discusses EEO complaints. If an employee elects to utilize the
grievance process, they must do so in accordance with Article 47 of this
d. Consultation with an EEO counselor pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.105 does not
constitute filing a formal EEO complaint. An employee may raise a formal
complaint of discrimination through the Department’s EEO administrative
complaint process or through the negotiated grievance procedures with
Local 12, but not both. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised this
option when the matter that gave rise to the allegation of discrimination is
made the subject of a timely filed grievance or a filed formal EEO complaint,
whichever event occurs first.
e. Under the EEO administrative complaint process, a complainant has the
right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of
his/her choosing at any stage of the complaint process, except where there
is a conflict of interest.
f. The Department shall notify Local 12, as soon as practicable, of all remedial
or corrective actions which impact on bargaining unit employees, to be
taken as the result of informal or formal resolution of EEO complaints filed
under the EEO administrative complaint process. This notification will
include the identification of the employee’s Agency.
Section 9. Special Emphasis Programs
a. Whenever Management meets with special emphasis program committees
(for example, the Federal Women’s Program and Hispanic Employment
Program Committees) concerning matters which affect personnel policy and
practices and other matters affecting working conditions of employees in
the bargaining unit, Local 12 shall be informed, as soon as practicable, in
advance and have an opportunity to be present and participate at such
b. Employees may, with advanced supervisory approval, volunteer and be
actively involved in special emphasis programs. Recognition of voluntary
participation enhances the program’s objectives and is encouraged.
Section 10. Meetings with Outside Groups on EEO Matters
a. Management may from time to time meet with outside groups or
associations (for example, the NAACP, Urban League, LULAC, GI Forum,
IMAGE, NOW, FEW, and SER) concerning EEO matters in connection with
personnel policy and practices and other matters affecting working
conditions of employees in the bargaining unit. Local 12 shall be informed in
advance and shall have an opportunity to be present at such meetings.
b. Management may engage in consultation or dealings with religious, social,
fraternal, professional, or other lawful associations, not qualified as labor
organizations, with respect to matters or policies which involve individual
applicability to them or their members provided that such consultation or
dealing shall be so limited that they do not assume the character of formal
consultation on matters of general employee-management policy covering
employees in the bargaining unit, or extend to areas where recognition of
the interests of one employee group may result in discrimination against or
injury to the interests of other employees.
c. Whenever Management meets with advocacy groups or associations (for
example, LULAC, Asian Pacific Islander Association or Blacks In Government
[BIG]) concerning matters in connection with personnel policy and practices
and other matters affecting working conditions of employees in the
bargaining unit, Local 12 shall be informed as soon as practicable, in
advance, and have an opportunity to be present and participate at such
d. This Section does not apply to meetings with individual employees
concerning individual complaints of discrimination.
Section 11. Reasonable Accommodation
a. The Department shall provide reasonable accommodations for qualified
individuals with disabilities as required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
amended, 29 U.S.C. §791, and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. § 12101. In accordance with 29 CFR
1630.2(o), the term reasonable accommodation means:
(1) Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable
a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position
such that such a qualified applicant desires; or
(2) Modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the
manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is
customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a
disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or
(3) Modifications or adjustments that enable an employee with a
disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are
enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
b. In accordance with 29 CFR 1630.2 (o), a reasonable accommodation may
include, but is not limited to:
(1) Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and
usable by individuals with disabilities; and
(2) Job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules;
reassignment to a vacant position; acquisition or modifications of
equipment or devices; appropriate adjustment or modifications of
examinations, training materials, or policies; the provision of qualified
readers or interpreters; and other similar accommodations for
individuals with disabilities.
c. In providing all employees with access to this Agreement, the Department
shall comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
d. When the results of a medical examination reveal that a disabled employee
cannot satisfactorily perform his/her job, the Department shall provide
reasonable accommodation(s) for the employee under the applicable laws
and regulations. If no other form of accommodation is possible, the
Department shall examine whether reassignment is appropriate under the
applicable statute and regulations.
e. All medical information submitted shall be handled in accordance with the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the
Privacy Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The information supplied to any
management official will only be shared with others on a need to know
basis. However, the information will not be shared with the employee’s
supervisor if the employee has expressed concerns regarding such
f. The medical documentation submitted by the employee to support an
accommodation request should include, but is not limited to: the relevant
diagnosis, the prognosis, a medical history, a course of treatment,
recognition of the employee’s job requirements and a statement as to the
applicable reasonable accommodation(s) sought with explanatory rationale.
g. When management makes a determination on a reasonable accommodation
request, it shall consider alternative accommodations. If management
denies any requested accommodation, it shall provide the employee with
the reason(s) for that denial in writing.
h. The parties agree that in instances where the final determination for the
request of a reasonable accommodation is a denial, the Department agrees
to process grievances related to that denial of the reasonable
accommodation expeditiously, as well as to expedite the scheduling of any
related case to Arbitration, when requested by the Union.
i. Where the request for a reasonable accommodation is denied by the Agency
or Department, the written letter of determination must necessarily include:
(1) the medical rationale(s) for the denial of the reasonable
accommodation, if applicable;
(2) any appropriate alternative permanent reasonable accommodation(s)
which the Agency can make, if any; and,
(3) an explanation of what information or requirement is lacking in the