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Civil Rights


The Office of Civil Rights serves over 30,000 employees, applicants, and former employees across all fifty states and Puerto Rico. We are committed to developing and maintaining a work environment inclusive of all employees. The Office of Civil Rights supports solid public and employee trust by delivering prompt, accurate, and effective services. Our service efforts are the foundation for improving connections to present and future generations.

The Office of Civil Rights encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and respect in compliance with all statutes, regulations, and directives that govern the Office of Civil Rights. We strive to resolve all disputes at the earliest possible stage, correcting discriminatory actions or inactions that inhibit the positive progression and promotion of civil rights. The Office of Civil Rights provides training and targeted outreach to the most diverse and qualified talent sources available.

USDA Civil Rights Policy Statement

USDA Anti-Harassment Policy Statement

Civil Rights Program Areas

Accountability and Compliance

The Accountability and Compliance Directorate is responsible for all informal and formal Equal Employment Opportunity complaints processing, as well as program discrimination complaints. The Directorate manages the Resolving Official and EEO Alternative Dispute Resolution programs and oversees the completion of Management Directive 715, the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Form 462 reports and provides advice and guidance for Civil Rights Impact Analyses and the Limited English Proficiency program.

Accountability and Compliance ensures all reporting requirements under Title VI and Title VII are analyzed to identify barriers facing the agency and explore data in meaningful ways to define; set clear, measurable priorities; and interpret results that move toward reflecting a model organization. Through national reporting, civil rights impact analysis, and compliance reviews, the Directorate utilizes these tools as proactive prevention measures. The Directorate also highlights the agency’s civil rights accomplishments and operational successes and facilitates the submission of regulatory reporting to agency leadership and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

We ensure that the agency has conducted an in-depth analysis of any potential impact of its policies, practices and procedures based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, and marital or familial status. For more information, please call (202) 205-1233.

Architectural Barriers Act of 1968

The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings or facilities that were designed, built, or altered with federal dollars or leased by federal agencies after August 12, 1968, be accessible. The U.S. Access Board is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the ABA.

ABA Accessibility Standards

File an Architectural Barriers Act complaint.

Affirmative Action Plan for the Recruitment, Hiring, Advancement, and Retention of Persons with Disabilities

To capture an agency’s Affirmative Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities and Persons with Targeted Disabilities, EEOC regulations 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(e) and Management Directive 715 require agencies to describe how their APAAP will improve the recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention of applicants and employees with disabilities.

2020 Affirmative Action Plan

2019 Affirmative Action Plan

2018 Affirmative Action Plan

2017 Affirmative Action Plan

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion unit collaborates with external diversity organizations and agency employee development staff to design and deliver diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness education and 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. We serve as consultants to these groups and provide 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.

Equal Opportunity Program

The Equal Opportunity Program provides nondiscriminatory programs and services to the public. The Forest Service has two types of EO Programs: federally conducted and federally assisted.

Conducted programs include program services, benefits or resources delivered directly to the public by Forest Service employees.

Assisted programs include program services, benefits, or resources delivered indirectly to the public by recipients of federal financial assistance. Assistance includes, but is not limited to recreation special use permits, domestic grants, and cooperative agreements.

For more information, contact National EO Specialists Diedre Smith, Deidre.smith@usda.gov or Nancy Foster, Nancy.foster@usda.gov.

Limited English Proficiency Program

Under the Equal Opportunity Program, the Limited English Proficiency program seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to access Forest Service programs and services. Our goal is for everyone to enjoy these opportunities in a manner free from discrimination, specifically based on national origin. Forest Service LEP policy follows guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice, Title VI, and USDA to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to provide persons with LEP the necessary language assistance, including translation services, free of charge, for meaningful access to conducted and assisted Forest Service programs and services.

Submit inquiries to SM.FS.cr_lep@usda.gov.

MD-715

The Management Directive 715 report is the standard federal agency civil rights “report card” the Forest Service prepares annually for submission to the EEOC. The Forest Service’s MD-715 report highlights our past year’s civil rights accomplishments towards establishing, maintaining, and sustaining effective diverse equal employment opportunity programs, plus plans to correct and sustain existing programs and build new opportunities in the coming year.

This federal agency reporting requirement was established pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, serving as both the “master plan” and “evaluation guide” for federal employee EEO programs.

2021 MD-715 Report

2020 MD-715 Report

No FEAR Act

Under Section 202 of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002, agencies must publicly post notice of findings of discrimination, including retaliation. The posting must be within 90 days of a final agency action, EEOC decision, or court judgment involving a discrimination finding. The agency must post a notice of the decision on its public internet website. The notice must state that a discrimination finding was made and identify the date the finding was made, the date on which each discriminatory act occurred, and the law violated by each discriminatory act. The notice must remain posted for at least one year.

The EEOC requires that when there is a finding of discrimination, the Agency post a notice of the EEOC’s order for employees.

Posting: 
Notice to Employees – Appeal/EEOC No. (Posted 0/0/0000)

Notices will be published for one year. The EEOC determines whether an appellate decision should be published. If the decision is published, it will be indicated above.

To find a published decision, visit EEOC’s Federal Sector Appellate Decisions website and enter the appropriate appellate number. If the EEOC determines that a decision will remain unpublished, the Forest Service can provide no further information.

 

No FEAR Act Quarterly Reports

FY22 No FEAR Act 4th Quarter Report

FY22 No FEAR Act 3rd Quarter Report

FY22 No FEAR Act 2nd Quarter Report

FY22 No FEAR Act 1st Quarter Report

FY21 No FEAR Act 4th Quarter Report

FY21 No FEAR Act 3rd Quarter Report

FY21 No FEAR Act 2nd Quarter Report

FY21 No FEAR Act 1st Quarter Report

 

No FEAR Act Annual Reports

FY20 No FEAR Act Annual Report

FY19 No FEAR Act Annual Report

FY18 No FEAR Act Annual Report

FY17 No FEAR Act Annual Report

FY16 No FEAR Act Annual Report

Title VII - Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Program

The Equal Employment Opportunity complaint program aims to ensure federal employees, former employees, contracted employees, and applicants for employment are protected from discrimination under various EEO federal laws. The Office of Civil Rights offers mediation to resolve EEO disputes at the earliest possible stage. Unsuccessful mediations are counseled through our pre-complaint process.

EEO discrimination is prohibited under the following laws:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- race, color, national origin, religion, and sex, including sexual harassment, pregnancy, and LGBTQI+ issues
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- mental and physical disabilities
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act -- 40 years of age or older
  • Equal Pay Act -- gender-based pay inequity
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act -- genetic information/history
  • Reprisal -- retaliation for engagement and/or opposition to EEO activity
  • Marital status, political affiliation, parental status, and financial status are covered by federal regulation.

The regulations promote fairness in the workplace, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, firing, training, promoting, compensating, and retaining employees. For more information or to speak with an EEO counselor, please call the Informal Complaints Management Office, (404) 347-1908.

 

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