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September 23, 2011

Spotlight

U.S. Army Reserve Equal Employment Opportunity Office

(Editor’s note: This is the second Fort McCoy “SPOTLIGHT,” a series about tenant activities at Fort McCoy and their missions.)

What is it?
The U.S. Army Reserve Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at Fort McCoy provides assistance to more than 12,000 Army Reserve civilian employees by responding to discrimination complaints and providing training to help prevent discrimination.

The office has been a tenant at Fort McCoy since 2002 after beginning the process of becoming the centralized EEO office for the Army Reserve in 2000. The EEO office at Fort McCoy reports to Headquarters, U.S. Army Reserve Command.

What have they done?
The EEO office averages more than 200 inquiries from Army Reserve employees each year. These inquiries include employee discrimination complaints. When a discrimination complaint is received by the EEO office it is in an informal phase, and a collateral-duty counselor is assigned to the case.

Counselors act as mediators between the employee issuing the complaint and the supervisor or organization the claim is against. If resolution cannot be made at the counseling stage, the case may become formal. After the EEO office determines the allegations comply with the appropriate federal regulations, an investigation begins. This entire process may take up to 180 days.

The EEO office provides training to civilian and military supervisors as well as civilian employees. In-person classroom training is available as well as online training through the Army Learning Management System.

In addition to the staff at Fort McCoy, the EEO office has more than 120 collateral-duty counselors. These volunteer counselors are nominated by their commands and provide counseling for cases that may arise throughout the United States and abroad. The EEO office offers an annual counselors’ course to train collateral-duty counselors.

At Fort McCoy, the EEO office presently sponsors the Disability Awareness Month and Women’s Equality Day observances.

What do they have planned?
Disability Employment Awareness Month will be observed with a program Thursday, Oct. 13, at McCoy’s, building 1571.
The EEO office currently is fully staffed and continues to work to prevent discrimination complaints through education and training. Supervisors at Fort McCoy can schedule EEO training for themselves or their organization. Call the EEO office for more information.

Why are they important?
The EEO office’s goal is to stamp out any sort of employment discrimination. It focuses on the core issues of each complaint and seeks to open up lines of communication between the employee and supervisor or co-worker. Education and training are key contributors to preventing conflict in the workplace.

More than half of the complaints the EEO office receives are resolved during the counseling stage, which avoids a formal, investigative stage, and allows the individuals involved to return to their mission.

Resources:
For more information about the EEO office at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-3106 or toll-free 888-838-4499. Information also is available at the website https://usarcintra/eeo/.

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