: Reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability or a closely held religious belief to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations are available for employees and applicants:
Reasonable Accommodation Process
- Modifications or adjustments to the application process to permit an individual with a disability or a closely held religious belief to be considered for a job
- Modifications or adjustments necessary to enable a qualified individual with a disability or a closely held religious belief to perform the essential functions of the job
- Modifications or adjustments that enable an individual with a disability or a closely held religious belief to have equal benefits and privileges of employment
: The reasonable accommodation process begins as soon as an individual makes an oral or written request for accommodation to (1) their immediate supervisor, (2) a supervisor/manager in the individual’s chain of command, (3) an HR Specialist, or (4) the EEO office / Disability Program Manager. An employee does not have to use the specific words “Reasonable Accommodation” and just has to request an accommodation. If the request is not clear, the supervisor / manager should discuss the request with the employee to determine if they are in fact requesting a reasonable accommodation. Absent extenuating circumstances, the request should be completed within 30 business days from the date the employee requests a reasonable accommodation to the decision maker.
: Once a reasonable accommodation is requested, the supervisor will inform the Disability Program Manager in the EEO Office and initiate the Interactive process. During this process the decision maker, usually the first line supervisor (HR Specialist for Applicants), and employee/applicant will discuss the request, the reason for request (disability or religious belief), and all possible accommodations. This discussion should include discussions regarding the effects the disability or religious belief has on the employee’s ability to perform their duties. As part of the interactive process, the decision maker may offer alternative suggestions for reasonable accommodations and discuss their effectiveness in addressing the need for a reasonable accommodation. A decision to provide an accommodation other than the one specifically requested is considered a decision to grant an accommodation. If more than one accommodation is effective, the preference of the employee should be given primary consideration; however, the decision maker has the ultimate discretion to choose between effective accommodations.
: If the disability or religious belief is not obvious, the decision maker may request additional documentation or information to assist them in the interactive process. While the employee is gathering this information from their doctor or religious leader, the timeframe stops for the processing of the reasonable accommodation. Documentation contains PII and is sensitive information about an individual’s condition or belief and must be handled in a confidential manner. The decision maker must seek the assistance of the DPM before obtaining any medical documentation. Information will be requested only to the extent reasonably necessary to establish that (1) the employee is an individual with a disability or has a closely held religious belief and needs the requested accommodation; (2) provide information on the nature, severity, expected duration of the impairment, the activity or activities the impairment limits; the extent to which the impairment limits the individual’s ability to perform the activity or activities; and (3) why the individual requires the particular accommodation requested and how the accommodation will assist the individual to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of the job, or have the benefits of the workplace.
: When the decision maker has chosen the most effective accommodation, whether the requested accommodation or an alternate accommodation, they will provide the decision in writing identifying the accommodation that will be provided and when it will be provided. If the accommodation is not the one that was requested, the written decision will explain both the reasons for the denial of the individual’s specific requested accommodation and why it has been determined that the chosen accommodation would be effective. If the accommodation will not be able to be provided within the 30 day timeframe, the decision maker will consider providing the employee a temporary accommodation until the chosen accommodation can be provided.
: If the decision maker denies the request for reasonable accommodation they must do so in writing. The denial letter must be written in plain language and state the specific reasons for the denial.
Examples: (1) Medical documentation is inadequate to establish that the individual has a disability or needs reasonable accommodation, (2) the accommodation would be ineffective, and/or (3) the accommodation would pose an undue hardship.
In determining whether a reasonable accommodation poses an undue hardship, the decision maker, in consultation with the DPM and the agency attorney, must consider the overall resources and options available to the Army, not just the budget or resources of an individual section, directorate, or the Depot.
Accommodation of Last Resort
: If there are no effective accommodations available for employees (not applicants), the accommodation of last resort is reassignment. The decision maker will work with the Disability Program Manager and CPAC to review the employee’s limitations, position description, resume, and any other training or certifications the employee may have to provide. With this information, CPAC will conduct a search for any vacant positions that may be available that the employee is qualified for and provide this list to the employee. If there are any available reassignments that the employee is qualified for, the employee may request for a reassignment.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee and Board
The Department of Army requires installations to establish Special Emphasis Programs to ensure equal employment opportunity in hiring, training, advancement, and treatment of protected class employees. These programs are the Asian Pacific/Islander Heritage Program, Black Employment Program, Federal Women's Program, Hispanic Employment Program, and American Indian/Alaskan Native Program. These programs have been consolidated at this installation and established as the Special Emphasis Program which is managed by the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and Board.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Board is composed of employees within the command. Membership on the Board is voluntary and open to all civilian Department of Army employees through elections by their directorate workforce. The DE&I Committee is composed of the Directors and senior management officials and is chaired by the Deputy to the Commander.
The DE&I Committee and Board assist the EEO Office in identifying, analyzing, and providing recommendations to Command Leadership as it relates to the importance of diversity equity and inclusion as well as helps to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to a model EEO workplace. Board members also serve as organizational liaisons to provide information about the concerns and needs of employees within their respective directorates and in some occasions, they may assist the EEO staff in the monthly Ethnic Observance awareness events.
Membership on the DE&I Board provides an opportunity for employees to become involved and make a personal commitment to the program. Committee and Board members are appointed and must attend regularly scheduled meetings.
For information on DE&I Committee and Board, contact the EEO Office at (717) 267-5427.
Anti-Harassment - Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) Act Training
No FEAR Act training for the civilian workforce will be accomplished within 60 calendar days from initial entry civilian workforce, and will normally occur during the New Employment Orientation (NEO) training that each new employee receives. Employees will also receive refresher NO FEAR training every year thereafter. This training will be provided through Letterkenny’s Total Employee Development (TED) site. The actual training is through the Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) site.
Employees will receive an annual notice that the training is due and they will just follow instructions to complete the training. A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of the training the employees should retain for their records. The No-FEAR training is "mandatory annually" for all Department of the Army Civilian (DAC) employees and military personnel who supervise DAC employees. Should you need additional assistance registering to this training, contact your EEO Office or your organization training Officer.
Letterkenny Supervisors will receive annual training regarding the EEO Complaint process, Reasonable Accommodation process, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This will be conducted through the Letterkenny Monthly supervisor training schedule and the date may differ from year to year. This training is to provide supervisors at all levels a refresher of the processes, any updates, and provide the EEO office the ability to identify any trends or issues so that supervisors can understand them and correct them at the lowest level before harassing and discriminatory practices occur.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)(https://www.eeoc.gov)
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI)(https://www.defenseculture.mil)
DOD Office of Diversity, Equity, and, Inclusion (https://diversity.defense.gov)
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)(https://askjan.org)
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)(https://www.opm.gov)
29 CFR 1614 (https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-29/subtitle-B/chapter-XIV/part-1614?toc=1)
MD -110 (https://www.eeoc.gov/federal-sector/management-directive/management-directive-110)
AR 690-600 (https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/Details.aspx?PUB_ID=58218)
AR 690-12 (https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/Details.aspx?PUB_ID=1007407)
Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints
Who: Any Department of the Army employee, former employee, applicant for employment, or certain contract employees who feels that they have been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), religion, age (40+), sex (and sexual orientation) disability (physical or mental), or reprisal from previous EEO activity may request EEO counseling.
When: Within 45 calendar days of the alleged discrimination act or, if a personnel action is involved, within 45 calendar days of its effective date.
How: A request for counseling may be oral or in writing and should include all of the following information: name, address, and telephone number; a brief description of the problem and the date on which it arose, and your request for anonymity during the counseling process, if you so desire.
Where: Letterkenny Army Depot EEO Office, Building 10, Room 31 (Next to the Break Room). There is also an exterior entrance on the ally side of Building 10 for those employees that do not have access to Building 10 or wish to not have to enter the building.
EEO Discrimination Complaint Process:
Policy: It is the policy of Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) and the Department of Army (DA) to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees and applicants for employment in every aspect of their employment and working conditions. Important aspects of an effective equal employment opportunity program are a vigorous affirmative action program and a discrimination processing system, which facilitates the early informal resolution of complaints raised. Below are the step in which the administrative Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process works. Any Army employee, former employee, applicant for employment, or certain contract employees may file complaints of discrimination, who believes they has been discriminated against on the basis of:
- National Origin
- Sex (includes Sexual Harassment and Sexual Orientation)
- Age (40 and above)
- Disability (physical and/or mental)
- GINA (Generic Information Non-Discrimination Act)
1. Pre-Complaint Process: An Aggrieved (employee or applicant) must contact an EEO Office within 45 calendar days of an alleged discriminatory action. Contact information for the EEO Office is above.
2. Counseling: The EEO Office will assign an EEO Counselor to the complaint and they will try to resolve the matter informally within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial interview with the Aggrieved. Counseling may be extended up to 60 additional calendar days, upon agreement of Aggrieved and the EEO Office, or if an established Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure is utilized. Mediation is the preferred method of ADR for the Army.
3. Formal Complaint Process: The Complainant (employee or applicant) may file a written formal complaint with the servicing EEO Office or Agency Head; within 15 calendar days after the final interview with the EEO Counselor and upon receipt of their Notice of Right to File (NRF) a Complaint of Discrimination after Traditional Counseling or after Mediation.
4. Acceptance/Dismissal: If the EEO Office accepts the complaint, an investigator will be assigned to collect all relevant information pertaining to the complaint. If portions of the complaint are dismissed, the complainant will be provided, in writing, the reason(s) for dismissal and informed of their right to appeal the decision.
5. Investigation: The Office of Investigations and Resolution Division (IRD) is required to complete the investigation with 180 calendar days from the filing of the formal complaint, with a possible extension of 180 additional calendar days, upon mutual agreement. After the investigation, the Complainant may request a Final Agency Decision or a Hearing by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (Complainant may also request a hearing after 180 calendar days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, if the investigation has not been completed.)
6. Final Agency Decision: If complainant requests a Final Agency Decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Complaints Review (EEOCCR) office will issue the Department's decision on the complaint. The decision, based on information in the investigation/case file, is issued within 60 calendar days.
7. EEOC Hearing: If complainant requests a hearing by EEOC, an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) conducts a hearing and submits their findings and conclusions, within 180 calendar days of the request.
8. Appeals: Complainant, if dissatisfied with the Agency's Final Decision, may appeal to EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) or file a civil action in a U.S. District Court.
9. Right to file a civil action: Complainant, if dissatisfied with OFO's decision, may request reopening and reconsideration by EEOC or may file a civil action in a U.S. District Court. Complainants who raise a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may bypass the administrative process by filing a notice of intent to sue with EEOC at least 30 calendar days before filing a civil action in court.
10. EEO Process vs. Union Process: Employees covered by bargaining agreements may use the union grievance procedures or the EEO complaint process as applicable.
11. Class Complaints: The EEO Office will provide counseling in class complaints. A Class Complaints is a complaint by a group of employees, formal employees, or applicants that have been adversely affected by an agency personnel management policy or practice that discriminates against an entire group of employees. The EEO Officer will designate a Counselor for class complaints as in the informal process. The agency's headquarters EEO Office will process formal Class Complaints.
Alternate Dispute Resolution / Mediation
The ADR Process that is used at Letterkenny Army Depot is called Mediation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a fair and efficient process to help resolve employment disputes and reach an agreement. An assigned neutral mediator will assist in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement.
How Does It Work?
The decision to mediate is completely voluntary for the aggrieved and the agency. When a complaint is filed, the parties may be offered mediation. If the aggrieved agrees, a certified, experienced mediator will be assigned, and mediation will be scheduled. During mediation, both sides will be able to exchange information and express expectations for reaching resolution. The parties work to reach common ground and resolved their differences. An agreement reached in mediation is as binding as any settlement reached through EEOC. If an agreement is not reached, the case, the complaint will be referred back to the EEO process to be handled like any other case. Information disclosed during mediation will not be revealed to anyone, including other EEOC employees. Choose Mediation to resolve employment discrimination disputes.
Mediation is Fair and Neutral – parties have an equal say in the process and the parties decide the settlement terms. Not the mediator! There is no determination of guilt or innocence in the process.
Saves Time and Money – many mediated settlements are completed in one meeting and legal or other representation is permitted in all cases, but not required.
Is Confidential – all parties must agree to confidentiality at the beginning of the process.
Avoids Unnecessary Litigation – lengthy litigation can be avoided. Mediation promotes a better work environment, reduces costs, and works for the employer and the employee!