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Federal Employees News Digest : Dec. 10, 2012
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: email@example.com What's Inside44 December 10, 2012 • Vol. 62, No. 22 Retaliation is top complaint at EEOC Last month, FEND’s Nathan Abse exam- ined discrimination complaints in the fed- eral workplace in an interview with Kirby Smith, an attorney who represents federal employees. This week, he continues FEND’s look at discrimination in an interview with James Ryan, a spokesperson for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws protecting people from discrimination— in the public and private sector, depending on the exact circumstances—as employees or job applicants due to their race, color, reli- gion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. A range of federal anti- discrimination laws back this crucial work at EEOC, which backstops those federal entities that process the majority of federal employ- ees’ initial discrimination complaints, includ- ing agency Equal Employment Opportunity units, as well as the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Q&A with eeoc’s James ryan What are the leading types of complaints EEOC gets each year—among race discrimi- nation, sex or gender discrimination, reli- gious discrimination and others? Ryan: The most common type of dis- crimination charge EEOC gets now is retaliation. Your readers can see the stats and the trends on our website at http:// www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/ charges.cfm. In fact, retaliation passed race as the commonest type of charge two years ago. Before that, race was always No. 1. Readers can also see the other types of complaints EEOC tracks on the same chart. Receiving genetic information charg- es lodged under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 is a new responsibility for us—and it will be interest- ing to see how this area develops. According to EEOC, it has documented over 10,000 discrimination complaint cases in FY 2011. Can you please describe for our readers what the resulting typical investiga- tion might entail? What agencies actually handle the investigations of such cases, and who is typically interviewed in the course of those? Ryan: The EEOC does not process [origi- nal] complaints or conduct investigations in the federal sector; that’s done by the agencies’ own internal EEO departments. But federal complainants may, however, appeal their agen- cies’ decisions to the EEOC if they are not satis- fied with them. And of course we publish our yearly report [documenting the range of dis- crimination complaints] in the federal sector. Is EEOC improving training and other measures already required at federal agen- cies—that is, in order to help federal employ- ees across agencies to better combat discrimi- nation? If so, please describe some of that training? Ryan: Yes. The EEOC conducts both free and fee-based training to federal agencies, executives and employees. We also conduct the yearly EXCEL [Examining Conflicts in Coffee Buzz Twodaysaweek,Ihavetobeat work early (7 a.m.). To reward myself for the sacri- fice I am making, I stop at a Starbucks halfway between my home and the office. But it is not your standard Starbucks. Depending on the timing, I am sometimes in line with three or four well-dressed, clean-cut, very fit people who are part of the protective detail for a member of the Cabinet. They get coffee while another team waits outside in a van. All in all, I figure it takes seven or eight people to get this one impor- tant official to and from work. On some days, I spot a prominent NBC TV national reporter. She in turn is married to a former very high- profile official who sometimes ambles in wearing baggy sweatpants, a con- trast to her camera-ready makeup and clothes. The power couple usually comes in before a CNN anchor who, when I see him, always gets a double order. He’s very tiny (off camera) so I assume maybe the extra food is for his producer. insight by mike causey continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • FECA reform proposed 3 • Sparring on ‘fiscal cliff ’ 5 • In Brief 6 • Informed Investor 8 • Federal Benefits Q&A 9 continued on page 3
Dec. 3, 2012
Dec. 17, 2012