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Equal Employment Opportunity Program

Overview:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Program administers policy, methods, and procedures for implementing a model EEO program that complies with established USIBWC policies, Government-wide EEO statutes and regulations, and EEO-related Presidential Executive Orders. EEO Officer provides advice, technical assistance, and support to management officials, collateral duty and contract EEO personnel. The EEO Officer also serves as the diversity and inclusion official to support equal employment opportunity for all, and to provide a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Additionally, the EEO Officer maintains the integrity of EEO programs by monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of all EEO programs, and compliance with established EEO policy and procedures.

Employees and/or Applicants for employment who believe they have been discriminated against because of their Race, Sex, National Origin, Color, Religion, Age (40+), or for physical or mental disability, and/or who believe they have been discriminated against for past EEO activity may file an EEO complaint by contacting Frances Castro, EEO Officer at (915) 832-4112.  This contact must be within 45 days from the date of the alleged incident.  (See Agency EEO and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement)

Complaint Processing

A USIBWC employee, an applicant for Federal employment, or an individual benefiting from a USIBWC administered employment program may institute an EEO complaint if that employee or applicant believes that he/she has been discriminated against based on one or more of these basis of discrimination: race, color, sex (Including Sexual Harassment), religion, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status and /or reprisal for prior EEO activity.

The EEO complaint process consists of the informal process, and the formal process. If you wish to file an EEO complaint, you must begin with the informal process.

You must contact the EEO Office or an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. The Counselor will advise you of your rights and will conduct an informal inquiry regarding your allegation. During this time, the Counselor will attempt to resolve the complaint.

If the counselor is unable to resolve the complaint, he/she will issue a Notice of Final Interview and a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint of Discrimination within 30 calendar days of your initial contact. You will have 15 calendar days from your receipt of that notice to decide whether you wish to file a formal complaint.

To initiate EEO Counseling or for more information, contact the EEO Officer, Ms. Frances Castro, 915-832-4112.

Special Emphasis Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) are an integral part of the USIBWC Diversity program. The overall goal of the SEP is to improve employment and advancement opportunities for women, minorities, and people with disabilities. Three programs are required by regulation: The Federal Women's Program (FWP), The Hispanic Employment Program (HEP), and the Program for People with Disabilities.

The USIBWC Equal Employment Opportunity Office promotes Government-wide and Agency-wide Special Observance Programs to help raise awareness about the rich diversity of our Nation’s population.

Date Observance
January Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Holiday
February National African American History Month
March National Women’s History Month
8-Apr Holocaust Remembrance Day
April 21-27 Administrative Professionals Week
May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Month
26-Aug Women’s Equality Day
September 15 - October 15 National Hispanic Heritage Month
October National Disability Employment Awareness Month
November American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
11-Nov Veteran's Day

Special Emphasis and Diversity Program Committee

The USIBWC EEO Special Emphasis and Diversity program committee represents each of the USIBWC departments and field offices and serve as the communication and point of contact on EEO related matters. Is intended to be a communication tool and feedback mechanism between employees and management for EEO policies and employee issues and concerns. The Committee is a network for sharing EEO related information. They assist in the distribution of information to employees about USIBWC and its EEO program activities.

Procedures for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

An applicant for employment with the IBWC who requires an accommodation during the application and interview process may request such an accommodation orally or in writing from any Human Resources (HR) employee with whom the applicant has contact in connection with the application process or from the EEO office.

An employee who requires an accommodation to perform his/her job related duties may request a reasonable accommodation from his/her supervisor in his/her immediate chain of command or from the EEO office.  This request may be oral or in writing.  For more information read the USIBWC Directive on Reasonable Accommodation or contact the EEO Office at (915) 832-4112.

Reasonable Accommodation Forms:
Request for Reasonable Accommodation
Reasonable Accommodation Information Reporting Form
Resolution of Request for Reasonable Accommodation

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

It is USIBWC policy to encourage the voluntary use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, such as mediation, to resolve administrative disputes as early as possible, by the fastest and least expensive methods available, and at the lowest possible organizational level. All disputes should be considered for ADR. While ADR is not appropriate for every dispute, it is often the best choice, especially when it is necessary or desired to preserve the relationship between the parties, whether that relationship involves employment or contractual obligations.

The USIBWC ADR Program is administered by the EEO Officer, Mrs. Frances Castro, or 915-832-4112

No FEAR Act Information

On May 15, 2002, Congress enacted the "Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002," Public Law 107-174, known as the No FEAR Act. One purpose of the act is to hold federal agencies accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws. The act requires that federal agencies post on their public Web sites certain summary statistical data relating to equal employment opportunity complaints filed against the respective agencies.

No FEAR Act Notice
On May 15, 2002, Congress enacted the "Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002," Public Law 107-174, which is now known as the No FEAR Act. One purpose of the Act is to "require that Federal agencies be accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws." Public Law 107-174, Summary. In support of this purpose, Congress found that "agencies cannot be run effectively if those agencies practice or tolerate discrimination." Public Law 107-174, Title I, General Provisions, section 101(1).

The Act also requires that each federal agency provide the following notice to its employees, former employees and applicants for Federal employment to inform them of the rights and protections available to them under Federal antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws.

Antidiscrimination Laws
A Federal agency cannot discriminate against an employee or applicant with respect to the terms, conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 and over), disability, genetic information, marital status or political affiliation. Discrimination on these bases is prohibited by one or more of the following statutes: 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1), 29 U.S.C. 206(d), 29 U.S.C. 631, 29 U.S.C. 633a, 29 U.S.C. 791, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16, 42 U.S.C. 12101 and Pub. L. 110-233. It is also the policy of USIBWC to provide protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identify, you must contact an Equal Employment Opportunity Official within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action, or, in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action, before you can file a formal complaint of discrimination with your agency. If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, you must either contact an EEO official as noted above or give notice of intent to sue to EEO within 180 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action. If you are alleging discrimination based on marital status or political affiliation, you may file a charge with the Office of Special Counsel at https://osc.gov/pages/file-complaint.aspx

In addition, in certain types of adverse and performance-based actions, such as removals, you may file a discrimination charge directly with the Merit Systems Protection Board within 30 days of the effective date of the action, in lieu of filing a complaint with the EEO Office. https://www.mspb.gov/

Whistleblower Protection Laws
A Federal employee with authority to take, direct others to take, recommend or approve any personnel action must not use that authority to take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action against an employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that individual that is reasonably believed to evidence violations of law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, unless disclosure of such information is specifically prohibited by law and such information is specifically required by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.

Retaliation against an employee or applicant for making a protected disclosure is prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8).

If you believe that you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, you may file a charge with the Office of Special Counsel at https://osc.gov/pages/file-complaint.aspx .

Retaliation for Engaging in Protected Activity
A Federal agency cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant because that individual exercises his or her rights under any of the Federal antidiscrimination or whistleblower protection laws listed above. If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation for engaging in protected activity, you must follow, as appropriate, the procedures described in the Antidiscrimination Laws and Whistleblower Protection sections.

Disciplinary Actions
Under the existing laws, each agency retains the right, where appropriate, to discipline a Federal employee for conduct that is inconsistent with Federal Antidiscrimination and Whistleblower Protection Laws up to and including removal. Nothing in the No FEAR Act alters existing laws or permits an agency to take unfounded disciplinary action against a Federal employee or to violate the procedural rights of a Federal employee who has been accused of discrimination.

Additional Information
For further information regarding the No FEAR Act regulations, refer to 5 C.F.R. Part 724, or contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. EEO is located at 4171 N. Mesa St. Bldg. C-100, El Paso, TX 79902. Additional information regarding Federal antidiscrimination, whistleblower protection and retaliation laws can be found at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Web site—www.eeoc.gov, the Office of Special Counsel Web site—www.osc.gov, and the Merit Systems Protection Board Web Site - https://www.mspb.gov/ .

Existing Rights Unchanged
Pursuant to section 205 of the No FEAR Act, neither the Act nor this notice creates, expands or reduces any rights otherwise available to any employee, former employee or applicant under the laws of the United States, including the provisions of law specified in 5 U.S.C. 2302(d).

No FEAR Act Data
Posted Pursuant to the No FEAR Act updated 4th Qtr 2018: EEO Data

Office of the Legal Advisor
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Internal Auditor 
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