Hispanics, white women remain underrepresented in federal offices
According to the report, EEOC has documented subtle changes in the composition of the federal workforce during the last decade. Participation of women, Hispanics or Latinos, and Asians increased slightly between fiscal 1999 and fiscal 2009.
But despite the 1onger-term trend, the report shows the participation rate for women was slightly down in fiscal 2009 compared to fiscal 2008, falling from 44.13 percent to 44.06 percent. As of 2009, just under 8 percent of federal workers were Hispanic or Latino, 66 percent were white, 18 percent were black or African-American, 6 percent were Asian, 2 percent were American Indian or Alaska native, 0.3 percent were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 0.7 percent were two or more races.
These numbers show women, Hispanics or Latinos, people of two or more races and white women remain underrepresented in the federal government compared to their overall representation in the national civilian labor force according to data from the 2000 census, the report stated.
EEOC's statistics also indicated some differences in pay and typical seniority across groups. The average grade for permanent and temporary General Schedule employees in fiscal 2009 was 9.9 ($51,869 in annual pay), according to EEOC. Hispanic or Latino employees, black or African-American employees, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander employees, American Indian or Alaska native employees and employees of two or more races all had average grades lower than the governmentwide average.
The average General Schedule grade for women remained at 9.3 ($43,679 annually) in fiscal 2009, more than one grade below the average grade level for men of 10.4 ($49,604 in yearly salary).
The report showed progress in one area. The percentage of federal employees with targeted disabilities held steady in fiscal 2009, halting a 13-year decline. Targeted disabilities include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness, and distortion of the limb and/or spine. Despite the modest net gain of 236 employees in fiscal 2009 from fiscal 2008, people with targeted disabilities still represented less than 1 percent of the total federal workforce.
Employees with targeted disabilities also had an average General Schedule grade of 8.5 ($42,019 in annual pay), nearly 1.5 grades below the governmentwide average.
"As the largest employer in the nation, the federal government should lead the way in creating a diverse and just workplace," EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline A. Berrien said. "Government agencies need to continue to recruit and promote employees who represent the tapestry of America."
EEOC also reported on the number of complaints filed. Federal employees and applicants filed 16,947 complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal, up 1.2 percent from fiscal 2008, but down almost 6 percent from fiscal 2005.
Unlike the private sector, federal agencies are responsible for processing and investigating charges of discrimination filed against them. The average processing time for conducting investigations rose from 180 days in fiscal 2008 to 186 days in fiscal 2009. The average processing time for closing complaints also increased, from 336 days in fiscal 2008 to 344 in fiscal 2009.
"[Federal agencies] must also improve the efficiency of the complaint process so that justice delayed is not justice denied," Berrien said.
Of the 6,905 cases closed on the merits in fiscal 2009, 2.98 percent resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination. In addition, the parties entered into settlements in 3,394 complaints, or 21 percent of the total complaint closures.