WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released a new chapter to its Management Directive 110 setting forth the authority for settlement of federal sector discrimination disputes. The guidance contained in the chapter is intended to facilitate settlement of federal sector EEO cases at all stages of the complaint process.
"The Commission strongly supports the earliest possible settlement of EEO complaints in appropriate cases," said EEOC Chairwoman Ida L. Castro. "By spelling out the standards for settling such cases, this new chapter will enable federal agencies and employees to resolve disputes in a more efficient and expeditious manner."
Chapter 12 on Settlement Authority states that agencies have broad authority to settle EEO disputes by applying the full range of remedies a court could order if the case were to go to trial. Moreover, agencies are authorized to enter into settlements of claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Rehabilitation Act without a finding of discrimination or an admission of wrongdoing.
The guidance notes that agencies and their employees may be creative in crafting settlements. For instance, settlement of EEO complaints may contain monetary payments that are independent of any personnel action, providing that the payment does not exceed the amount of back pay, attorneys fees, costs or damages the employee would be entitled to in the case if discrimination has been found.
The new chapter also points out that settlement of EEO disputes may contain terms affecting the retirement status of the complainant. It explains that, in such cases, all appropriate contributions to the retirement funds must be made.
The EEOC worked closely with the Office of Personnel Management in developing the new Chapter 12 on Settlement Authority to ensure consistency in approach and guidance. "The issuance of this new chapter marks another step in the Commission's unwavering efforts to improve and streamline the federal sector EEO complaint process," added Chairwoman Castro. "It is apparent that it still takes too long to resolve EEO disputes, which has led to frustration and a lack of faith in the system by federal workers and their representatives. The Commission is working hard to address the matter."
Since becoming EEOC Chairwoman in October 1998, Ms. Castro has led an unprecedented effort to improve the federal government's EEO complaint process by increasing its fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency, while consulting broadly with agency stakeholders. Some of the important measures the EEOC has implemented under her leadership include the following:
The EEOC is the independent federal agency which enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on May 17, 2000.
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