Affirmative Employment, Analysis, and Accountability

Working Towards a Model EEO Program at EPA

Management Directive-715 (MD-715) is the policy guidance which the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides to Federal agencies for their use in establishing and maintaining effective programs of equal employment opportunity (EEO). The MD-715 establishes standards for ensuring that Federal agencies develop and maintain model EEO programs. These standards are used to measure and report on the status of the Federal Government's efforts to become a 'model employer.' As detailed in MD-715, the six elements of a model EEO program are:
  • Demonstrated commitment from agency leadership;
  • Integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission;
  • Management and program accountability;
  • Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination;
  • Efficiency; and
  • Responsiveness and legal compliance.

The EEOC requires each Federal agency to report annually on the status of activities undertaken pursuant to its EEO program under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and activities undertaken pursuant to its affirmative action obligations under the Rehabilitation Act. Federal agency reports must also include a plan that sets forth steps it will take in the future to correct deficiencies or further improve efforts undertaken pursuant to MD-715.

The principal responsibility of the Affirmative Employment, Analysis, and Accountability (AEAA) Staff is to advise Agency management on actions necessary to ensure progress in affirmative employment as mandated by the EEOC with the goal of making EPA a model employer. These functions include ensuring that all Regional and Assistant Administrator Offices develop and implement action plans and other policies, programs, and practices that eliminate barriers and ensure equal employment opportunity at the EPA.

Special Emphasis Programs and Affinity Groups

The purpose of the Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) is to ensure equal opportunity in hiring, advancement, training, and treatment of women and minorities. By establishing and utilizing Special Emphasis Programs and engaging with affinity groups, EPA can raise employee awareness of the importance of diversity and demonstrate the agency's commitment to a model EEO workplace.
The SEPs provide a means of incorporating EEO goals into our everyday personnel relations. The programs are designed to assist management in eliminating disparate treatment or institutional barriers that deny equal opportunities to individuals based on their race; color; religion; sex, including pregnancy, sex stereotyping, gender identity or gender expression; national origin; sexual orientation; physical or mental disability; age; protected genetic information; status as a parent marital status; political affiliation; or retaliation based on previous EEO activity. Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) are an integral part of the overall Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program.       

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Civil Rights and EEO Training 

EPA is is committed to ensuring that all employees fully understand the laws and policies regarding civil rights, affirmative action, and equal access/equal opportunity. AEAA provides leadership and oversight to the Agency’s equal employment opportunity and civil rights training efforts for employees and managers. Professional development opportunities to enhance awareness, understanding and appreciation of diversity and the principles of civil rights compliance are a priority and expectation for participation by EPA employees and managers if they are to be able to effectively reach out to underserved audiences.  

All EPA employees are expected to be familiar with and have a full understanding of the federal laws relating to civil rights. In addition, employees are expected to have a working knowledge of their roles and responsibilities to ensure that they fulfill both the letter and the spirit of the law as they identify needs, develop, implement and evaluate environmental programs as they recruit and work with diverse audiences.

AEAA is responsible for ensuring that all EPA managers and employees complete not only the biennial mandatory No Federal Employee’s Anti-harassment and Retaliation (NoFEAR) Act training, but a full cadre of civil rights/eeo training offerings. 

Policy and Guidance Documents

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