Government Printing Office Wins Dubious Title of Federal Agency with Highest Discrimination Complaint Rate

Monday, September 01, 2014

The good news: Complaints about workplace discrimination by federal employees fell in fiscal 2012 by 6.7%. The bad news is that the Government Printing Office (GPO) still led the list of complaints with 1.22% of its workforce filing complaints, according to a report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It was the second year in a row the GPO led the list.


The EEOC held more than 8,000 hearings that year. Surprisingly, an increasing number of the hearings concerned its own employees; the EEOC was third on the list of complaints, climbing four spots on the discrimination Top 10, just behind Defense Commissary.


As usual, reprisal or retaliation was the leading complaint, with just less than half of all complaints fitting under that heading. Thirty-eight percent of complaints were about racial discrimination, with a quarter of the total involving discrimination against African-American employees.


Where’s the best place to work in the federal government? By the measure of discrimination, it’s the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That agency reported no discrimination complaints. Next on the list were the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and Defense National Guard Bureau, with a complaint rate of 0.04%.


Settlements to the complaints affected the federal bottom line to the tune of $51.4 million in fiscal 2012, up 18% from the previous year. About 27% of complaints received settlements, and the average payout was about $12,000.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

The Federal Agencies Most Often Accused of Discrimination (by Eric Katz, Government Executive)

Annual Report on the Federal Work Force (EEOC)

Federal Job Bias Complaints Up, With Retaliation for Complaining About Bias Leading the Way (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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