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Civil Rights News | June 20, 2024

The Coast Guard's Progress in Promoting Equal Employment Opportunity in FY23

By Netosha Washington, Equity Program Manager, Civil Rights Directorate

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Management Directive 715 (MD-715) is a self-assessment to be conducted by federal agencies annually. It also establishes the guidelines for developing and maintaining effective equal employment opportunity (EEO) programs for federal agencies.  

In FY23, the Coast Guard’s report showed that the Service is 96.79% compliant with the six essential elements of a model EEO program. This is a modest improvement from the 96.1% compliance rate in FY22.  

The six essential elements of a model EEO program as determined by the EEOC are: 

A) Leadership Commitment: Coast Guard leaders’ active support and promotion of EEO. 

B) Integration into Mission: EEO principles embedded in the Coast Guard’s strategic mission. 

C) Accountability:  Holding managers, supervisors, and employees accountable for the implementation of EEO programs and principles. 

D) Prevention of Discrimination: Steps taken throughout the organization to prevent discrimination. 

E) Efficiency: How streamlined and effective are the organization’s EEO processes. 

F) Responsiveness and Compliance: Response rates to EEO issues and do they comply with legal requirements. 

Key highlights from the FY23 report include: 

  • The Coast Guard maintained full compliance in Leadership Commitment, Prevention of Discrimination, and Responsiveness and Compliance. 

  • The Coast Guard surpassed its employment goals for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Persons with Targeted Disabilities (PWTD), achieving participation rates of 30.72% and 3.20% respectively, far above the goals of 12% and 2%. 

  • 2,832 civilian workforce members received in-person Civil Rights Awareness training delivered by the Coast Guard’s Civil Rights Service Providers (313 managers and supervisors, 2,519 employees).  

  • Participation in the Coast Guard’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program at the pre-complaint counseling stage rose to 58.4% from 53.4% for the previous year, exceeding the EEOC's goal of 50%. 

  • The average processing time for reasonable accommodation requests stayed under 15 days. 

  • The Coast Guard established an Advisory Board on Women in the Coast Guard and selected 15 members. 

  • The Diversity & Inclusion Office added 57 new Change Agents to its Change Agent Program. 

  • Improved timeliness of the Coast Guard’s final agency decisions (FAD), increasing from 63.20% in FY22 to 90.90% in FY23. FAD is the agency’s formal conclusion about a discrimination complaint after reviewing all the evidence. It explains whether discrimination occurred and what actions, if any, will be taken to fix it. 

  • The Coast Guard successfully combined its civilian appropriated fund (AF) and non-appropriated fund (NAF) workforce statistics as one data set. Doing so partially corrected a deficiency to meet requirements in the new 2.0 format of the MD-715 required by the EEOC. This compilation provides a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the Service’s entire workforce. 

Overall, these improvements reflect the Coast Guard’s ongoing commitment to creating a fair and inclusive workplace for employees and applicants for employment. Find past MD-715 reports here.