EEOC FY 2014 Performance Report Released

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its annual performance report, which detailed the organization’s actions during the year dated to September 30, 2014. For federal managers, some of the most important numbers to take away from the report include the 3,767 appeals that the EEOC resolved in 2014—43% of them within 180 days of their receipt. In the federal sector, the EEOC received 4,003 appeals of final agency actions. This represented a 5.7% decrease from the 4,244 appeals of this kind received in FY 2013.

For managers in the federal government, the release of the EEOC’s annual performance report provides a good opportunity and reminder to familiarize yourself with the liabilities you face in the workforce. The EEO system and its structure of addressing complaints can serve to keep even frivolous allegations active for months. By the time a complaint goes through the informal and formal stages it can have inflicted a severe financial and psychological cost on the responsible management official (RMO). And as many of you know, with budgetary pressures providing an additional stress on the relationship between manager and employee, making your way through a federal career without finding yourself the subject of an EEO is becoming an increasingly rare proposition.

Outside of the EEO system, federal managers face other exposures as well: anonymous complaints to the OIG, civil lawsuits, and disciplinary actions from above. Luckily, federal managers have the ability to purchase professional liability insurance (PLI) as a method of protecting your careers and livelihoods. A PLI policy will provide you with legal representation and attorneys’ fees for any job-related administrative investigations, EEO complaint defense where you are named as the responsible management official (RMO), and disciplinary actions brought against you. Countless managers in the federal government have found themselves unjustly accused of misconduct or wrongdoing in the course of their job performance and have relied on their PLI policies to provide them with legal representation.

Many managers believe that because EEO actions are filed against the agency they will be automatically provided with representation by the agency. This is a common misconception: in these instances, the agency’s legal representatives are strictly acting in the best interests of the agency, which may or may not align with yours. With a PLI policy from Federal Employee Defense Services (FEDS), you will be provided with a dedicated legal representative in administrative matters through the FEDS program. If you find yourself as the RMO in an EEO complaint, you want a top-notch attorney defending your interests and your interests alone. In these matters, the FEDS policy would pay for as much as $200,000 in legal defense fees to ensure that you are properly represented through the administrative process.

With the ability to look back and analyze the number of cases that the EEOC handled in FY 2014, it is easy to see that facing workplace complaints is becoming the “cost of doing business” as a federal manager. The FEDS PLI policy, starting as low as $290 a year, will provide you with the necessary defenses in the event of such complaints. With the federal government reimbursing managers for up to half the cost of their PLI premiums, there is no reason not to enroll in FEDS today. To do so, call 866.955.FEDS or visit www.fedsprotection.com.

Posted in Manager Matters

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