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Article 25 Equal Employment Opportunity
Posted On: Oct 29, 2013

Article 25

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

Committee (DLMRC).

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


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