EEO Is The Law!
It is the policy of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment and to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex (gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy), national origin, age, physical or mental disability and/or, genetic information. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) programs also prohibit retaliation against any person(s) for opposing any of the practices made unlawful by the EEO laws.
The FHWA is committed to maintaining an employment environment that is absolutely FREE of prohibited discrimination and will not take action against those who exercise their rights under the law.
The FHWA will ensure that officials responsible for personnel decisions, and terms and conditions of employment, abide by the requirements of applicable EEO Laws, Executive Orders, and regulations.
The FHWA will not in any manner restrain, interfere with, coerce, or retaliate against any individual who exercises his or her right to oppose unlawful employment practices or who participates in proceedings as either a complainant or witness pursuant to Federal EEO Laws.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counseling Program
The EEO counseling program provides a system to carefully consider and fairly and expeditiously resolve allegations of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or sexual orientation. EEO programs also prohibit retaliation against any person(s) for opposing any of the practices made unlawful by the EEO laws.
The FHWA maintains a cadre of well trained and experienced EEO counselors who are available to employees and applicants for employment. The role of the EEO counselor is to attempt informal resolution of the matter between the aggrieved person and management prior to the initiation of a formal complaint.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or that you are being retaliated against in any way because of your participation in the EEO process, you must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory act. The EEO Counselor will advise you of your rights and responsibilities, some of which include:
- The right to representation by a third party throughout the process;
- The right to anonymity;
- The right to participate in the agency's alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in lieu of counseling;
- The time frames involved in the EEO process; and,
- The right to file a formal complaint if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction.
In deciding whether to seek EEO Counseling you need to determine the following:
- Does the matter involve a situation related to my employment such as:
- Separation/ Termination
- Time and Attendance
- Assignment of Duties
- Pay (including overtime)
- Sexual Harassment
- Work conditions
- Reasonable Accommodation (delayed or denied)
- WHEN did the Incident or Action Occur?
The incident or actions must occur within the last 45 calendar days or within 45 calendar days of learning of the alleged discriminatory event in order to seek EEO counseling.
- WHO is involved?
Obviously YOU are.
As the aggrieved, are you:
- A current FHWA employee
- A former FHWA employee
- An applicant for FHWA employment
- Who took or failed to take the action in question?
- A supervisor
- A co-worker
- A visitor
- A contract worker
- A team leader
- Other (identify)
- Was I treated differently than other employees?
- Do you believe the different treatment was because of:
- Sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy)
- National Origin
- Disability (physical or mental)
- Genetic information
When contacted regarding an EEO Counseling matter, management should be prepared to do the following:
- Cooperate fully with the EEO counseling process;
- Resolve the matter if possible; and
- Allow time for employees to seek assistance through the EEO counseling process.