It’s like expressing dire concerns “with the fox that’s guarding the henhouse.”
So says a worker with the Dallas district office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Readers of this national employment law blog forum are well attuned to the workings of the EEOC. The agency is the country’s predominant regulatory entity administering and enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.
The Dallas office is a mainstay cog and key locale among the commission’s field offices spanning the country.
And that fact alone makes a recent report concerning its operations notably troubling, if not outright disturbing. That report follows a USA TODAY investigation revealing “widespread complaints of internal discrimination” allegedly targeting a number of EEOC workers. Numerous and diverse complaints of unlawful treatment have been lodged by more than a dozen current and ex-employees in Dallas. They centrally include these charges:
- Denied training opportunities
- Subpar evaluations not tied to objective factors
- Failed promotion consideration
- Unfair disciplinary action/reprisals
- Unlawful termination
Dallas agency principals have clearly felt the heat. Office supervisors held a meeting with workers last week to address concerns, promising a meaningful response aimed at fixing problems and fostering a more equitable work environment.
Employees were not impressed. As noted by a media report, managers reportedly “provided few specifics about how the agency would address their employees’ concerns.” And discontented workers have cited fears about speaking out via the agency’s internal reporting channels.
The matter is not about to be relegated to a proverbial back burner. Indeed, EEOC national Chairwoman Charlotte Burrows has ordered a formal review of the Dallas Office, stating that she is “committed to hearing from employees and understanding what they are experiencing.”