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Civil Rights


A graphic showing a large hand, like a tree branching out, with smaller hands all around it, like leaves, with the words Growing Together at the bottom.

The Office of Civil Rights services over 30,000 employees, applicants for employment and former employees across 19 regions, all 50 states, and Puerto Rico. We are committed to developing and maintaining a work environment that is inclusive of all employees. The Office of Civil Rights earns and maintains solid public and employee trust through the delivery of prompt, accurate, and effective civil rights services. Our efforts of service are the bedrock to better connections for present and future generations.

USDA Civil Rights Policy Statement

USDA Anti-Harassment Policy Statement

The Office of Civil Rights ensures:

Equality, inclusion, diversity, cooperation, collaboration, respect and fairness in the execution of its compliance with all statutes, regulations and directives that govern the Office of Civil Rights; Resolution of all disputes at the earliest possible stage; Accountability of discriminatory actions or inactions that inhibits progression and promotion of civil rights; Outreach that is targeted to most diverse and qualified talent sources available; and Civil Rights training.

Civil Rights Program Areas

Title VII - Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Program

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint program aims to ensure federal employees, former employees, contracted employees (situational), and applicants for employment are protected from discrimination under various EEO federal laws.  The Office of Civil Rights resolves EEO disputes at the earliest stage possible through mediation. If mediation is not successful, the dispute is 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 basis covered by federal regulation

The regulations promote fairness in the workplace, including but not limited to the practices of recruitment, 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’s mission is to resolve disputes at the earliest possible stage under Title VI and Title VII and its subsequent authorities. In addition, this unit ensures all reporting requirements under Title VI and Title VII are analyzed as a proactive prevention measure that identifies barriers facing the agency and explores data in a meaningful ways in order to define, set clear measurable priorities and interpret results that move towards an organization that is reflective of a model organization. Through national reporting, Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA), and compliance reviews, the unit utilizes these tools to as proactive prevention measures. The unit highlights the agency’s civil rights accomplishments, operational successes, and facilitates submission of regulatory reporting to agency leadership and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

This unit ensures that the agency has conducted 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

 

Conducted and Assisted Programs

The Conducted and Assisted Programs unit oversees three main proactive prevention tools, resolution of Title VI complaints, civil rights impact analysis and compliance reviews. The use of these three tools ensures compliance discrimination statutes, regulations and directives that governed its conducted and assisted programs. The unit promotes awareness and broad dissemination of non-discrimination policies and other pertinent information to the general public, including how to file a program discrimination complaint.

  • Assisted programs are Forest Service recipients that receive any form of federal assistance to a beneficiary including financial assistance.
  • Conducted programs are those Forest Service programs that are delivered directly to anyone wishing to participate in Forest Service’s programs.

Additionally, the Limited English Proficiency Program under this unit aims to deliver comprehensive translation language assistance services that provides access for participants and potential participants through Forest Service assisted and conducted programs and activities. The unit 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

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion unit collaborates 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 individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, contact may be made through the Federal Relay Service at: (800) 877-8339.

 

MD-715

Management Directive (MD) 715 is the standard federal agency civil rights “report card” prepared by agencies with 500 or more (but fewer than 1,000) employees in permanent full or part-time appointments annually for submission to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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 future plans to correct and sustain existing programs, and build new opportunities in the successive year.

This federal agency reporting requirement was established pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, serving as both the “master plan” and “evaluation guide” for federal employee EEO programs.  (See Section 717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C., Section 2000e, et seq., and 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C., Section 791 et seq.)

2019 MD715

 

No FEAR Act

Pursuant to Section 202 of The No FEAR Act, 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 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that when there is a finding of discrimination the Agency post a notice for employees of the EEOC's Order.

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

Notices will be published for one year. Note that the EEOC, not Forest Service, determines whether an appellate decision should be published. If the decision is published it will be indicated above. To find the published decision visit the EEOC’s website and enter the appropriate appellate number above. If EEOC determines that a decision will remain unpublished, there is no further information that Forest Service can provide.

FY21 No Fear Act Quarterly Reports

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

 

 

Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. §§ 4151--57)

The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) requires access to designed, built, altered, or leased facilities with Federal funds. The Access Board is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the ABA. The Access Board's accessibility standards are available on their website at www.access-board.gov/aba.

Information about filing an ABA complaint may be found at www.access-board.gov/enforcement/

ABA Standards

 

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

To capture an agencies’ Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for persons with disabilities (PWD) and persons with targeted disabilities (PWTD), EEOC regulations (29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(e)) and MD-715 require agencies to describe how their AAP will improve the recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention of applicants and employees with disabilities.

2019 Affirmative Action Plan

2018 Affirmative Action Plan

2017 Affirmative Action Plan

 

Forest Service Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan embodies our focus on the future, providing the American people with a vision of our direction for the next 5 years. Our plan contains four outcome-oriented goals for the Forest Service.

  1. Sustain Our Nation’s Forests and Grasslands.
  2. Deliver Benefits to the Public.
  3. Apply Knowledge Globally.
  4. Excel as a High-Performing Agency.

Although the plan covers only 5 years, we will strive to achieve these goals far beyond the planning period.

Each goal has several objectives. We expect to make progress toward reaching them during the next 5 years, and we will evaluate and report our performance each year.

Forest Service Strategic Plan

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