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Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

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"As Commander and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer for the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, I am personally committed to the principles of EEO. All civilian employees and applicants for employment shall be given equal employment opportunity regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. I am committed to leading an inclusive and professional work environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, where everyone feels they can provide their opinion, where everyone is valued for who they are, and where everyone is open to diverse perspectives."

RADM Doug W. Small

Affirmative Employment Program

NIWC Atlantic is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all personnel practices to ensure equal opportunity for employment, promotion, and training for all segments of the workforce.  The Affirmative Employment Program (AEP) is an integral part of the Equal Employment Opportunity program.  The AEP was created to achieve the goals of a workforce that represents our diverse population and to recruit, place, and retain qualified women, minorities, and persons with disability. The AEP requires managers and supervisors to develop strategies to effectively recruit, employ, and promote qualified members of target groups that have lower than expected participation rates when compared to their benchmark rates.  It also requires managers to identify and remove barriers that impede employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

The objectives of the Affirmative Employment Programs are to:
  • Eliminate the existence of work force imbalances of minorities, women, and persons with targeted disabilities within the workforce;
  • Ensure minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity in all personnel processes, including recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, and awards; and,
  • Implement the Affirmative Employment Program as a management process to correct barriers that limit employment opportunities for members of a particular race, ethnic background, sex, or because of a disability.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) uses a variety of tools to resolve concerns in the workplace. Mediation is the ADR method of choice in the Department of the Navy. ADR is available to NAVWAR and PEO employees. ADR provides opportunities to address concerns and clarify misunderstandings with the assistance of a trained neutral third party. It is an effective means for resolving workplace disputes and improving working relationships. Electing ADR does not waive an employee’s right to file an EEO complaint. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to use ADR as an alternative method for resolving disputes. For additional information, call 843-218-5508.

Personal Assistance Services

For many individuals with disabilities, personal assistance services (PAS) help make employment possible. Some people use PAS to carry out activities of daily living. Depending on the individual, such activities might include getting up and ready for work, bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, or running errands.

Some people also use PAS in the workplace. Examples of workplace PAS vary, but may involve activities such as retrieving materials out of reach or providing travel assistance for an employee with a mobility impairment; helping an employee with a cognitive disability in decision-making; reading printed materials to an employee who is visually impaired; or ensuring a sign language interpreter is present during meetings for an employee who is deaf.

Whether at home or work, PAS can be essential to employment success. Recognizing this, NIWC LANT's EEO Office works to expand and raise awareness of employment-related PAS options. Meeting the needs of people on and off the job raises important policy issues for federal and state governments, service providers, and employers, as well as people with disabilities themselves. NIWC LANT recognizes PAS is a critical issue — not only for those seeking employment, but also for those already employed. Improving PAS access and options helps not only reduce economic barriers for people with disabilities, but also increase awareness of the importance of direct care workers.

The following resources offer further information about PAS:

Reasonable Accommodations

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Possible reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities accessible; job restructuring; modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; changing tests, training materials, or policies; providing qualified readers or interpreters; and reassignment to a vacant position. For additional information, call 843-218-5508 or email

Special Emphasis Program

Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) are an integral part of Equal Employment Opportunity. The purpose of these programs is to ensure that agencies take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity to minorities, women and people with disabilities in all areas of employment. The term, "Special Emphasis Programs," refers specifically to employment related programs which focus special attention on groups that are conspicuously absent or underrepresented in a specific occupational category or grade level in the agency's workforce.

The goals of the Special Emphasis Program include:
  • Improve employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women, and people with disabilities in the Federal service
  • Identify systemic barriers to opportunity for minorities, women, and people with disabilities
  • Seek ways to help minorities, women, and people with disabilities to advance by using their skills more fully
  • Monitor agency progress in eliminating discrimination and adverse impact on minorities, women, and people with disabilities in employment and agency programs
  • Educate Federal employees and managers about the extent of various forms of discrimination within the Federal Service

Special Observances are conducted to recognize the continuous achievements of all Americans to American culture and to increase awareness, mutual respect, and understanding. They are designed to enhance cross-cultural and cross-gender awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the NIWC Atlantic civilian workforce.

Special Observances include:
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (January 18th)
  • Black History Month (February)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Days of Remembrance and Holocaust Remembrance Day (vary each year according to the Hebrew calendar)
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May)
  • LGBTQ Pride Month (June)
  • Women's Equality Day (August 26th)
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th to October 15th)
  • National Disability Awareness Month (October)
  • National American Indian Heritage Month (November)

EEO Discrimination Complaints Process

Discrimination in employment based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), disability, genetic information, or in reprisal for prior EEO complaint involvement or opposition to discrimination is prohibited. In order for an individual to file a timely EEO complaint, the individual must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory or, in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action. The following diagram describes some key timeframes associated with the EEO complaints process. To contact an EEO Counselor, please call 843-218-5508.

1. Employee has 45 calendar days from the incident to contact an EEO counselor.
2. Counselor has 30 days to conduct fact-finding, attempt information resolution, and conduct final interview.
3. Employee has 15 calendar days to file a written formal complaint.
4. EEO Office will accept or dismiss complaint for investigation.
5. DOD investigation and Resolution Division has 180 days to complete the investigation.
Jessica Byrd
NIWC Deputy Director, EEO
Zackeya Sykes
EEO Programs Team Lead/Disability Program Manager
Kim Jones
Team Lead/Complaints Manager
Niya Southall
Affirmative Employment Program Manager
Niasha Blake-Robinson
Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator
Dr. Deborah Fuqua
Special Emphasis Program (SEP) Manager
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