1 Presented by: Denise Sudell Senior Policy Advisor U.S. Department of Labor Civil Rights Center
2 What Federal Nondiscrimination Laws Relate to EO Officer Issues? Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), Section 188 Implementing regulations: 29 CFR part 37 Apply to Job Corps entities at all levels
3 What Federal laws relate? (cont’d) Sections of WIA nondiscrimination regs that explain EO Officer requirements applicable to Job Corps: 29 CFR 37.23 through 37.26
4 44 Methods of Administration (MOA) Elements 1. Designation of Equal Opportunity Officers 2. Equal Opportunity Notice & Communication 3. Assurances and Related Documents 4. Universal Access 5. Compliance with Federal Disability Nondiscrimination Laws 6. Data Collection & Recordkeeping 7. Monitoring for Compliance with EO Laws 8. Complaint Processing Procedures 9. Corrective Actions/Sanctions
5 Who is covered by (has to comply with) these laws? Centers and Center Operators Job Corps contractors and subcontractors, including Outreach and Admissions contractors and placement agencies Exception: contractors holding procurement contracts, unless... the contract is to operate or provide services to a Job Corps Center Job Corps National and Regional Offices
6 Who is protected from discrimination under these laws? Not just applicants and students! Employees of: Centers Center Operators, to the extent that they do work that is related to Job Corps Job Corps contractors (with exceptions explained on last slide) Applicants for employment for these positions Anyone else who comes into contact with Job Corps
7 Key Requirements re: EO Officers 1. Every Job Corps Center, Center Operator, and contractor must designate an EO Officer. 2. An EO Officer must meet the eligibility requirements imposed by the regulations. 3. The EO Officer must carry out the responsibilities of the position, including (at a minimum) those listed in the regulations. 4. Centers, Center Operators, and contractors must carry out specific obligations regarding their EO Officers.
8 Key Requirement #1 Every Center, Center Operator, and contractor must designate an EO Officer The EO Officer does not necessarily have to work in/for the Center, or the contractor facility, over which s/he has jurisdiction Separation can help avoid conflicts of interest
9 If you’re the EO Officer for a Center Operator or contractor: Do you handle issues involving the operator’s/contractor’s employees and applicants for employment? If not, who does? Questions for you
10 If you work (but are not the EO Officer) for a Center Operator or contractor: Do you know who your EO Officer is? Do you know where you (as an employee) would file a complaint alleging that your rights under WIA Section 188 and its regs had been violated? Questions for you
11 Key Requirement #2 An EO Officer must be eligible for the position by meeting regulatory criteria Three relevant criteria Related to: Employee position (level in organization) and reporting relationships Ability to give top priority to EO-related responsibilities Lack of conflicts of interest (actual or apparent)
12 First Eligibility Criterion Senior-level employee reporting directly to the top official on EO matters (29 CFR 37.24, 37.25[e]) What does “senior-level employee” mean? Who’s the top official in the entity for which you have responsibility?
13 Second Eligibility Criterion Regulatory language says “may have other duties” (29 CFR 37.24) – depends on: size of recipient size of programs / activities number of applicants / registrants / participants served Translation: S/he must be able to: Give top priority to his/her EO-related responsibilities Adequately accomplish all of those responsibilities
14 Third Eligibility Criterion No actual conflict of interest No appearance of a conflict Term to Know – Conflict of Interest Term to Know – Conflict of Interest A situation in which a person, such as a public official, has an interest (personal or official) that is sufficient to influence, or appear to influence, the objective exercise of his/her official duties
15 Conflict of Interest Examples of Conflict EO Officer makes judgments about possible equal opportunity wrongdoings of his/her boss EO Officer also responsible for defending management actions and decisions against legal challenges EO Officer must be able to be objective without suffering consequences
Conflict of Interest: Example CONFLIC T Interest 1: EO Responsibility EO Officer, reporting to the HR Director, reviews personnel decisions made by the boss, for EO compliance Interest 2: Personal Desire Desire to please the boss in order to get promoted 16
17 Your experience As an EO Officer, have you encountered a situation that presented a conflict of interest? If so, how did you handle the situation?
18 Evaluating Conflicts of Interest Civil Rights Center will evaluate conflicts of interest on a case-by-case basis, considering two factors: 1.What the EO Officer’s (and EO staff’s) duties, responsibilities, and organizational locations are 2.Whether the Center / operator / contractor has set up its processing system so a neutral party handles complaints that could cause conflict
19 Activity: Identifying a Conflict of Interest Task: You are a new member of the CRC staff. You have been asked to review a potential conflict of interest brought to CRC by the Job Corps National Office. Read the Mini Case Study. Identify any potential conflicts of interest. Share your findings with the group.Time: @ 5 minutes to read; 10 minutes to discuss
20 Smith and Smith Organizational Chart Exec Director A. Jolie Tammany Hall Center Director B. Pitt Roscoe Conkling Center Director C.C. Arquette William Tweed Center Director M. Perry G.W. Plunkitt Center Director L. Kudrow Finance Director J. Aniston
21 Key Requirement #3 EO Officer must carry out, at a minimum, the following responsibilities: Conduct EO monitoring & investigations Review written policies to make sure they comply with EO-related legal requirements (cont’d on next slide)
22 More EO Officer responsibilities Re: discrimination complaint processing procedures: Either: –Develop and publish procedures, or –Ensure procedures comply with legal requirements, and Ensure lawful procedures are followed Report EO matters directly to the top official Undergo training to maintain competency
23 Key Requirement #4 Centers, Center Operators, and contractors must carry out obligations imposed by law Make public the EO Officer’s name, title, specific contact info Ensure that the EO Officer’s identity and contact info appear on all internal and external communications about nondiscrim / EO Assign sufficient staff and resources to the EO Officer and provide top management support Ensure that the EO Officer and staff have training opportunities needed to maintain competency
24 Complaint Processing: some misunderstoodissues
25 Complaint Processing: some misunderstood issues Who may file Time for filing “Informal” resolution “Appeal” to CRC
26 Who May File A Complaint? Anyone (individual or organization) that believes that one of the following has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by WIA Section 188 or 29 CFR part 37: The individual him/herself Any class of individuals Complainant doesn’t have to be member of class / victim of discrimination!
27 Time for filing Regs include specific timeframes for filing complaints Initial complaint: w/in 180 days of alleged discrimination Complaint to CRC after attempt to resolve at Job Corps level: 30 days after relevant action (or failure to act) BUT...
28 Time for filing (cont’d)... CRC Director may grant an extension of either timeframe Complainant must: contact CRC to ask for extension show that there’s good cause for granting extension
29 “Informal” resolution Regs require that when someone comes to you with discrimination complaint, you: Must immediately give them form for filing written complaint Must not make any effort to resolve complaint “informally” before giving them the form (more on next slide)
30 “Informal” resolution (cont’d) Complaint processing procedures must include method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but... several formal steps must be taken before ADR phase is reached, and... only complainant has the right to decide whether to use ADR or customary/formal process for resolving complaints
31 “Appeal” to CRC If the complainant is dissatisfied with the Center’s / Center Operator’s / contractor’s / Regional Office’s resolution of the complaint: S/he has the right to file with CRC within 30 days, but... must file new complaint – not appeal (more on next slide)
32 “Appeal” to CRC (cont’d) Filing with CRC is not “appeal” because: CRC will: conduct a new investigation, or attempt to resolve complaint through mediation (29 CFR 37.89, 37.90) CRC will not review: the resolution of the complaint, or the record underlying the resolution
You Create The Quiz! In your groups, come up with 3 questions regarding the designation of an EO Officer. (5 minutes) Draw lots to determine which group asks a question first. The group that first answers correctly gets a point, then asks a question. Take turns asking questions. Continue process until all have asked questions or until after 20 minutes, whichever is shorter. The group with the most points wins. 33
34 Where to Get More Information Civil Rights Center (CRC) U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue N.W. Room N-4123 Washington, D.C. 20210 http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/
35 How to contact me Postal Mail: Denise Sudell, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210 Telephone: 202-693-6554 (voice) 800-877-8339 (Federal Information Relay Service for TTY/TDD) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org