A 42-year-old (John) and a 32-year-old (Jane) both request leave for a medical appointment on the same day.
Jane is granted leave, but John is not.
Has the elder employee experienced age discrimination?
Age discrimination is one of several complaints taken to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office on a recurring basis.
In 2012, Fort Bragg’s EEO handled 68 formal complaints and 106 informal complaints, said Rosa Colon, EEO specialist.
In the scenario above, on the day of his appointment, John tried to page his supervisor several times to tell him that he had an emergency, was sick and needed a replacement for his section. After failed attempts, John went to an administration desk, signed out and left for a local health clinic.
He was written up and given a three-day suspension.
When John realized that Jane had been granted leave without being suspended, he went to the EEO.
John, a representative from his organization and a mediator subsequently met to resolve the conflict. Through mediation, the agency for which John works, agreed to expunge his personnel record relating to the three-day suspension.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended bars discrimination against an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age disability (mental or physical) reprisal and genetic information.
Mediation is a win-win for all parties involved, Colon said. It saves time and money, allows involved parties to create their own solutions and returns the employee to work feeling more productive and better about the work environment.
Mediation also closes out the EEO complaint, Colon said.
EEO training is required at the time of employment and varies by organization, explained Colon. Additional training is provided upon request from commanders or when a person is promoted to a supervisory position.
According to its website, “The primary goal of the EEO program is to manage workforce diversity and to maintain a discrimination-free workplace.”
Some steps taken to maintain a discrimination-free workplace include:
Clearly communicating a belief in adherence to the principles of equal opportunity for all employees
Taking prompt action to prevent or halt discrimination
Making an overt effort to recruit a diverse workforce
Remaining aware of EEO responsibilities in assigning and rating work, developing employees and taking personnel action
Working closely with EEO and human resources officials to promptly resolve disputes
The Fort Bragg EEO office is located in Building 2-1515, Jackson Street. Hours of operation are Mondays to Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 396-5214 or visit http://www.bragg.army.mil/directorates/eeo/Pages/default.aspx.