oversight

Equal Employment Opportunity: Complaint Caseloads Rising, With Effects of New Regulations on Future Trends Unclear

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-16.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to Congressional Requesters




August 1999
                 EQUAL
                 EMPLOYMENT
                 OPPORTUNITY
                 Complaint Caseloads
                 Rising, With Effects of
                 New Regulations on
                 Future Trends Unclear




GAO/GGD-99-128
United States General Accounting Office                                                         General Government Division
Washington, D.C. 20548




                                    B-283327
                                    August 16, 1999

                                    The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings
                                    Ranking Minority Member
                                    Subcommittee on Civil Service
                                    Committee on Government Reform
                                    House of Representatives

                                    The Honorable Albert R. Wynn
                                    House of Representatives

                                    In July 1998, we reported that from fiscal year 1991 to fiscal year 1997, the
                                    inventory of unresolved equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints
                                    at federal agencies and the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity
                                    Commission (EEOC) and the time taken to process them had increased
                                    because agencies and EEOC had not been able to keep up with the influx
                                                  1
                                    of new cases. This report responds to your request that we update the
                                    analyses presented in our July 1998 report of (1) trends in the size of
                                    inventories and the age of cases in inventory at various stages of the EEO
                                    complaint process, (2) trends in the number of complaints filed by federal
                                    employees and the time taken by agencies and EEOC to process them, and
                                    (3) implications of these trends and how future caseloads may be affected
                                                                                               2
                                    by EEOC’s regulatory changes to the complaint process.

                                    Inventories of unresolved federal sector discrimination cases at agencies
Results in Brief                    and EEOC have continued to grow. Overall, from fiscal year 1991 to fiscal
                                    year 1998, complaint inventories at federal agencies rose by about 114
                                    percent, to 36,333. At EEOC, during the same period, the hearings
                                    inventory rose by 280 percent, to 11,967, while the appeals inventory went
                                    up by 648 percent, to 10,966. As inventories grew, the average age of cases
                                    in agencies’ inventories (446 days) and EEOC’s hearings (320 days) and
                                    appeals (293 days) inventories also reached new levels.


                                    1
                                     Equal Employment Opportunity: Rising Trends in EEO Complaint Caseloads in the Federal Sector
                                    (GAO/GGD-98-157BR, July 24, 1998).
                                    2
                                     In Equal Employment Opportunity: Data Shortcomings Hinder Assessment of Conflicts in the Federal
                                    Workplace (GAO/GGD-99-75, May 4, 1999), we reported on faults in the EEO complaint caseload data.
                                    Several of those shortcomings relate to the lack of data needed to answer certain fundamental
                                    questions about workplace conflicts and are not necessarily related to total caseloads. These are,
                                    however, shortcomings that could affect total caseload measurements. On balance, total caseload data
                                    currently available, while needing further quality assurance checks, do present useful information on
                                    the volume of complaints actually being processed in the federal EEO complaint system.




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             The size of the inventories and the age of cases in them continued their
             upward trend during fiscal year 1998 as neither the agencies nor EEOC
             kept up with the influx of new cases. Agencies’ inventories grew by 6
             percent in fiscal year 1998 despite a 2.8 percent decline in the number of
             new complaints. The growth in EEOC’s inventory of hearing requests
             during this period—19.5 percent—was greater than the increase in the
             number of new hearing requests, which rose by 9.2 percent. At the same
             time, EEOC’s appeals inventory increased by 9.9 percent, even though the
             number of new appeals filed remained almost unchanged.

             The average time to process a complaint at agencies showed a small
             decline in fiscal year 1998, from 391 to 384 days, but there were sharp
             increases in the average time EEOC took to process hearing requests
             (rising from 277 to 320 days) and appeals (rising from 375 to 473 days). A
             case traveling the entire complaint process—from complaint filing at the
             agency through hearing and appeal—could be expected to take 1,186 days
             (about 38 months) to process, based on fiscal year 1998 data. This was 91
             days (3 months) longer than in fiscal year 1997.

             The logjams at EEOC and agencies are likely to persist, at least in the short
             run, as long as agencies and EEOC receive more new cases than they
             process and close. The long-term outlook, however, is unclear. Substantive
             revisions to complaint program regulations and procedures are to be
             implemented beginning in November 1999. These revisions are intended to
             reduce the volume of cases flowing through the complaint process. The
             revisions include a requirement that agencies offer alternative dispute
             resolution (ADR), as well as other rules to reduce the opportunities for
             multiple complaints by the same complainant. However, EEOC has not yet
             developed estimates of how the revisions to program regulations will
             affect caseload trends and resource needs, nor has the agency completed
             development of measures and indicators to track the effects of these
             revisions once they are implemented. We recommend that EEOC develop
             such estimates and complete development of measures and indicators to
             track and assess the impact of these revisions on caseload trends.

             Federal employees, including postal workers, are protected by a variety of
Background   laws against discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national
                                        3
             origin, age, or disability. In addition, federal employees are protected from


             3
               We refer to the U. S. Postal Service as a federal agency, even though it is an independent governmental
             establishment, because it is bound by most of the same discrimination complaint processes that apply
             to most federal agencies.




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retaliation for filing a complaint, participating in an investigation of a
                                                            4
complaint, or opposing a prohibited personnel practice.

Federal employee EEO complaints are to be processed in accordance with
regulations (29 C.F.R. part 1614) promulgated by EEOC. These regulations
also establish processing time requirements for each stage of the
complaint process. Under these regulations, federal agencies decide
whether to dismiss or accept complaints employees file with them and
investigate accepted complaints. After the investigation, a complainant can
request a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge who may issue a
recommended decision that the agency is to consider in making its final
decision. An employee who is dissatisfied with a final agency decision or
                                                                  5
its decision to dismiss a complaint may file an appeal with EEOC.
Generally, federal employees must exhaust the administrative process
                                           6
before pursuing their complaints in court.

EEOC will be implementing changes to the complaint process beginning in
November 1999. One of the most significant changes involves decisions
issued by administrative judges. Under the regulations, these decisions
would no longer be recommendations that agencies could modify. Rather,
as its final action (as final decisions will be called), an agency would issue
a final order indicating whether or not it would fully implement the
administrative judge’s decision. If the agency chooses not to fully
implement the decision, it will be required to file an appeal of the decision
with EEOC. Complainants would retain their right to appeal an agency’s
final order. For a further discussion of the complaint process and
upcoming changes, see app. II.

In July 1998, we reported on our analysis of inventories of unresolved EEO
complaints at federal agencies and EEOC and how trends in the number of


4
  Applicants for federal employment may file complaints with a federal agency that they believe
engaged in discriminatory conduct.
5
  Postal workers who are covered under collective bargaining agreements and who allege
discrimination have more redress opportunities than other federal workers covered under collective
bargaining agreements. These postal workers can take two courses of action concurrently: (1) file a
discrimination complaint under the federal employee discrimination complaint process and also (2) file
a grievance through procedures under the collective bargaining agreement. Other federal workers who
are employed by agencies subject to the provisions of title 5 of the U.S. Code and covered under
collective bargaining agreements must choose between these two redress paths.
6
  An individual may file suit in federal district court under certain circumstances. For example, (1) after
180 days from the date of filing a complaint, if there has been no final agency decision and no appeal
has been filed or (2) after 180 days from the filing of an appeal if there has been no final decision by
EEOC.




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                          complaints filed and the time taken to process them had contributed to
                                           7
                          inventory levels. We found that

                        • agencies’ complaint inventories, and even more so, EEOC’s hearings and
                          appeals inventories, had increased since fiscal year 1991;
                        • as the size of inventories grew, so did the average length of time that cases
                          had been in inventory as well as the proportion of cases remaining in
                          inventory longer than allowed by regulations;
                        • the size of the inventories and the age of cases in them increased as
                          agencies and EEOC did not keep up with the influx of new cases;
                        • with the increased caseloads, EEOC and, to some extent, agencies, took
                          longer on average to process complaints, contributing to the size and age
                          of inventories; and
                        • the implications of these trends were that inventories of cases pending
                          would grow even larger in the future, particularly at EEOC, and that cases
                          would take even longer to process.

                          In updating our analysis, we used preliminary data for fiscal year 1998
Scope and                 provided by EEOC and reviewed the agency’s budget request for fiscal
Methodology               year 2000 and its Annual Performance Plans for fiscal years 1999 and 2000.
                          We also examined EEOC’s planned changes to the complaint process. In
                          addition, because postal workers have accounted for about half of the
                          complaints filed in recent years, we separately analyzed data reported by
                          the U.S. Postal Service in order to compare statistics for the postal
                          workforce with the nonpostal workforce (see app. III). Appendix I
                          contains details about our scope and methodology.

                          We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Chairwoman,
                          EEOC, and the Postmaster General. Their comments are discussed near
                          the end of this letter. We performed our work from March through May
                          1999 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
                          standards.

                          Since we last reported in July 1998, agencies’ complaint inventories and,
Complaint Inventories     even more so, EEOC’s hearings and appeals inventories were, once again,
Continued to Rise         higher. Table 1 shows the trends in the inventories of complaints at
                          agencies and of hearing requests and appeals at EEOC for fiscal years 1991
                          to 1998.




                          7
                              GAO/GGD-98-157BR.




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Table 1: Inventories of Complaints at Agencies and Hearing Requests and Appeals at EEOC for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
                                                         Number of cases
                                                                                                                                           Percent
                        1991        1992              1993          1994           1995          1996           1997           1998       increase
Complaints            16,964      18,668            22,258        27,044         30,605         31,195         34,286         36,333         114.2
Hearing requests       3,147       3,977             3,991         5,177          6,367          8,275         10,016         11,967         280.3
Appeals                1,466       2,029             2,900         4,363          6,498          8,376          9,980         10,966         648.0
                                           Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
                                           At agencies, the inventory of unresolved complaints had risen from 16,964
                                           at the end of fiscal year 1991 to 34,286 by the end of fiscal year 1997. One
                                           year later, agencies’ inventories of unresolved complaints had increased by
                                                                                 8
                                           an additional 6 percent, to 36,333. Inventory levels increased at the Postal
                                           Service and nonpostal agencies in fiscal year 1998, but growth was more
                                           rapid in the nonpostal agencies. Compared with fiscal year 1997, the Postal
                                           Service inventory increased by 3.3 percent, from 13,549 to 13,996 (see app.
                                           III, table III.1), while the inventories at nonpostal agencies rose by 7.7
                                           percent, from 20,737 to 22,337. Overall, from fiscal year 1991 to fiscal year
                                           1998, complaint inventories at federal agencies rose by about 114 percent.

                                           The increase in agencies’ inventories was accounted for mainly by the
                                           growing number of the agencies’ cases pending a hearing before an EEOC
                                           administrative judge. An agency’s inventory of unresolved complaints is
                                           affected by EEOC’s handling of hearing requests because EEOC must
                                           resolve a hearing request before an agency can make a final decision on
                                           the complaint. Of the 36,333 cases in agencies’ inventories at the end of
                                           fiscal year 1998, 13,357 (about 37 percent) were awaiting a hearing before
                                           an EEOC administrative judge. The 13,357 cases awaiting a hearing before
                                           an EEOC administrative judge represented a 3,755 case (39 percent)
                                           increase over the fiscal year 1997 level of 9,602. The increase in the
                                           number of cases in the hearing stage more than offset reductions in the
                                           number of cases in agencies’ inventories at the initial acceptance/dismissal
                                           and final agency decision stages of the complaint process.

                                           At EEOC, the inventory of hearing requests, which had increased from
                                           3,147 at the end of fiscal year 1991 to 10,016 at the end of fiscal year 1997,
                                           increased by an additional 19.5 percent, to 11,967, by the end of fiscal year
                                           1998. Overall, from fiscal year 1991 to fiscal year 1998, EEOC’s hearing
                                           request inventory rose by about 280 percent. EEOC’s inventory of appeals,
                                           which had increased from 1,466 to 9,980 during fiscal years 1991 to 1997,
                                           increased by an additional 9.9 percent, to 10,966, by the end of fiscal year


                                           8
                                               The figure for fiscal year 1997 is revised from the preliminary figure reported in GAO/GGD-98-157BR.




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                                         1998. Overall, from fiscal year 1991 to fiscal year 1998, EEOC’s appeals
                                         inventory rose by 648 percent. (See app. IV, figure IV.2).

Age of Complaints in                     As the size of the inventories continued to grow, so did the average length
                                         of time that cases, and the conflict underlying these complaints, remained
Inventories Continued to                 unresolved. Table 2 shows the trends in the average age of complaints in
Grow                                     agencies’ inventories and of hearing requests and appeals in EEOC’s
                                         inventories for fiscal years 1991 to 1998.

Table 2: Average Age of Complaints in
Agencies’ Inventories and Hearing                                              Average age of cases (days)
Requests and Appeals in EEOC’s                            1991      1992       1993    1994     1995     1996          1997       1998
Inventories for Fiscal Years 1991-1998   Complaints        379       377        368     289      367       397          438        446
                                         Hearing
                                         requests          128       171        105      125     162      205           243        320
                                                              a
                                         Appeals                      87         99      127     179      241           285        293
                                         a
                                         Not reported.
                                         Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
The Situation at Agencies                The overall average age of unresolved complaints in agencies’ inventories,
                                         after declining through fiscal year 1994, reached a new level of 446 days at
                                         the end of fiscal year 1998. The age of cases varied by the stage of the
                                         complaint process. Table 3 shows the average age of complaints in
                                         inventory, from the time a complaint was filed, at various stages of the
                                         complaint process, both overall and at the Postal Service and nonpostal
                                         agencies at the end of fiscal year 1998. (Also see app. IV, figure IV.3 for
                                         trends in the average age of complaints in inventory at the various stages
                                         of the complaint process for fiscal years 1991 to 1998.)

Table 3: Average Age of Cases in
Inventory at the Postal Service and                                         Stage of complaint process
Nonpostal Agencies by Stage of the                          Acceptance/                              Agency
Complaint Process for Fiscal Year 1998                        dismissal Investigation   Hearing     decision                  All cases
                                         Postal Service             212          300        675          285                        450
                                         Nonpostal
                                         agencies                        267          309        621             589               446
                                         All federal
                                         agencies                        258          305        645             477               446
                                         Note: Numbers represent days.
                                         Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
                                         As table 3 shows, the complaints that were in agencies’ inventories the
                                         longest at the end of fiscal year 1998 were those awaiting a hearing before
                                         an EEOC administrative judge. The average age of cases awaiting a hearing
                                         had a significant impact on the overall average age of unresolved
                                         complaints in inventory, particularly at the Postal Service.




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                        Because cases remained in inventory for lengthy periods, agencies
                        frequently did not meet the regulatory requirement that they dismiss or
                        accept a complaint, investigate an accepted complaint, and report the
                        investigation results to the complainant within 180 days from the filing of a
                                                              9
                        complaint (see app. IV, figure IV.4). The proportion of cases pending the
                        initial acceptance or dismissal decision more for than 180 days stood at
                        32.5 percent in fiscal year 1998. At the Postal Service, 65.5 percent of cases
                        in the acceptance/dismissal stage had been in inventory more than 180
                        days at the end of fiscal year 1998 (see app. III, table III.3); the figure for
                        nonpostal agencies was 26.2 percent. Of the complaints pending
                        investigation, 48.3 percent had been in inventory more than 180 days. At
                        the Postal Service, 36.5 percent of cases in the investigation stage had been
                        in inventory more than 180 days at the end of fiscal year 1998 (see app. III,
                        table III.3); the figure for nonpostal agencies was 52 percent.

The Situation at EEOC   At EEOC, the average age of cases in both the agency’s inventory of
                        hearing requests and its inventory of appeals was higher in fiscal year 1998
                        than in fiscal year 1997 (see table 2). The average age of hearing requests
                        in inventory increased sharply, from 243 days in fiscal year 1997 to 320
                        days in fiscal year 1998. The figure for fiscal year 1998 is about 3 times
                        what is was in fiscal year 1993, when the average age of a hearing request
                        in inventory had reached a low of 105 days.

                        As a result of the rising age of hearing requests in inventory, a greater
                        proportion of these cases did not meet the requirement in EEOC’s
                        regulations that administrative judges issue a recommended decision
                        within 180 days of a request for a hearing. In fiscal year 1998, 56.2 percent
                        of the hearing requests had been in inventory longer than the 180-day time
                        limit, up from 50.3 percent the previous year. EEOC has had increasing
                        difficulty meeting the 180-day requirement since fiscal year 1993, when
                        13.3 percent of hearing requests had been in inventory longer than the 180
                        days. (See app. IV, figure IV.6.) The increasing age of EEOC’s hearing
                        request inventory has been a major factor in the size and age of cases in
                        agencies’ inventories awaiting a hearing before an administrative judge.

                        In contrast to hearing requests, table 2 shows a smaller increase in the
                        average age of appeals in EEOC’s inventory, from 285 days in fiscal year
                        1997 to 293 days in fiscal year 1998 (see app. IV, figure IV.5). Nonetheless,
                        the figure for fiscal year 1998 is more than 3 times what it was in fiscal
                        year 1992, when the average age of appeals in inventory was 87 days.


                        9
                            By agreement with the complainant, agencies can extend this period for an additional 90 days.




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                                          Although EEOC regulations prescribe time limits for processing hearing
                                          requests, they do not prescribe time limits for processing appeals.
                                          However, one indicator of the time it takes EEOC to process appeals is the
                                                                                                            10
                                          percentage of cases remaining in inventory more than 200 days. EEOC’s
                                          data show that in fiscal year 1998, 58.5 percent of the appeals cases
                                          remained in inventory longer than 200 days, a slight increase from fiscal
                                          year 1997, when this figure was 58 percent. However, the figures for fiscal
                                          years 1997 and 1998 represent a substantial increase compared with fiscal
                                          year 1991, when only about 3 percent of appeals had been in inventory
                                          longer than 200 days. (See app. IV, figure IV.7.)

                                          The size of the inventories and the age of the cases in them continued their
Agencies and EEOC                         upward trend as agencies and EEOC did not keep up with the influx of
Unable to Keep Up                         new cases. As discussed later in this report, the increase in the number of
With Influx of New                        complaints did not necessarily signify an equivalent increase in the actual
                                          number of individuals filing complaints. Table 4 shows the trends in the
Cases                                     number of complaints filed with agencies and the number of hearing
                                          requests and appeals filed with EEOC for fiscal years 1991 through 1998.


Table 4: Number of Complaints Filed With Agencies and Hearing Requests and Appeals Filed With EEOC for Fiscal Years 1991-
1998
                                                                      Number of cases
                                                                                                                                          Percent
                       1991       1992              1993           1994           1995           1996          1997            1998      increase
Complaints           17,696      19,106           22,327         24,592         27,472         26,410         28,947         28,147          59.1
Hearing requests      5,773       6,907            8,882         10,712         10,515         10,677         11,198         12,218         111.6
Appeals               5,266       5,997            6,361          7,141          8,152          8,001          8,453          8,480          61.0
                                          Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
                                          At agencies, the overall number of complaints, which had increased from
                                          17,696 in fiscal year 1991 to 28,947 in fiscal year 1997, declined by 2.8
                                                                                    11
                                          percent, to 28,147 in fiscal year 1998. At the nonpostal agencies, the
                                          number of new cases declined, from 14,621 in fiscal year 1997 to 13,750 in
                                          fiscal year 1998. During this period, however, the number of new
                                          complaints at the Postal Service increased slightly, from 14,326 to 14,397
                                          (see app. III, table III.5). Overall, the number of complaints filed with
                                          federal agencies in fiscal year 1998 was 59.1 percent higher than in fiscal
                                          year 1991.


                                          10
                                           EEOC reports the age of cases in the appeals inventory along four time strata—1 to 100 days, 101 to
                                          200 days, 201 to 365 days, and over 365 days.
                                          11
                                               The figure for fiscal year 1997 is revised from the preliminary figure reported in GAO/GGD-98-157BR.




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                                       At EEOC, requests for hearings, which increased from 5,773 to 11,198
                                       during fiscal years 1991 to 1997, rose again, by 9.1 percent, to 12,218, in
                                       fiscal year 1998. Appeals to EEOC of agency decisions, however, which
                                       increased from 5,266 to 8,453 during fiscal years 1991 to 1997, increased
                                       only slightly, by three-tenths of 1 percent, to 8,480, in fiscal year 1998.
                                       Historically, the rate of growth in the number of hearing requests filed has
                                       outpaced that of appeals. Compared with fiscal year 1991, the number of
                                       hearing requests filed in 1998 was 111.6 percent higher; the comparable
                                       figure for appeals was 61 percent. More recently, since fiscal year 1995, the
                                       number of hearing requests filed increased by about 16 percent, while the
                                       number of appeals filed increased by about 4 percent.

                                       Postal workers continue to account for a large and disproportionate share
                                       of complaints, hearing requests, and appeals. In fiscal year 1998, postal
                                       workers represented about 32 percent of the federal workforce and
                                       accounted for about 51 percent of complaints, about 47 percent of hearing
                                                                                 12
                                       requests, and about 47 percent of appeals. (See app. III , tables III.4 and
                                       III.5.)

Processing Times Rose With             With increasing caseloads since fiscal year 1991, agencies and EEOC have
                                       been taking longer on average to process complaints, contributing to the
the Influx of New Cases                size and age of the inventories. Table 5 shows the average processing time
                                       for complaints at agencies and for hearing requests and appeals at EEOC
                                       for fiscal years 1991 to 1998.

Table 5: Average Processing Time for
Complaints at Agencies and Hearing                                            Average processing time (days)
Requests and Appeals at EEOC for                          1991       1992      1993     1994    1995      1996               1997       1998
Fiscal Years 1991-1998                 Complaints          341        349       366      356      305      379                391        384
                                       Hearing
                                       requests            173        192        183         154        187        234        277        320
                                       Appeals             109        120        148         185        229        323        375        473
                                       Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
The Situation at Agencies              The overall average number of days agencies took to close a case, which
                                       had reached a low of 305 days in fiscal year 1995, was 384 days in fiscal
                                       year 1998. This represented a slight improvement over fiscal year 1997’s
                                       391-day average.

                                       12
                                        In GAO/GGD-98-157BR, we reported that the Postal Service Manager, EEO Compliance and Appeals,
                                       identified two reasons for postal workers’ higher propensity to file complaints. First, postal workers
                                       can simultaneously file an EEO complaint under the administrative process for federal employees and
                                       an EEO grievance under their collective bargaining agreement. About 40 percent of postal workers
                                       who have filed a complaint under the federal employee EEO complaint process have filed a grievance
                                       about the same matter. Second, about 85 percent of postal workers are blue-collar workers covered
                                       under collective bargaining agreements. This group of employees, according to the Postal Service
                                       official, tends to file complaints more often than white-collar workers.




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                                        Average closure time varied according to the type of closure action. In
                                        addition to closing cases by dismissing them or by issuing final decisions
                                        on their merits (with and without a hearing before an EEOC administrative
                                        judge), an agency may settle a case with a complainant or a complainant
                                        may withdraw his or her complaint. Table 6 shows average closure time
                                        for each type of closure overall and at the Postal Service and nonpostal
                                        agencies in fiscal year 1998 (see app. IV, figure IV.10 for average closure
                                        time by type of case closure for all agencies for fiscal years 1991 to 1998).

Table 6: Average Complaint Closure
Time by Type of Case Closure at the                                       Type of case closure
Postal Service and Nonpostal Agencies                                                  Decision      Decision
in Fiscal Year 1998                                                                      without         with
                                                      Dismissed Withdrawn    Settled    hearing       hearing   All cases
                                        Postal
                                        Service               141            261   355        477         749        322
                                        Nonpostal
                                        agencies              313            352   435        569         676        453
                                        All federal
                                        agencies              203            302   404        524         713        384
                                        Note: Numbers represent days.
                                        Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.
                                        Table 6 shows that, in general, the Postal Service processed cases more
                                        quickly than nonpostal agencies in fiscal year 1998. One factor may have
                                        been that the Postal Service investigated complaints more quickly
                                        compared with nonpostal agencies. In fiscal year 1998, a complaint
                                        investigation at the Postal Service took an average of 174 days from the
                                        time a case was assigned to an investigator to when the investigation was
                                        completed. The comparable figure at nonpostal agencies was 283 days.

                                        Table 6 also shows that complaints with final agency decisions involving a
                                        hearing took the longest to close. This figure is affected by EEOC’s
                                        performance because a hearing precedes an agency’s final decision; the
                                        longer EEOC takes to process a hearing request, the longer it will take an
                                        agency to make its final decision. As will be discussed below, EEOC has
                                        been taking longer to process hearing requests.

The Situation at EEOC                   The increases in the amount of time to process cases were most apparent
                                        at EEOC. The average amount of time EEOC took to process a hearing
                                        request, which had increased from 173 days in fiscal year 1991 to 277 days
                                        in fiscal year 1997, increased further, to 320 days, in fiscal year 1998, well
                                        in excess of the 180-day requirement in regulations. Also, the time EEOC
                                        took to adjudicate an appeal, which had increased from 109 days in fiscal
                                        year 1991 to 375 days in fiscal year 1997, rose substantially in fiscal year
                                        1998 to 473 days—or by 26 percent.


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                                Because of the length of time taken by agencies and EEOC to process
                                cases, parties to a case traveling the entire complaint process—from
                                complaint filing through hearing and appeal—could expect the case to
                                take 1,186 days, based on fiscal year 1998 data. In fiscal year 1997, this
                                figure was 1,095.

                                The implications of these trends, at least in the short run, are that
Implications of the             inventories of unresolved cases may grow even larger, particularly at
Trends in Inventories,          EEOC, and that cases, as well as the conflicts underlying these cases, may
New Cases, and                  take even longer to resolve than they currently do. The long-term outlook
                                is uncertain. Only when EEOC and agencies are able to process and close
Processing Times                more cases than they receive will progress be made toward reducing
                                backlogs. The size of the caseloads will be influenced by the effect of
                                revisions to the complaint process regulations and procedures, while
                                agencies’ and EEOC’s capacity to process cases will be affected by
                                available resources. EEOC projects that the number of new cases will
                                continue to rise and exceed its capacity to process them, resulting in yet
                                higher inventories and case processing times. EEOC’s projections,
                                however, do not take into account how complaint process revisions may
                                affect caseload trends and resource needs.

Factors Affecting the Size of   In our July 1998 report about rising trends in EEO complaint caseloads, we
                                reported that the increase in the number of discrimination complaints
the Complaint Caseload          could be attributed to several factors, according to EEOC, dispute
                                resolution experts, and officials of federal and private-sector
                                organizations. One factor that experts and officials cited for the increase in
                                complaints was downsizing, which resulted in appeals of job losses and
                                reassignments. A second factor was the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which
                                motivated some employees to file complaints by allowing compensatory
                                damage awards of up to $300,000 in cases involving unlawful, intentional
                                discrimination. A third factor was the Americans With Disabilities Act of
                                                                                    13
                                1990, which expanded discrimination protection. EEOC and Postal
                                Service officials also said that the current regulations governing the EEO
                                complaint process, implemented in October 1992, were a factor because
                                they provided improved access to the complaint process.

                                In a report we issued in May 1999, however, we said that there were
                                several factors indicating that an increase in the number of complaints did
                                not necessarily signify an equivalent increase in the actual number of

                                13
                                 While federal workers were protected under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the publicity surrounding
                                the Americans With Disabilities Act made federal workers more aware of their protections under the
                                Rehabilitation Act, according to EEOC and Postal Service officials.




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                                       14
individuals filing complaints. First, an undetermined number of federal
                                           15
employees have filed multiple complaints. EEOC officials and
representatives of the Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives
said that, while they could not readily provide figures, it has been their
experience that a small number of employees—often referred to as “repeat
filers”—account for a disproportionate share of complaints. A Postal
Service official said that between 60 and 70 employees account for every
100 complaints filed. Additionally, an EEOC workgroup that reviewed the
federal employee discrimination complaint process reported that the
number of cases in the system was “swollen” by employees filing “spin-off”
complaints—new complaints challenging the processing of existing
complaints. Further, the work group found that the number of complaints
was “unnecessarily multiplied” by agencies fragmenting some claims
involving a number of different allegations by the same employee into
separate complaints, rather than consolidating these claims into one
complaint. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of
complaints alleging reprisal, which, for the most part, involve claims of
retaliation by employees who have previously participated in the
complaint process.

Further, in past reports and testimonies, we noted, among other things,
that the discrimination complaint process was burdened by a number of
cases that were not legitimate discrimination complaints; some were
frivolous complaints or attempts by employees to get a third party’s
                                                                        16
assistance in resolving workplace disputes unrelated to discrimination.
Similarly, EEOC reported in its 1996 study that a “sizable” number of
complaints might not involve discrimination issues but instead reflect
basic communications problems in the workplace. EEOC said that such
issues may be brought into the EEO process because of a perception that
                                                            17
there is no other forum to air general workplace concerns. The agency


14
 Equal Employment Opportunity: Data Shortcomings Hinder Assessment of Conflicts in the Federal
Workplace (GAO/GGD-99-75, May 4, 1999).
15
 EEOC does not collect data on the number of employees who file complaints, nor on how often
individual employees complain.
16
 Federal Employee Redress: An Opportunity for Reform (GAO/T-GGD-96-42, Nov. 29, 1995); Federal
Employee Redress: A System in Need of Reform (GAO/T-GGD-96-110, Apr. 23, 1996); and Civil Service
Reform: Redress System Implications of the Omnibus Civil Service Reform Act of 1996 (GAO/T-GGD-
96-160, July 16, 1996).
17
 Only a small proportion of agency and EEOC decisions contains a finding of discrimination. In fiscal
year 1998, for example, discrimination was found in 1.4 percent of the cases agencies decided on the
merits without a hearing, 7.2 percent of the cases EEOC administrative judges decided, and in 3.4
percent of appeals EEOC decided.




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                             also said that there is little question that these types of issues would be
                                                                                             18
                             especially conducive to resolution through ADR processes.

                             EEOC will be implementing regulatory and procedural changes beginning
                             in November 1999 to deal with some of the factors contributing to the
                             volume of complaints flowing through the process. One change will allow
                             agencies and administrative judges to dismiss spin-off complaints. Another
                             change will allow agencies and administrative judges to dismiss
                             complaints in which employees are abusing the process. The revised
                             regulations and EEOC’s policies will deal with the problem of fragmented
                             complaints. In addition, EEOC will require agencies to make ADR
                                                                 19
                             processes available to complainants.

EEOC’s Capacity to Process   Among the factors that can affect inventory levels and case processing
                             times is the relationship between the influx of cases and the capacity of
Cases                        staff to process them. Data that EEOC reports in the Federal Sector Report
                             on EEO Complaints Processing and Appeals does not allow a precise
                             comparison of the number of staff at agencies to caseloads at various
                                                              20
                             stages of the complaint process. However, the data enable a comparison
                             of EEOC’s hearing and appeal caseloads to the number of nonsupervisory
                             administrative judges and attorneys available to process these cases.

                             These data show that as the overall number of hearing requests received
                             each year increased by 111.6 percent, from 5,773 in fiscal year 1991 to
                             12,218 in fiscal year 1998 (see table 4, p. 8), the number of administrative
                             judges available for hearings increased at a lower rate (41.5 percent)
                             during this period, from 53 to 75. These data also show that as the number
                             of appeals increased by 61 percent, from 5,266 in fiscal year 1991 to 8,480

                             18
                              ADR Study, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Operations, Oct.
                             1996.
                             19
                              In Alternative Dispute Resolution: Employers’ Experiences With ADR in the Workplace (GAO/GGD-
                             97-157, Aug. 12, 1997), we reported that 43 (49 percent) of 87 agencies responding to a 1996 EEOC
                             survey made ADR processes available. We also said that ADR availability was not pervasive or
                             widespread within federal agencies reporting some ADR capability. More recently, an EEOC official
                             told us that 57 (52 percent) of 109 agencies responding to a 1998 survey made ADR available.
                             20
                               EEOC limits its reporting of agency staffing to the number of counselors, counselor/investigators, and
                             investigators. These numbers do not include agency staff making decisions about the merits of
                             complaints. EEOC reported that the number of full-time, part-time, and collateral-duty staff declined
                             from 16,169 in fiscal year 1992 (fiscal year 1991 data were not reported) to 12,352 in fiscal year 1997,
                             the latest year for which staffing data were available. The reductions were mainly among part-time and
                             collateral-duty staff whose levels decreased from 15,418 to 10,794. At the same time, the number of full-
                             time counselors, counselor/investigators, and investigators was higher in fiscal year 1997 than in fiscal
                             year 1992—1,558 versus 751. Some agencies also use contract investigators. In fiscal year 1992,
                             contract investigators performed 2,381 investigations; the figure for fiscal year 1997 was 4,783. The
                             number of contract investigations increased to 5,192 in fiscal year 1998.




                             Page 13                                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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                              in fiscal year 1998 (see table 4, p. 8), the number of attorneys processing
                              appeals actually declined, from 40 in fiscal year 1991 to 39 during fiscal
                              years 1992 to 1998. Although EEOC officials recognized the need for
                              additional staff to process hearings and appeals, they said that requested
                              funds for the needed positions were not appropriated.

New Cases Surpass Closures    At EEOC, the hearings and appeals inventories rose because the average
Despite Productivity Gains    caseload for each administrative judge and attorney outpaced increases in
                              their productivity. The number of hearing requests received each year per
                              administrative judge rose, from 109 in fiscal year 1991 to 163 by fiscal year
                              1998. The hearings inventory grew larger because although the average
                              number of cases processed and closed each year per administrative judge
                              increased, this figure was, except for fiscal year 1993, always less than the
                              average number of requests received. In fiscal year 1991, administrative
                              judges processed and closed 95 hearing requests, a figure that increased to
                              135 by fiscal year 1998.

                              The situation for appeals was similar. The number of appeals received
                              each year per attorney increased, from 133 in fiscal year 1991 to 217 by
                              fiscal year 1998. The appeals inventory grew because the average number
                              of cases processed and closed each year per attorney, was, except for
                              fiscal year 1991, always less than the average number of appeals received.
                              In fiscal year 1991, attorneys processed and closed an average of 133
                              cases, a figure that increased to 192 by fiscal year 1998.

                              To deal with the imbalance between new cases and closures, EEOC’s fiscal
                              year 1999 budget provided for an increase in its administrative judge and
                              appeals attorney corps. Under the fiscal year 1999 budget, the authorized
                              number of administrative judges increased by 19, from 75 to 94, while the
                                                                                                      21
                              authorized number of appeals attorneys increased by 14, from 39 to 53.

Additional Inventory Growth   Even with these added resources, the hearings and appeals inventories
Expected                      may continue to rise unless the flow of new cases is reduced. EEOC
                              estimates that with the full complement of administrative judges on board
                              in fiscal year 2000, it will be able to process and close 11,280 hearing
                              requests, or 120 cases per judge, each year. This figure is 938 cases less
                              than the 12,218 hearing requests EEOC received in fiscal year 1998. If, for
                              example, the number of hearing requests received in fiscal year 2000
                              remained at fiscal year 1998 levels, EEOC’s hearings inventory would
                              increase by 938 cases during the year, while the average time EEOC takes

                              21
                               As of June 2, 1999, there were 95 full-time and 5 part-time administrative judges and, as of June 25,
                              1999, 50 appeals attorneys available to process hearing requests and appeals.




                              Page 14                                                GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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                              to process a hearing request would grow by about 30 days. Over 5 years,
                              with no change in the number of new cases received each year or
                              resources to process them, EEOC’s hearings inventory could increase by
                              4,690 cases, while adding 150 days to the average processing time.

                              Similarly, when the full complement of appeals attorneys is on board by
                              fiscal year 2000, EEOC estimates it will be able to process and close 7,685
                              appeals, or 145 cases per attorney, each year. This figure, however, is 795
                              cases less than the 8,480 appeals filed in fiscal year 1998. If, for example,
                              the number of appeals filed in fiscal year 2000 remained at fiscal year 1998
                              levels, EEOC’s appeals inventory would increase by 795 cases during that
                              year, while the average processing time would increase by about 37 days.
                              Over 5 years, with no change in the number of new cases filed each year or
                              resources to process them, EEOC’s appeals inventory could increase by
                              3,975, while adding about 186 days to the average processing time.

                              While our analysis assumed no increase in the number of new cases,
                              EEOC’s fiscal year 2000 budget request projects that incoming hearing
                              requests and appeals would rise at an annual rate of 3 percent, and exceed
                              the number of cases it can close. As a result, according to the agency,
                              hearings and appeals inventories and processing times will continue to
                              climb, further affecting the agencies’ inventories and case processing
                              times. To deal with this situation, EEOC’s fiscal year 2000 budget proposal
                              requests funding for 19 additional administrative judges to process hearing
                                                                                        22
                              requests and 13 additional attorneys to process appeals. The agency
                              projects that with these additional resources, the hearings and appeals
                              inventories and processing times would initially decline in fiscal year 2000,
                              only to begin rising again in fiscal year 2004.

Effects of Revisions to       Neither our analysis nor EEOC’s projections and requested funding
Complaint Process Not Known   increase take into account, however, the possible effects of changes to
                              program regulations and procedures intended to reduce the number of
                              cases flowing into and through the complaint process. Since EEOC’s
                              workload is dependent on the number of cases in the pipeline at agencies,
                              it is important to understand how the program changes are likely to affect
                              caseloads at agencies. The requirement that agencies offer ADR processes
                              to employees, including in the counseling phase before a formal complaint
                              is filed, should resolve some workplace disputes without a complaint being



                              22
                               EEOC is also requesting funding for eight other positions to support the hearing and appeals
                              processes.




                              Page 15                                              GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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                                                                                    23
filed and resolve other disputes in the early complaint stages. Other
changes allowing dismissal of spin-off complaints and other complaints in
which an employee is believed to be abusing the process should halt the
processing of these cases early in the process and possibly discourage the
filing of such complaints. In addition, policies to prevent agencies from
fragmenting cases should also reduce the number of new complaints.

However, although EEOC designed its changes to program regulations and
procedures to reduce the flow of new cases, it has not estimated the likely
effect of these changes on the volume of complaints. EEOC officials
explained that they had been deferring developing estimates until the
regulations had been approved because of how the details of the final
regulations could affect caseload estimates. They also said that although
one goal of the regulations is to reduce caseloads, another goal is to
improve the fairness of the process. The EEOC officials said that one
measure to improve fairness is to remove agencies’ ability to reject or
modify administrative judges’ decisions in arriving at final decisions. The
officials said that complainants could view this change as giving the
administrative judges more authority, and they speculated that more
complainants might seek a hearing.

Estimates of the expected changes in complaint levels are important
because a decrease in new complaints would affect how quickly EEOC
might be able to reduce its inventories, and thus how many, if any,
additional staff would be needed and for how long. EEOC’s Compliance
and Control Division Director said that it would be appropriate to consider
the effects of these changes when the agency prepares its fiscal year 2001
budget request. Because the changes could begin affecting complaint
levels in fiscal year 2000 and because any new staff, if not hired on a
temporary basis, could be with EEOC a long time, estimates of likely
changes in complaint levels also could be important to congressional
consideration of EEOC’s future budget requests.

EEOC also has not completed the development of the measures and
indicators that it will use in the future to gauge the actual effect of the
23
 In Alternative Dispute Resolution: Employers’ Experiences With ADR in the Workplace (GAO/GGD-
97-157, Aug. 12, 1997), we reported that data from two federal agencies we studied indicated that ADR
processes, by resolving discrimination complaints in their early stages, had reduced the number of
formal complaints filed as well as the time required for seeing them through to resolution. More recent
data from the Postal Service showed that during the first 10 months of fiscal year 1999, a formal
complaint was filed in only 1,081 (about 17 percent) of the 6,252 cases mediated in the counseling or
precomplaint phase under its REDRESS program. In contrast, about 72 percent of the 8,314 cases not
mediated resulted in a formal complaint being filed. Overall, the data show that the number of
complaints filed by postal workers during the first 10 months of fiscal year 1999 is about 17 percent
below the same period in fiscal year 1998 (7,050 versus 8,522).




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              changes. In its fiscal year 1999 annual performance plan, EEOC said that it
              would develop measures and indicators for assessing the effectiveness of
              these revisions, which, according to the agency’s fiscal year 2000 Annual
                                                                             24
              Performance Plan, would be implemented in fiscal year 2000.

              Rising inventory levels of unresolved EEO complaints and lengthy case
Conclusions   processing times to resolve these workplace disputes remain stubborn
              problems for agencies and EEOC. The struggle of nonpostal agencies was
              especially evident in that their inventories rose by almost 8 percent in
              fiscal year 1998 despite a 6 percent decline in new complaints. Similarly,
              despite increases in its productivity, EEOC’s appeals inventory increased
              by almost 10 percent in fiscal year 1998, even though the number of
              appeals filed remained almost unchanged. At the same time, EEOC’s
              inventory of hearing requests rose by almost 20 percent, about twice the
              rate of increase in new hearing requests that the agency received.

              How long present conditions will continue, and whether they will improve
              or deteriorate further, depends on the ability of agencies and EEOC to
              process cases currently in the complaint pipeline as well as on the volume
              of new complaints entering the pipeline in the future. Future trends and,
              therefore, agencies’ and EEOC’s resource needs, are likely to be affected
              by the revisions to the complaint process. However, EEOC has not
              developed estimates of the extent to which revisions to complaint process
              regulations and procedures may affect the flow of cases into and through
              the process. Among the changes, the requirement that agencies offer ADR
              to complainants could reduce the number of new cases filed, or resolve
              disputes in the early stages. In addition, other changes to be implemented
              dealing with fragmenting of complaints, spin-off complaints, and abuse of
              process could reduce the number of new complaints or short-circuit them
              early in the process.

              EEOC’s request for additional funding for attorneys and judges and the
              implementation of changes to program regulations and procedures in
              November 1999 lend urgency to gaining an understanding of the likely
              effects of the proposed changes on the complaint process and complaint
              inventories. In addition, until the measures and indicators promised in
              EEOC’s fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan are developed and
              implemented, the actual effect of the revisions on the EEOC complaint
              process will be difficult to track. Estimates of the effect of the changes
              combined with anticipated productivity levels could be used to further
              estimate the resources needed to reduce EEOC’s inventory of hearing
              24
                   The annual performance plans are required by the Government Performance and Results Act.




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                      requests to levels that would allow the average case to be processed within
                      the 180-day requirement in regulations.

                      In addition, current regulations do not prescribe a processing time
                      standard for appeals, which could be used to establish and develop
                      estimates of the resources needed to reduce the average appeal processing
                      time to an acceptable level of timeliness. In the case of both hearing and
                      appeal processing, the estimates could be useful in determining how many,
                      if any, additional staff are needed to reduce the backlogs and whether the
                      staff should be a permanent or temporary addition to EEOC’s workforce.
                      Given the size of the backlogs, estimates for reducing them to acceptable
                      levels over different time frames could allow EEOC and Congress to weigh
                      the trade-offs between additional cost and the rapidity with which the
                      inventory of cases is resolved. Measures and indicators to assess the actual
                      effect of changes in program regulations should be adopted before the
                      changes are implemented to ensure that consistent data are collected from
                      the start and to ensure that systems are in place to generate valid and
                      reliable data.

                      To provide Congress with a clear picture of future caseload trends and the
Recommendations       resources that are needed to deal with current backlogs, as well as the
                      volume of cases expected in the future, we recommend that the EEOC
                      Chairwoman take steps to (1) develop estimates of the effects of the
                      forthcoming changes in program regulations and procedures on agencies’
                      and EEOC’s caseloads and (2) complete development of measures and
                      indicators to track and assess the impact of these revisions on caseload
                      trends. We also recommend that the Chairwoman use these data to
                      develop estimates, under various time frames, of the resources needed to
                      reduce its average hearings processing time to meet the 180-day
                      requirement in regulations. We further recommend that the Chairwoman
                      establish a policy of an acceptable level of timeliness for processing
                      appeals and develop estimates, under various time frames, of the
                      resources needed to reduce its average appeals processing time to meet
                      this standard.

                      We received comments on a draft of this report from EEOC and the Postal
Agency Comments and   Service. The EEOC Chairwoman said in her written comments (see app. V)
Our Evaluation        that she shared our concerns that complaint inventories are too high and
                      that federal employees wait far too long for their complaints to be
                      processed by their agencies and EEOC. She said that analyses of the kind
                      in our 1998 report on rising EEO complaint caseloads in the federal sector
                      had persuaded her that bold steps were necessary to bring about




                      Page 18                                GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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                    25
improvements. She said that, in addition to the changes in regulations,
EEOC is implementing a comprehensive, strategic approach to link the
hearings and appeals programs with strong oversight, technical assistance,
and educational initiatives. These efforts are to include on-site reviews,
which EEOC believes are one of the most important vehicles with which to
focus on and correct root causes of persistent problems. Also, the
Chairwoman said that with additional resources, EEOC would increase its
efforts on conflict prevention and early intervention, since these are the
most cost-effective ways to reduce inventories. Further, the Chairwoman
pointed out that EEOC, with the National Partnership for Reinventing
Government (NPR), is cosponsoring the Interagency Federal EEO Task
Force that will look into ways to enhance the fairness, efficiency, and
effectiveness of the federal employee EEO complaint process.

EEOC also responded to the first three of our four recommendations that
it (1) develop estimates of the effects of changes in regulations on
caseloads, (2) complete development of measures and indicators to track
and assess the impact of these revisions, and (3) develop estimates of the
resources needed under various time frames to reduce hearings and
appeals processing times. EEOC said that right now it would be premature
and highly speculative for the agency to venture guesses on what the
actual experiences under the revised regulations might be. In addition,
EEOC said that it was not possible to develop measures and indicators for
assessing the effectiveness of the revisions to the federal sector EEO
complaint process before the draft regulations were approved. However,
with the publication of the final rules in the Federal Register on July 12,
1999, EEOC said that it expects to complete development of the measures
and indicators by the end of fiscal year 1999. The Chairwoman added,
however, that other complex issues must be resolved, including how
baseline data will be collected and what data collection method will be
used. Consequently, she said that the first year for which data will be
collected on experiences under the revised regulations will be fiscal year
2001. She said that when these data are available at the end of calendar
year 2001, it would be possible to estimate resource requirements under
various time frames. The Chairwoman further said that these data would
be used to prepare EEOC’s fiscal year 2004 budget request, which would
be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget in September 2002
and to Congress in early 2003.

We continue to believe that in order for Congress to carry out its oversight
and appropriation responsibilities and make informed budget decisions, it
25
     GAO/GGD-98-157BR.




Page 19                                 GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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needs timely estimates from EEOC of how changes in the complaint
process may affect caseloads and resource requirements. Further, we
believe congressional decisionmaking would benefit from EEOC’s best
estimate of the resources needed under various time frames to reduce
hearings and appeals processing times to acceptable levels. With such
estimates, Congress could consider options to deal with this serious
situation.

We recognize that early estimates may be inexact. However, without any
estimate of the effect the new regulations may have on caseloads and of
information on how quickly, if at all, additional staff might be able to
reduce the current case backlogs, Congress has no basis to judge whether
requested resources to increase staffing are reasonable. Although initial
estimates of necessity involve considerable judgment, we believe it would
be better to offer estimates than to provide no perspective on the
regulations’ anticipated effect. Estimation is an iterative process, and
EEOC can improve the precision of its estimates as more and better data
become available. The Chairwoman said that EEOC will explore
alternative means for obtaining feedback on the kinds of changes that may
flow from the revised regulations. In addition to EEOC examining its own
caseloads, such alternatives, we believe, could include obtaining data
during on-site visits, through the NPR/EEOC Interagency Federal EEO
Task Force, or through informal surveys of agencies. As EEOC and
agencies scrutinize inventories to see how the new provisions apply to
existing cases, such data-gathering initiatives could yield increasingly
reliable and timely information on the effects of the new provisions.

In response to our fourth recommendation that an acceptable level of
timeliness be established for the processing of appeals, the Chairwoman
said that 180 days is an appropriate goal. She did not say how this goal
might be operationalized. We believe that such a goal would carry more
significance and accountability if it were articulated in writing as a policy,
such as by inclusion in EEOC’s annual performance plan.

In oral comments on a draft of this report made on July 7, 1999, the Postal
Service Manager, EEO Compliance and Appeals, concurred with our
observations. He added that the Postal Service will be in compliance with
the new EEOC regulation requiring that ADR be available to complainants
because of its REDRESS (Resolve Employment Disputes, Reach Equitable
Solutions Swiftly) program.

In a separate discussion, the Postal Service’s National REDRESS Program
Manager said that the program, which uses outside mediators in the



Page 20                                  GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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precomplaint stage, was fully implemented as of July 1999. She provided
statistics showing that during the first 10 months of fiscal year 1999—a
period during which the program was still being rolled out—there were
about 17 percent fewer formal EEO complaints, compared with the same
period in fiscal year 1998 (7,050 versus 8,522). She and the EEO
Compliance and Appeals Manager said this decline was in “large measure”
due to the REDRESS program. The EEO Compliance and Appeals Manager
also said that the Postal Service was expanding ADR to complaints
awaiting a hearing before an EEOC administrative judge. He said that pilot
programs have shown promise in reducing the inventory of complaints at
this stage, with about one-third of the cases reviewed found to be
candidates for settlement and another one-third found to be candidates for
mediation. The remaining one-third, he said, will probably go to hearing.
The official said that agencies have a responsibility to address these cases
and can play an important role in reducing not only their own caseloads,
but EEOC’s as well.

The implications of the Postal Service’s experience with ADR, if the
reported results are sustained, are significant for several reasons. First,
they show that an agencywide ADR program to resolve disputes at an early
stage can reduce the number of formal complaints. Second, because postal
workers account for about half of the EEO complaints filed by federal
employees, a substantial reduction in the number of formal complaints by
postal workers could mean a reduction in the number of cases entering
EEOC’s hearings and appeals pipeline. Third, the Postal Service’s limited
experience, under its pilot programs, of applying ADR to cases awaiting a
hearing show that some portion of this inventory can be resolved without
using EEOC hearing resources.

Although the Postal Service has not had broad experience with applying
ADR to cases awaiting a hearing, the experiences of the Merit Systems
Protection Board (MSPB) may be instructive to agencies and EEOC in
establishing dispute resolution strategies and allocating resources. MSPB
has had a long-established policy of trying to settle cases it does not
dismiss on jurisdictional or timeliness grounds. Over the past 10 years,
MSPB has avoided hearings by settling about half of employee appeals of
personnel actions.

We are sending copies of this report to Senators Daniel K. Akaka, Thad
Cochran, Joseph I. Lieberman, and Fred Thompson; and Representatives
Robert E. Andrews, John A. Boehner, Dan Burton, William L. Clay, Chaka
Fattah, William F. Goodling, Steny H. Hoyer, Jim Kolbe, John M. McHugh,
David Obey, Harold Rogers, Joe Scarborough, Jose E. Serrano, Henry A.



Page 21                                GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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Waxman, and C. W. Bill Young in their capacities as Chair or Ranking
Minority Members of Senate and House Committees and Subcommittees.
We will also send copies to the Honorable Ida L. Castro, Chairwoman,
EEOC; the Honorable William J. Henderson, Postmaster General; the
Honorable Janice R. Lachance, Director, Office of Personnel Management;
the Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget; and
other interested parties. We will make copies of this report available to
others on request.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please
contact me or Assistant Director Stephen Altman on (202) 512-8676. Other
major contributors to this report were Anthony P. Lofaro, Gary V. Lawson,
and Sharon T. Hogan.




Michael Brostek
Associate Director, Federal Management
  and Workforce Issues




Page 22                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Page 23   GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Contents



Letter                                                                                           1


Appendix I                                                                                      28

Scope and
Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                     30

Processing Federal
Employee EEO
Complaints
Appendix III                                                                                    32

Selected Complaint
Data on U.S. Postal
Service
Appendix IV                                                                                     35

Selected Federal
Sector EEO Complaint
Data for Fiscal Years
1991 to 1998
Appendix V                                                                                      47

Comments From the
U.S. Equal
Employment
Opportunity
Commission
Tables                  Table 1: Inventories of Complaints at Agencies and                       5
                          Hearing Requests and Appeals at EEOC for Fiscal
                          Years 1991-1998



                        Page 24                              GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
          Contents




          Table 2: Average Age of Complaints in Agencies’                           6
            Inventories and Hearing Requests and Appeals in
            EEOC’s Inventories for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table 3: Average Age of Cases in Inventory at the Postal                  6
            Service and Nonpostal Agencies by Stage of the
            Complaint Process for Fiscal Year 1998
          Table 4: Number of Complaints Filed With Agencies and                     8
            Hearing Requests and Appeals Filed With EEOC for
            Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table 5: Average Processing Time for Complaints at                        9
            Agencies and Hearing Requests and Appeals at EEOC
            for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table 6: Average Complaint Closure Time by Type of                       10
            Case Closure at the Postal Service and Nonpostal
            Agencies in Fiscal Year 1998
          Table III.1: Total and Postal Service Inventories of                     32
            Compliants, Hearing Requests, and Appeals and Postal
            Service as a Percentage of the Totals for Fiscal Years
            1991-1998
          Table III.2: Average Age (Days) of Complaints in the                     32
            Postal Service's Inventory Since Complaint Filed, by
            Stage of the Complaint Process for Fiscal Years 1991-
            1998
          Table III.3: Percentage of Postal Workers' Complaints                    33
            Pending Dismissal/Acceptance and Investigation More
            Than 180 Days for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table III.4: Postal Workers as a Percentage of the                       33
            Federal Workforce for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table III.5: Total and Postal Workers’ Complaints,                       33
            Hearing Requests, and Appeals and Postal Workers as a
            Percentage of Total Complaints, Hearing Requests, and
            Appeals for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
          Table III.6: Postal Service Complaint Processing Time in                 34
            Days by Closure Category


Figures   Figure IV.1: Agencies’ Complaint Inventories Continue to                 35
            Grow
          Figure IV.2: EEOC’s Hearings and Appeals Inventories                     36
            Continue to Increase
          Figure IV.3: Average Age of the Complaint Inventory at                   37
            Agencies FYs 1991 - 1998
          Figure IV.4: Frequently, Agencies Did Not Dismiss/Accept                 38
            and Investigate Complaints Within 180 days


          Page 25                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Contents




Figure IV.5: Average Age of EEOC’s Hearings and                           39
  Appeals Inventories Has Increased
Figure IV.6: Proportion of EEOC’s Hearings Inventory                      40
  Older Than 180 Days Has Risen
Figure IV.7: More Appeals Have Been in Inventory For                      41
  Longer Periods of Time at EEOC
Figure IV.8: The Number of Complaints Filed With                          42
  Agencies Has Generally Increased
Figure IV.9: Hearings Requested and Appeals Filed Have                    43
  Increased at EEOC
Figure IV.10: Complaint Processing Time at Agencies FYs                   44
  1991-1998
Figure IV.11: Average Time For Agencies’ Complaint                        45
  Investigations
Figure IV.12: EEOC Processing Times For Hearings and                      46
  Appeals Continue to Increase




Abbreviations

ADR           alternative dispute resolution
EEO           equal employment opportunity
EEOC          Equal Employment Opportunity Commission




Page 26                                GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Page 27   GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology


                                                    1
             As with our previous report about complaint caseloads, we developed
             information on complaints falling within the jurisdiction of the Equal
             Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and not the Merit Systems
                                       2
             Protection Board (MSPB), because (1) the vast majority of discrimination
             complaints fall within EEOC's jurisdiction and (2) concerns about case
             inventories and processing times raised in hearings before the House
             Subcommittee on Civil Service focused on complaints within EEOC's
             jurisdiction.

             We updated (1) trends in the size of inventories and the age of cases in
             inventory at the various stages of the equal employment opportunity
             (EEO) complaint process and (2) trends in the number of complaints filed
             by federal employees and the time taken by agencies and EEOC to process
             them to include fiscal years 1991 through 1998. Agencies' complaint data
             for fiscal year 1998, which EEOC provided and which we used in our
             analysis, were preliminary. We selected 1991 as a base year because it
             preceded intensive government downsizing, the implementation of new
             laws expanding civil rights protections and remedies, and the
             implementation of new regulations governing the federal employee EEO
             complaint process. Because postal workers accounted for about half the
             complaints filed since fiscal year 1995, we separately analyzed data
             reported by the Postal Service in order to compare statistics for the postal
             workforce with the nonpostal workforce.

             To update and analyze information about (1) the trends in the size and age
             of complaint inventories and (2) the number of complaints filed by federal
             employees and the amount of time taken by federal agencies and EEOC to
             process them, we obtained data reported (1) to EEOC by the Postal
             Service and other agencies and (2) by EEOC in its annual Federal Sector
             Report on EEO Complaints Processing and Appeals. We did not verify the
             data in EEOC's reports or data provided by the Postal Service. To make
             observations about the implications of the trends, we drew upon our
             analysis of the trend data, our past work, and discussions with EEOC
             officials. In addition, we reviewed EEOC’s budget request for fiscal year
                                                                                   3
             2000 and its annual performance plans for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. We

             1
              Equal Employment Opportunity: Rising Trends in EEO Complaint Caseloads in the Federal Sector
             (GAO/GGD-98-157BR, July 1998) page 6.
             2
               MSPB adjudicates, among other things, employee appeals of firings or suspensions of more than 14
             days, including cases in which an appellant alleges that the firing or suspension occurred because of
             unlawful employment discrimination. These are known as "mixed cases." MSPB's decisions in mixed
             cases may be reviewed by EEOC.
             3
                 The annual performance plans are required by the Government Performance and Results Act.




             Page 28                                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




also reviewed changes to the regulations governing the federal employee
complaint process (29 C.F.R. part 1614) that are to be implemented
beginning in November 1999.

We have previously noted limitations to the data presented in our reports
                                                                        4
because of concerns about the quality of data available for analysis.
Although we have no reason to question EEOC’s statistics about its own
hearings and appeals activities, we had identified errors and
inconsistencies in the data on agencies’ inventory levels and on the age of
cases in inventory. Because EEOC had not verified the data it received
from agencies, it is possible that other data problems may have existed.
EEOC corrected the errors we identified and, in response to a
recommendation we made, said that it would take action to address our
concerns about data consistency, completeness, and accuracy. Before
providing the fiscal year 1998 agency data to us, EEOC reviewed agencies’
hard-copy submissions of complaint statistics and compared these data to
statistics the agencies provided in an automated format. EEOC also tested
the accuracy of its computer program to aggregate the data submitted by
agencies. In response to our recommendation in an earlier report, before it
publishes the complaint statistics in the fiscal year 1998 Federal Sector
Report on EEO Complaints Processing and Appeals, EEOC said it would
visit selected agencies to assess the reliability of the reported data. On
balance, total caseload data currently available, while needing further
quality assurance checks, present useful information on the volume of
complaints actually being processed in the federal EEO complaint system.

We performed our work in Washington, D.C., from March through May
1999 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards.




4
 Equal Employment Opportunity: Data Shortcomings Hinder Assessment of Conflicts in the Federal
Workplace (GAO/GGD-99-75, May 4, 1999); GAO/GGD-98-157BR; Equal Employment Opportunity:
Administrative Judges’ Recommended Decisions and Agencies’ Actions (GAO/GGD-98-122R, June 10,
1998).




Page 29                                           GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix II

Processing Federal Employee EEO
Complaints

              Agencies and EEOC process federal employees’ EEO complaints under
                           1
              regulations promulgated by EEOC, which also establish processing time
              standards. Employees unable to resolve their concerns through counseling
              can file a complaint with their agency, which either dismisses or accepts it
              (the first stage) and, if the complaint is accepted, conducts an investigation
              (the second stage). Agencies are to decide whether to accept a complaint,
              investigate it, and report investigation results within 180 days from the
              complaint’s filing.

              After receiving the investigation results, an employee who pursues a
              complaint has two choices: (1) request a hearing before an EEOC
              administrative judge (the third stage) who issues a recommended decision,
              which the agency can accept, reject, or modify in making its final decision
              or (2) forgo a hearing and ask for a final agency decision (the fourth stage).
              An employee has 30 days to make this decision. When a hearing is
              requested, the administrative judge is to issue a recommended decision
              within 180 days of the request. An agency is to issue its final decision
              within 60 days of receiving an administrative judge’s recommendation or a
              request for a final decision. Up to this point, EEOC standards have allowed
              complaint processing to take up to 270 days without a hearing, 450 days
              with one.

              An employee dissatisfied with a final agency decision or its decision to
                                                                                        2
              dismiss a complaint may appeal to EEOC, which is to conduct a de novo
              review (the fifth stage). The employee has 30 days to file an appeal, but
              regulations do not establish time standards for EEOC’s review. The final
              (sixth) stage within the administrative process is that the complainant or
              agency may request EEOC to reconsider its decision from the appeal
              within 30 days of receiving the decision. However, regulations do not
              establish time standards for the EEOC’s reconsideration.

              EEOC will be implementing revisions to the regulations, including changes
              to hearing and appeal procedures, beginning in November 1999. Under the
              new rules, administrative judges will continue to issue decisions on
              complaints referred to them for hearings. However, agencies will no longer
              be able to modify these decisions. Instead, as its final action (as final
              decisions will be called), an agency will issue a final order indicating
              whether or not it will fully implement the administrative judge’s decision.
              If the agency does not fully implement the decision, it will be required to

              1
                  29 C.F.R. part 1614.
              2
                  A complete review of all evidence from the beginning of a case.




              Page 30                                                  GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix II
Processing Federal Employee EEO Complaints




file an appeal of the decision with EEOC. Employees will retain the right to
appeal an agency’s final action to EEOC. In addition, the decision on an
appeal from an agency’s final action will be based on a de novo review,
except that the review of the factual findings in a decision by an
administrative judge will be based on a substantial evidence standard of
        3
review.




3
 Substantial evidence is the degree of relevant evidence that a reasonable person might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.




Page 31                                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix III

Selected Complaint Data on U.S. Postal
Service

Table III.1: Total and Postal Service Inventories of Compliants, Hearing Requests, and Appeals and Postal Service as a
Percentage of the Totals for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
                           1991           1992         1993         1994          1995         1996          1997                           1998
 Complaints
Total                    16,964         18,668        22,258       27,044      30,605       31,195        34,286                          36,333
Postal workers            3,963          4,626         5,026        6,893      10,105       11,357        13,549                          13,996
Percent                  23.4%          24.8%         22.6%        25.5%        33.0%        36.4%         39.5%                          38.5%
Hearing
requests
Total                     3,147          3,977         3,991        5,177        6,367        8,275       10,016                          11,967
Postal workers            1,440          1,837         1,094        1,827        2,567        3,327         4,594                          5,474
Percent                  45.8%          46.2%         27.4%        35.3%        40.3%        40.2%         45.9%                          45.7%
Appeals
Total                     1,466          2,029         2,900        4,363        6,498        8,376         9,980                         10,966
                               a
Postal workers                             837           940        1,470        2,563        3,558         4,317                          4,961
                               a
Percent                                 41.3%         32.4%        33.7%        39.4%        42.5%         43.3%                          45.2%
                                             a
                                                 Not available.
                                             Source: GAO analysis of EEOC and Postal Service data.




Table III.2: Average Age (Days) of Complaints in the Postal Service's Inventory Since Complaint Filed, by Stage of the
Complaint Process for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
Stage of               1991           1992         1993          1994           1995        1996           1997                            1998
process
                             a
Dismiss/accept                          27           146          182            540         582            320                             212
Investigation           207            217                 183             212           145              163              405              300
                                                                  c              c             c                c                c                   c
Investigation           267            237
            b
Disposition
Hearing                 494            502                 180             284           307              322              887              675
                              a              a
Agency                                                     179             210           239              251              302              285
decision
Overall                 399            356                 176             212           287              315              494              450
                                             a
                                                 No cases reported.
                                             b
                                              When the agency notified the complainant in writing of its proposed disposition of the complaint and
                                             of the right to a final decision with or without an EEOC hearing.
                                             c
                                                 Discontinued as a reporting category.
                                             Source: GAO analysis of EEOC and Postal Service data.




                                             Page 32                                               GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                           Appendix III
                                           Selected Complaint Data on U.S. Postal Service




Table III.3: Percentage of Postal Workers' Complaints Pending Dismissal/Acceptance and Investigation More Than 180 Days
for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
Stage of process                  1991       1992        1993        1994        1995        1996         1997       1998
                                      a
Dismissal/acceptance                            0         62.2       40.0        53.7         61.9         26.2       65.5
Investigation                    50.4          48.2         71.8          55.8           40.4        58.6        48.6        36.5
                                           a
                                           No cases reported.
                                           Source: GAO analysis of EEOC and Postal Service data.




Table III.4: Postal Workers as a Percentage of the Federal Workforce for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
Fiscal year                   1991         1992         1993          1994         1995         1996             1997        1998
Percent of workforce           23.9         23.2         23.5         27.2          28.6         31.2             31.8        32.2
                                           Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




Table III.5: Total and Postal Workers’ Complaints, Hearing Requests, and Appeals and Postal Workers as a Percentage of Total
Complaints, Hearing Requests, and Appeals for Fiscal Years 1991-1998
                                 1991      1992           1993        1994        1995         1996         1997        1998
Complaints
Total                         17,696      19,106       22,237      24,592       27,472       26,410      28,947       28,147
Postal workers                  7,772      8,469         8,858     10,221       13,322       13,252      14,326       14,397
Percent                        43.9%      44.3%         39.8%       41.6%       48.5%        50.2%        49.5%       51.1%
Hearing requests
Total                           5,773      6,907         8,882     10,712       10,515       10,677      11,198       12,218
Postal workers                  2,605      3,337         2,933       3,934       4,451        4,583        5,275       5,795
Percent                        45.1%      48.3%         33.0%       36.7%       42.3%        42.9%        47.1%       47.4%
Appeals
Total                           5,266      5,997         6,361       7,141       8,152        8,001        8,453       8,480
Postal workers                  2,250      2,649         2,227       2,450       3,436        3,534        3,734       3,958
Percent                        42.7%      44.2%         35.0%       34.3%       42.1%        44.2%        44.2%       46.7%
                                           Source: GAO analysis of EEOC and Postal Service data.




                                           Page 33                                          GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                          Appendix III
                                          Selected Complaint Data on U.S. Postal Service




Table III.6: Postal Service Complaint Processing Time in Days by Closure Category
Closure category                1991         1992         1993        1994                1995            1996     1997        1998
Dismissed                         134          150         154         135                 116             208      197         141
Withdrawn                         256          256         266         213                 218             296      300         261
Settled                           217          211         307         279                 280             341      401         355
                                     a            a
Decision without hearing                                   227         520                 393             512      439         477
                                     a            a
Decision with hearing                                      734         721                 510             527      689         749
Overall                           230          233         296         315                 247             330      353         322
                                          a
                                          Separate data not reported for closures with and without hearings.
                                          Source: GAO analysis of EEOC and Postal Service data.




                                          Page 34                                             GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix IV

Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data
for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998

                                   The following figures show the trends in (1) inventories of unresolved
                                   equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints at federal agencies and
                                   the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); (2) the age of
                                   cases in the inventories; (3) the number of complaints, hearing requests,
                                   and appeals filed; and (4) processing times for complaints, hearings, and
                                   appeals.

Figure IV.1: Agencies’ Complaint
Inventories Continue to Grow




                                   Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                   Page 35                                GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                   Appendix IV
                                   Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.2: EEOC’s Hearings and
Appeals Inventories Continue to
Increase




                                   Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                   Page 36                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                          Appendix IV
                                          Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.3: Average Age of the Complaint Inventory at Agencies FYs 1991 - 1998




                                          Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                          Page 37                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                        Appendix IV
                                        Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.4: Frequently, Agencies Did
Not Dismiss/Accept and Investigate
Complaints Within 180 days




                                        Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                        Page 38                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                       Appendix IV
                                       Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.5: Average Age of EEOC’s
Hearings and Appeals Inventories Has
Increased




                                       a
                                       Not reported.


                                       Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                       Page 39                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                         Appendix IV
                                         Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.6: Proportion of EEOC’s
Hearings Inventory Older Than 180 Days
Has Risen




                                         Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                         Page 40                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                          Appendix IV
                                          Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.7: More Appeals Have Been in
Inventory For Longer Periods of Time at
EEOC




                                          Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                          Page 41                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                        Appendix IV
                                        Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.8: The Number of Complaints
Filed With Agencies Has Generally
Increased




                                        Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                        Page 42                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                       Appendix IV
                                       Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.9: Hearings Requested and
Appeals Filed Have Increased at EEOC




                                       Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                       Page 43                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                         Appendix IV
                                         Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.10: Complaint Processing Time at Agencies FYs 1991-1998




                                         a
                                         Separate data not reported for closures with and without hearings.


                                         Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data




                                         Page 44                                             GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                     Appendix IV
                                     Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.11: Average Time For
Agencies’ Complaint Investigations




                                     Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                     Page 45                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
                                       Appendix IV
                                       Selected Federal Sector EEO Complaint Data for Fiscal Years 1991 to 1998




Figure IV.12: EEOC Processing Times
For Hearings and Appeals Continue to
Increase




                                       Source: GAO analysis of EEOC data.




                                       Page 46                                       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix V

Comments From the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission




             Page 47       GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix V
Comments From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission




Page 48                                    GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix V
Comments From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission




Page 49                                    GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Appendix V
Comments From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission




Page 50                                    GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Page 51   GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
Page 52   GAO/GGD-99-128 EEO Complaint Caseloads
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