Civil Rights

The Office of Civil Rights services over 30,000 employees across 19 regions, all 50 states, and Puerto Rico; we are committed to helping the Agency, and its employees maintain a culture that is inclusive of all people.  The Agency can earn and maintain solid public and employee trust through the delivery of prompt, accurate, and effective civil rights services, and create and maintain better connections with present and future generations.

The Office of Civil Rights Provides:

  • The ability to build its capacity and to hone civil rights competencies in a way that promotes equality, inclusion, diversity, cooperation, collaboration, and fairness;
  • Accurate and prompt advice and counsel;
  • A benchmark standard for accountability of actions or inactions that inhibits progression and promotion of civil rights;
  • Targeted outreach to most diverse and qualified talent sources available; and
  • Civil Rights training.
     
    Civil Rights Program Areas:
  • Title VII Employment Discrimination Complaint Program
    The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Program aims to ensure federal employees, former employees, contracted employees (situational), and applicants are protected from discrimination under various federal laws.  The Office of Civil Rights counsels complaints starting at the Pre-Complaint level.  EEO discrimination is prohibited under the following laws:
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (race, color, national origin, religion, and sex (including sexual harassment, pregnancy, and LGBTQI+ issues)
  • Rehabilitation Act (mental and physical disabilities)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (40+)
  • Equal Pay Act (gender-based pay inequity)
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (genetic information/history)
  • Reprisal (retaliation for engagement in EEO activity)
  • Marital status, political affiliation, parental status, and financial status are additional categories covered by federal regulation

These regulations promote fairness in the workplace, including but not limited to the practices of hiring, firing, training, promoting, compensating, and retaining employees.  For more information or to speak with an EEO Counselor please call: 404-347-1908

  • Accountability and Compliance

    The Accountability and Compliance staff carries out civil rights functions that align with USDA compliance requirements, e.g. formal complaint processing (Title VI and Title VII), resolving official support, national reporting, Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA), and compliance reviews.  Additionally, the unit provides comprehensive analysis of civil rights data, generates reports that highlight Agency and civil rights accomplishments, assesses operational successes, and facilitates submission of regulatory reporting to agency leadership and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

    A CRIA ensures that the Agency has conducted an in-depth analysis of the potential impact of its policies and actions on race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, and marital or familial status.  For more information please call: 202-205-1233

     

  • Conducted and Assisted Programs

    The Conducted and Assisted Programs unit ensures compliance and enforcement of the Department’s prohibitions against discrimination in its conducted programs (Forest Service delivers a program or service directly to the public) and assisted programs/activities (a recipient of federal financial assistance (a partner) delivers a program or service to the public).  The unit promotes awareness and broad dissemination of the Department’s non-discrimination policy and other pertinent information to the general public, including how to file program discrimination complaints.

    Additionally, the Limited English Program under this unit aims to deliver comprehensive language assistance services and to develop policies and procedures that ensure the Forest Service provides meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency. For more information please call: 414-308-8224

  • Program and Reasonable Accommodation

    The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so causes an undue hardship or direct threat to the employer.

    A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way job duties are normally performed) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. For more information please call: 801-625-5416

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staff collaborate with external diversity organizations and agency employee development staff on the design and delivery of diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness education/training.  The team partners with Forest Service stakeholders to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are considered and embedded in employee recruitment, hiring, performance management, retention, development, and other aspects of workforce management.

    Additionally, this unit engages recognized employee organizations and diversity-related councils and committees at the Regional and Forest levels, including Civil Rights Action Teams and Multicultural Advisory Committees.  It serves as consultants to these groups and provides guidance, information, and resources for Special Emphasis Programs focused on improving employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the Federal service.

    For Spanish speakers please call: 800-845-6236; and, for individual who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, contact may be made through the Federal Relay Service at: 800-877-8339.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/civil-rights