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§1614.102 Agency program.
(a) Each agency shall maintain a continuing affirmative program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. In support of this program, the agency shall:
(1) Provide sufficient resources to its equal employment opportunity program to ensure efficient and successful operation;
(2) Provide for the prompt, fair and impartial processing of complaints in accordance with this part and the instructions contained in the Commission's Management Directives;
(3) Conduct a continuing campaign to eradicate every form of prejudice or discrimination from the agency's personnel policies, practices and working conditions;
(4) Communicate the agency's equal employment opportunity policy and program and its employment needs to all sources of job candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, and solicit their recruitment assistance on a continuing basis;
(5) Review, evaluate and control managerial and supervisory performance in such a manner as to insure a continuing affirmative application and vigorous enforcement of the policy of equal opportunity, and provide orientation, training and advice to managers and supervisors to assure their understanding and implementation of the equal employment opportunity policy and program;
(6) Take appropriate disciplinary action against employees who engage in discriminatory practices;
(7) Make reasonable accommodation to the religious needs of applicants and employees when those accommodations can be made without undue hardship on the business of the agency;
(8) Make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified applicants and employees with handicaps unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the agency's program;
(9) Provide recognition to employees, supervisors, managers and units demonstrating superior accomplishment in equal employment opportunity;
(10) Establish a system for periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the agency's overall equal employment opportunity effort;
(11) Provide the maximum feasible opportunity to employees to enhance their skills through on-the-job training, work-study programs and other training measures so that they may perform at their highest potential and advance in accordance with their abilities;
(12) Inform its employees and recognized labor organizations of the affirmative equal employment opportunity policy and program and enlist their cooperation; and
(13) Participate at the community level with other employers, with schools and universities and with other public and private groups in cooperative action to improve employment opportunities and community conditions that affect employability.
(b) In order to implement its program, each agency shall:
(1) Develop the plans, procedures and regulations necessary to carry out its program;
(2) Establish or make available an alternative dispute resolution program. Such program must be available for both the pre-complaint process and the formal complaint process.
(3) Appraise its personnel operations at regular intervals to assure their conformity with its program, this part 1614 and the instructions contained in the Commission's management directives;
(4) Designate a Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO Director), EEO Officer(s), and such Special Emphasis Program Managers (e.g., People With Disabilities Program, Federal Women's Program and Hispanic Employment Program), clerical and administrative support as may be necessary to carry out the functions described in this part in all organizational units of the agency and at all agency installations. The EEO Director shall be under the immediate supervision of the agency head;
(5) Make written materials available to all employees and applicants informing them of the variety of equal employment opportunity programs and administrative and judicial remedial procedures available to them and prominently post such written materials in all personnel and EEO offices and throughout the workplace;
(6) Ensure that full cooperation is provided by all agency employees to EEO Counselors and agency EEO personnel in the processing and resolution of pre-complaint matters and complaints within an agency and that full cooperation is provided to the Commission in the course of appeals, including granting the Commission routine access to personnel records of the agency when required in connection with an investigation; and
(7) Publicize to all employees and post at all times the names, business telephone numbers and business addresses of the EEO Counselors (unless the counseling function is centralized, in which case only the telephone number and address need be publicized and posted), a notice of the time limits and necessity of contacting a Counselor before filing a complaint and the telephone numbers and addresses of the EEO Director, EEO Officer(s) and Special Emphasis Program Managers.
(c) Under each agency program, the EEO Director shall be responsible for:
(1) Advising the head of the agency with respect to the preparation of national and regional equal employment opportunity plans, procedures, regulations, reports and other matters pertaining to the policy in §1614.101 and the agency program;
(2) Evaluating from time to time the sufficiency of the total agency program for equal employment opportunity and reporting to the head of the agency with recommendations as to any improvement or correction needed, including remedial or disciplinary action with respect to managerial, supervisory or other employees who have failed in their responsibilities;
(3) When authorized by the head of the agency, making changes in programs and procedures designed to eliminate discriminatory practices and to improve the agency's program for equal employment opportunity;
(4) Providing for counseling of aggrieved individuals and for the receipt and processing of individual and class complaints of discrimination; and
(5) Assuring that individual complaints are fairly and thoroughly investigated and that final action is taken in a timely manner in accordance with this part.
(d) Directives, instructions, forms and other Commission materials referenced in this part may be obtained in accordance with the provisions of 29 CFR 1610.7 of this chapter.
(e) Agency programs shall comply with this part and the Management Directives and Bulletins that the Commission issues. The Commission will review agency programs from time to time to ascertain whether they are in compliance. If an agency program is found not to be in compliance, efforts shall be undertaken to obtain compliance. If those efforts are not successful, the Chair may issue a notice to the head of any federal agency whose programs are not in compliance and publicly identify each non-compliant agency.
(f) Unless prohibited by law or executive order, the Commission, in its discretion and for good cause shown, may grant agencies prospective variances from the complaint processing procedures prescribed in this Part. Variances will permit agencies to conduct pilot projects of proposed changes to the complaint processing requirements of this Part that may later be made permanent through regulatory change. Agencies requesting variances must identify the specific section(s) of this Part from which they wish to deviate and exactly what they propose to do instead, explain the expected benefit and expected effect on the process of the proposed pilot project, indicate the proposed duration of the pilot project, and discuss the method by which they intend to evaluate the success of the pilot project. Variances will not be granted for individual cases and will usually not be granted for more than 24 months. The Director of the Office of Federal Operations for good cause shown may grant requests for extensions of variances for up to an additional 12 months. Pilot projects must require that participants knowingly and voluntarily opt-in to the pilot project. Requests for variances should be addressed to the Director, Office of Federal Operations.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37655, July 12, 1999; 67 FR 35735, May 21, 2002; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 77 FR 43504, July 25, 2012]