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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT
OPPORTUNITY (EEO)

1

What is EEO?

EEO is the right of all persons to work and advance on the basis of merit, ability and potential.

Federal fair employment laws prohibit discrimination and require the government to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or handicapping condition. Accordingly, Customs policies provide for the fair and equal treatment of employees and applicants for employment in all personnel management and employment decisions. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against because of any factor protected under the fair employment laws (their protected status) may file a complaint of discrimination. Customs also is required to make personnel decisions without regard to marital status or political affiliation; however, these are protections afforded by other laws and cannot be the basis for an EEO complaint.

Responsibilities

Each Customs employee is responsible for ensuring EEO by treating all co-workers fairly and equally and by fostering a spirit of cooperation and good human relations in a working atmosphere free of prejudice, ill feelings, or resentment.

Managers and supervisors who make decisions about hiring, training, performance evaluations, promotions and work assignments must implement EEO as an integral part of personnel management.

Guidelines

Customs is committed to providing equal employment opportunity throughout the agency and expects all employees to support its efforts. All managers and

supervisors are evaluated on their EEO achievements as part of their overall performance. They may support EEO through the following actions:

• Participate in EEO program leadership and ad

ministration by:

- Providing adequate time and budgeting money for the activities of advisory committees and special emphasis programs.

-Reviewing available data to assess workforce com

position and progress of employees in area under their supervision.

- Requesting briefings on selected topics or

assistance for themselves and their subordinates from the EEO Office or advisory committee.

- Circulating minutes of EEO advisory, Federal

Women's Program, Hispanic Employment Program and other committees to staff.

• Assist employees to develop their full potential and

to utilize their skills to the maximum extent by:

-Counseling them on their strengths and weak

nesses.

-Assisting them to identify and pursue self develop

ment activities which enhance their performance and promotion potential.

• Demonstrate thoughtful treatment of all employees

by:

-Carefully planning and providing for equal oppor

tunity in training, recognition, performance appraisals, working conditions, assignments, promotions and other personnel considerations.

-Encouraging subordinates to do the same.

• Keep abreast of their EEO responsibilities by:

- Requesting and attending EEO training.

-Reviewing sections of the handbook pertaining to

managers and supervisors.

-Working closely with the EEO staff on interpreting

and implementing EEO requirements.

• Participate in EEO activities and encourage subor

dinates to do the same by:

- Volunteering to be an EEO counselor, special em

phasis program committee member or EEO advisory committee member.

-Attending special emphasis and ethnic observance

programs.

• Establish effective channels and lines of com

munication with all employees by:

-Keeping them informed of changes in priorities or

policies.

-Giving frequent feedback on both positive and

negative performance.

• Rely solely on job-related factors in managing sub

ordinates.

• Maintain a harmonious work environment free of dis

crimination by

-Acting promptly on any complaints of harassment.

-Being open to questions about the fairness of

assignments, training, and promotions.

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