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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/27/16

Promoting a Positive Change in the Federal-Workplace Culture

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Tanya Ward Jordan
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EEOC's Director Carlton Hadden (center) with C4C leadership (from left to right): Terri Williams (Executive Administrator), Arthuretta Holmes Martin (Health and Wellness Chair), Tanya Ward Jordan (President) and Paulette Taylor (Civil Rights Chair)

The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C) is a volunteer group of present and former employees who seek an end to workplace abuse in the federal government.

On May 3, 2016, the C4C organizational leaders met with Mr. Carlton Hadden, the Director of the Office of Federal Operations, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The office provides oversight for the government-wide Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint adjudication, appellate, and affirmative-employment functions.

The C4C met with the EEOC to address the pervasive problem of federal-workplace discrimination. During the meeting, the C4C formally introduced its eight accountability and transparency measures for transforming the federal-EEO process and thereby improving the retaliatory federal-workplace culture.

Many of the C4C solutions presented to the EEOC at the May 3rd meeting were also presented earlier to Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Representative Cummings introduced the C4C recommendations in bill HR 1557- Federal Employee Anti-discrimination. The HR 1557 bill was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives and awaits further senate action.

On June 23, 2016, the C4C had a follow-up meeting with the EEOC to obtain the EEOC's position on adopting the C4C accountability and transparency measures. Overall, the EEOC received the C4C recommendations favorably. The EEOC conveyed that it had promptly adopted one of the C4C measures, with modification, that focused on referring cases for disciplinary actions to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). [The C4C made its recommendation after learning via a Freedom of Information Act inquiry that despite an established Memorandum of Understanding the EEOC had not been referring cases of proven discrimination to the OSC for disciplinary action.] The EEOC also agreed with the C4C recommendation to eliminate "gag orders" in EEO settlement agreements that deny complainants their first-amendment rights. In a show of support, the EEOC shared with C4C leadership the Aurore C settlement-breach case. The case addresses unlawful and overly restrictive gag orders.

The C4C plans a follow-up meeting with EEOC officials to further discuss the full list of measures and EEOC's timeline for implementing the measures to address the persistent problem of federal-workplace discrimination that woefully injures civil servants, harms American citizens, and threatens our nation's domestic security.

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Tanya Ward Jordan is the author of 17 STEPS: A Federal Employee's Guide For Tackling Workplace Discrimination. She serves as President and Founder of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). C4C is an proactive non-profit self-help organization (more...)

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