Positions in this series involve factfinding, analysis, writing, and application of civil rights or equal opportunity principles to identify and/or solve problems. Positions in this series are involved in one or more of the following duties:
- investigating and conciliating allegations of discrimination;
- enforcing laws requiring equal pay for men and women;
- reviewing, evaluating, and enforcing equal opportunity compliance by Government contractors and other recipients of public funds;
- identifying systemic or institutional barriers to equal opportunity;
- proposing or implementing solutions to complex problems when the work involves a high degree of analysis;
- developing, carrying out, or evaluating broad equal opportunity, or voluntary compliance programs;
- applying judgment in interpreting complex factual situations in light of laws, regulations, and precedent decisions governing a civil rights or equal opportunity program; or
- performing similar work requiring equivalent qualifications.
Positions that require a paramount knowledge of the equal opportunity or civil rights laws and principles often require knowledge of the field covered by the laws being implemented. For example, equal opportunity compliance specialists working in fair housing programs typically possess a practical knowledge of Federal housing programs, rental property management techniques, the processes involved in real estate transfers, housing finance procedures, marketing of housing developments, and similar matters. Equal opportunity compliance specialists concerned with equal education possess knowledge of the organization and management of universities, colleges, and school districts, and practical knowledge of a wide range of educational principles and techniques. These subject matter knowledges are important, useful, and may distinguish more highly qualified applicants, but they are not the paramount requirements of the position.
As a trainee, assists more experienced equal opportunity specialists in investigating and negotiating settlements of charges of discriminatory employment practices based on age, race, color, religion, sex, handicapping condition, or national origin as well as violations of the Equal Pay Act filed with the agency. Assignments are primarily for training purposes and to relieve higher graded compliance specialists of more routine work. The specialist:
- Interviews charging parties, witnesses, and respondents to obtain factual information relevant to a charge of employment discrimination;
- Reviews and summarizes documentary evidence such as employment applications from employer files as assigned by a higher level specialist;
- Reviews, summarizes, and evaluates relevant information in investigative files to assist other compliance specialists preparing for conciliation meetings;
- Drafts parts of investigative reports (for example, descriptive or narrative material based on documents or sworn statements);
- Drafts letters, memoranda, or internal reports on a variety of subjects to answer specific questions asked by the public, parties to complaints, agency officials, or others;
- Performs a variety of assignments throughout the office on a rotational basis to learn the work of the office (e.g., interviews persons who wish to file complaints and gives them information necessary for filing a complaint).
Provides technical support to higher graded specialists conducting onsite contract compliance reviews, desk audits, and investigations, and receives on-the-job training to develop the knowledge and skill to perform higher level assignments. Participates in reviews of Federal Government contractors' employment policies and practices to determine if contractors are meeting their equal employment opportunity obligations under the provisions of the contract, the Executive order, and contract compliance regulations. The specialist:
- Develops background information for compliance reviews, researches official documents, and analyzes case files, official documents, and contractors' statistical data;
- Interviews employees and supervisors of firms being reviewed and summarizes information obtained;
- Deals directly with contractor managers or staff officials to obtain information, to discuss specific minor problems, and to explain regulations and compliance review procedures;
- Gathers facts related to allegations of discrimination, analyzes them, and makes recommendations to higher level compliance specialists for resolving complaints;
- Attends and participates in orientation interviews of top management officials of firms and agencies that are conducted by higher level compliance specialists;
- Gathers, summarizes, and analyzes contractor employment data for incorporation in the final review report;
- Drafts sections of reports of contract compliance for use in reports prepared by higher level compliance specialists.
Investigates and negotiates settlements of less complicated charges of employment discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, sex, handicapping condition, or national origin, as well as violations of the Equal Pay Act filed with the agency. The specialist:
- Interviews charging parties, and their witnesses to obtain evidence relevant to the allegation of discrimination;
- Contacts respondents to serve charges, explain respondent's legal and administrative rights and obligations under the law. Interviews company officials, union officers, and others to gather additional information;
- Reviews personnel records, reviews employment policies and practices, and tours facilities;
- As required, drafts subpoenas to obtain documents, records, or testimony for submission to supervisor and review by agency legal counsel;
- Determines that evidence is sufficient and the investigative file is complete;
- Writes Investigator's Memorandum summarizing charges, itemizing undisputed facts, stating facts germane to respondent's defense, and critically analyzing the findings of the investigation;
- Prepares a comprehensive and documented report of investigative findings setting forth evidence and the rationale for recommendation and drafts Letters of Determination for approval of and issuance by a higher level agency official;
- Assists higher level specialists in preparing and negotiating settlement agreements by researching investigative files, drafting proposed agreements, and participating in negotiations;
- Assists higher level specialists on more difficult investigations and compliance (followup) reviews of settlement agreements by performing portions of the investigation or review.
Investigates and negotiates settlement agreements of complex charges of discriminatory employment practices based on age, race, color, religion, handicapping condition, sex, and national origin or of Equal Pay Act violations filed with the agency. The specialist:
- Interviews charging parties and their witnesses to obtain evidence relevant to the allegation of discrimination;
- Contacts respondent's officials and representatives, union and employee group representatives, and others to obtain additional relevant information;
- Reviews documentary evidence pertaining to personnel policies and practices;
- Drafts subpoenas when required to obtain documents, records, or testimony;
- Determines that evidence is sufficient and the investigative file is complete;
- Summarizes charges, itemizes undisputed facts, states facts germane to respondent's defense, and critically analyzes the finding of the investigation in the Investigator's Memorandum;
- Drafts Letters of Determination;
- Consolidates outstanding related charges against a respondent and attempts settlement with respondent, complainants, and their representatives;
- If settlement fails, drafts recommendations for further action;
- Assists other compliance specialists with highly complex cases or pattern of practice investigations by performing parts of the investigation;
- As assigned, gives formal speeches or talks to groups on various aspects of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, answers correspondence inquiries, and counsels office visitors on their rights, and on procedures under these laws.
Investigates and negotiates settlement agreements of important, sensitive, highly difficult, and complex charges of discriminatory employment practices based on age, race, color, religion, handicapping condition, sex, and national origin or of Equal Pay Act violations filed with the agency. (Cases are highly difficult and important because they involve problems and issues for which precedents are not clear or are in conflict.) The specialist:
- Interviews charging parties to obtain evidence relevant to the allegation of discrimination;
- Contacts respondents to serve charges, and explain respondent's rights and obligations under the law;
- Interviews company officials and representatives of unions and employee groups and others to obtain relevant information;
- Reviews documents pertaining to personnel practices and policies;
- Drafts subpoenas, when required, to obtain documents, records, or testimony;
- Assures that evidence is arranged in a Field Investigative File;
- Summarizes charges, itemizes undisputed facts germane to respondents' defense, and critically analyzes the findings of the investigation in the Investigator's Memorandums;
- Prepares comprehensive and well-documented reports of investigative findings, setting forth evidence and rationale for own recommendations;
- Determines if issues are Commission Decision Precedent (CDP);
- Drafts Letters of Determination (LOD);
- Consolidates outstanding related charges against a respondent, and negotiates settlement of controversial cases with respondents, complainants, and their representatives;
- If settlement fails, drafts recommendations for further action on charges;
- Provides guidance to lower graded specialists in all aspects of investigations and conciliations;
- As assigned, gives formal classroom training to other specialists on various aspects of equal employment opportunity enforcement;
- Consults with companies on preparation of affirmative action plans, provides advice to specialists involved in educational activities and technical assistance to labor unions, trade associations, and State and local agencies engaged in eliminating unlawful practices.
Serves as director of fair housing and equal opportunity within the geographical area served by an area office (typically one or more States or one or more major metropolitan areas). As the office expert on fair housing and equal opportunity, develops, executes, and monitors the program to meet the specific fair housing and equal opportunity requirements of communities within the area served. The programs that are directed include: (1) equal access to housing; (2) nondiscrimination in all agency programs; (3) training, employment, and business opportunities for residents of agency funded housing programs; (4) Federal equal employment opportunity within the agency; and (5) a variety of other related programs and projects. The incumbent:
- Manages the areawide fair housing and equal opportunity program;
- Advises the office director and other office program managers and staff specialists on the fair housing and equal opportunity implications of all agency programs administered by the office. Recommends approval or disapproval of agency actions based on their impact on equal opportunity;
- Evaluates the equal opportunity impact of private buildings developed in whole or in part with Federal funds with respect to nondiscriminatory sale or rent practices and affirmative marketing plans. Negotiates affirmative marketing plans with builders and continuously monitors progress and effect of existing plans;
- Promotes and assists the housing industry in developing areawide voluntary affirmative marketing agreements;
- Provides technical assistance to federally funded local housing authorities on development of affirmative action plans. Evaluates and either approves or rejects plans;
- Develops, approves, and monitors equal employment affirmative action plans of construction contractors and subcontractors receiving agency funds;
- Provides technical assistance to the area office director and other area office program managers in developing an affirmative action plan for Federal employment in the area office;
- Meets with representatives of the housing industry, civil rights groups, and communities to explain and promote fair housing, equal opportunity, and the agency's housing and community development programs;
- Provides technical assistance for and promotes minority business enterprise in the housing industry;
- Reviews, monitors, and approves or disapproves Housing Assistance Plans submitted by communities based on equal opportunity impacts;
- Recommends approval or disapproval of applications for community development funding based on equal opportunity impact.
Typical requirements may include:
- 1 to 5 years of experience working with equal employment opportunity and/or fair housing discrimination related enforcement programs; or
- Associate’s degree with major course work in public or business administration, behavioral or social sciences, personnel or related field and 3 years of clerical, technical or para-professional experience in equal opportunity programs or similar work directly related to equal opportunity programs, personnel administration, employment counseling, contract compliance, social work; or
- Bachelor’s degree in field as described above supplemented by formal training workshops or specialized training or certification in equal opportunity in employment and/or housing programs; or
- An equivalent combination of training, education, and/or experience.
Earnings of Equal Opportunity Specialists may vary according to geographic location of the employer.
As of 2011, the salary range for a Equal Opportunity Specialists in the federal government is between $27,431 to $93, 175.
Information on obtaining Equal Opportunity Compliance Specialist positions with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government's official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at http://www.usajobs.gov or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724–1850 or (703) 724–1850 or TDD (978) 461–8404 and (978) 461–8404. These numbers are not toll free, and charges may result. For advice on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, download the Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process” online here.
- Office of Personnel Management, Position Classification Standards.