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tion. Once long-range goals have been set, specific annual goals are developed for hiring, training and promotion.


A mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Prima Facie Evidence

Sufficient legal evidence to establish a fact or case unless disproved. Evidence must be produced which raises an inference of a casual connection between the protected group status and the employer's actions. For example, the fact that all of a company's black employ.

a ees work in the stockroom, all its women work in the office and all its supervisors are white males could constitute prima facie evidence of race and sex discrimination.

Protected Class

Any group (or member of that group) specified in, and protected by, the anti-discrimination laws. These laws protect persons from discrimination because of age, color, handicap, national origin, race, religion or sex. Affirmative action is required for some of these groups because they have suffered the effects of past discrimination. These include racial minorities, women and persons with a handicapping condition.


Court-imposed hiring or promotion requirements that an employer must meet or suffer legal penalties. For example, an employer found to have discriminated against Blacks when selecting supervisors might be forced to fill its next 20 supervisory vacancies with Blacks.

Racial Minority

A protected class, members of which have been defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as:

• Black-Persons who have origins in any of the Black

racial groups of Africa.

• Hispanic—Persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban,

Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

• American Indian/Alaskan Native—Persons who have

origins in any of the original peoples of North America.

• Asian/Pacific Islanders—Persons who have origins in

any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands.

Reasonable Accommodation

(1) Used in connection with affirmative action for handicapped persons. If a handicapped employee or applicant has the skills necessary to perform a job, an employer must make reasonable adjustments to the physical environment, equipment, schedules or procedures that would enable that person to function in the position. (2) Used in connection with discrimination because of religion. If an employee needs to be absent for religious reasons, an employer must make reasonable accommodation to grant the employee that absence even though it may conflict with, or differ from, the employer's schedules, standards or other business conditions, unless such absences cause the employer undue hardship


A person chosen by someone to advise him/her in a grievance or complaint of discrimination. The representative is not granted administrative leave to perform these duties.


Unfavorable treatment of an employee because of his/her participation in a complaint of discrimination.


A situation in which the percentage of members of a race/national origin group or gender in a particular category of employment is lower than the percentage they occupy in the appropriate civilian labor force.

Undue Hardship

Proof required of an employer that the accommodation of an applicant's or employee's handicap or religious beliefs would place a severe burden on the operation of the business.

Unlawful Employment Practice

Any policy or practice that has discriminatory intent or effect.


The study of an employer's tests or selection standards which proves that they are significant predictors of successful job performance (i.e., those who score high are successful on a job and those who score low are unsuccessful). The study requires a large sample of applicants and must include representatives of groups (such as, minorities and women) who may be adversely affected by such standards.

Workforce Profile

An analysis of the agency workforce showing the dispersion of race and national origin by gender within specified employment categories.


EEO Laws

Equal employment opportunity is the right of all people. Most civilian government employees and applicants for employment are protected from employment discrimination through the enforcement of the following laws and orders:

Civil Rights Act of 1866

This act protects all persons from discrimination because of their race or national origin. It provides additional protection in situations not specifically covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Enforcement: The Federal Court System

Equal Pay Act of 1963

This act gives men and women the right to earn equal pay for doing substantially the same work. Protection from sex discrimination in wages is guaranteed by this law. It was amended in 1974 to cover federal employees.

Enforcement: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

This act, as amended in 1972 and 1978, generally prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Title VII, a section of that act, specifically bars discrimination in employment. Most discrimination charges are filed under that title. The act also prohibits sexual harassment as an unlawful employment practice (sex discrimination). Section 717

This amendment extends the guarantees of Title VII to federal employees. It contains virtually the same requirements as Executive Order 11478 (see later definition) and it creates an even greater responsibility on the part of federal employers to develop and implement affirmative action plans.

Enforcement: EEOC and the Department of Justice

Executive Orders 11246 (1965) and 11375 (1967)

E.O. 11246 bars discrimination in federal employment based on race, color, religion, or national origin. It also requires the establishment of EEO programs and complaint procedures at the agency level. E.O. 11375 amended E.O. 11246 to prohibit sex discrimination as well. As a result of that order, the Federal Women's Program was established.

Enforcement: Office of Personnel Management and EEOC

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

This act, amended in 1978, protects persons over age 40 from discrimination on the basis of age in any terms or conditions of employment.

Enforcement: EEOC

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This act requires government employers to ensure equal employment opportunities to persons who have physical or mental handicaps that substantially limit one or more major life activities. It protects those handicapped persons who are otherwise qualified for the jobs they seek and requires employers to make “reasonable accommodation' to their handicaps. A form of affirmative action, substantially different from the usual term, is also required by this act.

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