The EEO Counseling & Mediation Branch (CMB) provides EEO Counseling and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for all Agency employees and applicants for employment. CMB is responsible for implementation of EEOC and Departmental EEO policies in processing employment discrimination complaints in the pre-complaint process. CMB also provides guidance and expertise to employees and Agency officials in the pre-complaint process. Furthermore, CMB provides technical assistance to management officials on effective ways to prevent and resolve employment discrimination complaints. The CMB staff is comprised of Headquarters and Field employees.
The Farm Service Agency, Office of Civil Rights, Compliance & Program Analysis Branch (CPAB) is responsible for ensuring compliance with nondiscrimination in program delivery. CPAB provides direction, assistance, and enforcement of Civil Rights laws and regulations in the delivery of all FSA programs, including Outreach to segments of the population. CPAB serves as a focal point within FSA on activities concerning Civil Rights laws, rules, Executive Orders, and Civil Rights laws including but not limited to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Limited English Proficiency, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Branch (EEOB) is responsible for and committed to establishing a model EEO program that will enforce policies and practices to ensure barrier-free and open workplace competition regardless of race, sex, national origin, color, religion, disability or reprisal for engaging in prior protected activity.
EEOB investigates EEO complaints timely, accurately and impartially; provides periodic workforce analysis briefing to managers/supervisors; and recommends innovative methods such as internships, details and developmental assignments, and mentoring programs to recruit, train, and retain a top-quality workforce that is reflects the geographical civilian labor force (CLF) population.
- Conducts formal EEO investigations and distributes Report of Investigation (ROI) within ninety (90) days after receiving an authorized acceptance letter from Department (USDA Office of Adjudication and Compliance);
- Conducts EEO formal Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs) and ensures the enforcement of settlements and compliance agreements anytime during the EEO Formal Complaint Stage;
- Develops, administers, and monitors the Farm Service Agency's Annual EEO Civil Rights Training via AgLearn;
- Tracks, prepares, reports, and distributes Farm Service Agency's Quarterly No Fear Act Reports, Farm Service Agency Annual 462 and MD-715 Reports;
- Serves as advisors to Farm Service Agency managerial staff, providing advice on Civil Rights laws, statutes, directives, executive orders, as well as personnel policies, procedures, and practices that impact Civil Rights regulations;
- Provides managers with workforce analysis briefing and recommendations on innovative ways to create diversity in the workplace;
- Provides input into written policies, conducts annual reviews of policies, and ensures proper updates and posting of the Farm Service Agency Administrator's EEO Policy Statements; and
- Conducts an EEO/EO Human Relations Institute that provides training for EEO Specialists, EEO Managers, and FSA Employees (Federal and Non-Federal Employees). Uses Desire Learning Objectives (DLOs) that cover all aspects of EEO/EO Programs Laws, Statutes, Executives Orders, and Directives.
The KC EEO/CR Staff serves as an Agency technical authority on EEO initiatives and compliance in performing an extensive range of EEO functions related to Sec. 717 of Title VII employment programs and Sec. 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. This Staff is involved with Agency-wide research, analysis and compliance and provides advice, guidance and assistance on the implementation and management of EEO programs. The Staff is also very active in developing EEO Standard Operating Procedures, handbooks, policies and procedures. Laws, regulations, directives, and legislation require these pro-active EEO functions to be provided as a means of guidance and assistance in implementing/maintaining a Model EEO program that ensures a workplace conducive to diversity, reasonable accommodation, fairness, and equal treatment for all internal and external customers.
- Administering EEOC Management Directive 715 involving monitoring and reporting, barrier analysis, goal setting, and monitoring compliance and accountability;
- Collaborating with Top Management and OHR on initiatives established via Diversity and the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Plans (FEORP).
- Monitoring and reporting on Reasonable Accommodation via MD-715, and Sec. 501 of the Rehabilitation Act ;
- Conducting Civil Rights Impact Analysis (Title VII – Employment);
- Actively participating in the State Management Reviews for compliance;
- Administering Special Emphasis Programs;
- Providing ombudsperson services in resolving local concerns and issues;
- Developing and delivering training and awareness for EEO programs, MD-715, Special Emphasis Programs, Diversity, and Sec. 501 of the Rehabilitation Act;
- Appraising personnel operations at regular interval to assure their conformity with EEO programs in accordance with MD-715 and 29 CFR 1614;
- Conducting environmental assessments via employee surveys; and
- Conducting assessments based upon employee exit interviews;
The Farm Service Agency, Office of Civil Rights, Program Complaints Inquiry Branch (PCIB) is located in Montgomery, Alabama. PCIB conducts investigations on current Title VI (program complaints), personnel misconduct, Office of Inspector General hotline complaints, and EEO/Civil Rights State Management Reviews. PCIB also conducts complex investigations on program issues for other USDA Agencies.
Through fact-finding inquiries and State Management Reviews, the PCIB Team assists in alleviating discrimination in the programs of USDA and makes equal access available to clientele and employees. Additionally, PCIB strives to ensure both clientele and employees are treated with dignity and respect and makes certain all have an awareness of the procedures to follow if they want to file a program complaint of discrimination.