Fed Board adopts final EEO rule changes

Those employed by and seeking employment with the Federal Reserve Board are focus of a final rule that revises the agency’s equal employment rules and is set to take effect about July 11.

The final rule, slated for publication in the Federal Register Tuesday, revises and expands the Fed’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulation to adopt recent changes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made to its own rules. The changes are generally aimed at ensuring the Fed is complying with the spirit of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.

The rule changes were proposed last November, and the Fed reports receiving a total of six comment letters. The Fed said that four of the commenters supported the rule, one didn’t give a position, and a sixth opposed it because it would further “affirmative action.” The Fed took this as opposing a portion of the proposed rule that commits the Fed Board to the goal of ensuring 12% of employees are persons with disabilities and 2% are persons with targeted disabilities, which in turn ensures greater consistency between the Fed’s EEO practices and those of other federal agencies.

The Fed said that since most commenters supported the proposal, and since the changes are needed to conform the Fed’s EEO regulation more closely with EEOC rules and to clarify Fed Board employees’ rights to bring claims before the Merit System Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Board, the proposed amendments were adopted “without substantive change.”

One of the more tailored final rule provisions requires that Fed Board staff, EEO investigators, and complainants comply with the Fed Board’s program for the security of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) information when investigating and processing complaints that require access to FOMC information.

The final rule takes effect 30 days after publication in the Register.

Federal Register notice