SILVER SPRING, MD  20904-5236                 301-622-3633


June 23, 2004



Tanya Ballard

Managing Editor



This correspondence is in response to the June 15, 2004 article by Shawn Zeller, entitled

Shawn Zeller indicated that in order for the federal sector discrimination process to improve, civil rights groups, federal agencies, unions and Congress all have to put aside their parochial concerns.

I would argue that in order to improve the civil rights programs in the federal sector, EEOC Chair Dominguez has to collaborate with other stakeholders.  Since getting to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Dominguez has basically adopted a my-way/or-no way attitude that has alienated all the civil rights champions that she’s come in contact with. 

On March 25, 2003, a coalition of civil rights, EEO executives, employee advocates, and other stakeholder groups submitted a letter to EEOC with its thoughts on improving the Federal EEO process.  If Dominguez were serious about reforming the complaints process, she had what she needed in this document.

Lately, Dominguez has resorted to adopting indirect measures when she is unable to get what she wants through normal channels.  For example, she asked contractors to submit plans for developing a national customer service center before securing designated funding from Congress.    In addition, as of June 1, 2004, in the EEOC’s Washington Field Office, she has sanctioned a triage system for processing complaints.  This system will result in some complaints being dismissed without giving complainants an opportunity to supplement the reports of investigation through the discovery process.  This system was implemented even though the FY 2002 Annual Report indicated that EEOC would use the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking system to announce reforms to the federal sector discrimination complaint process. 


In addition, under her leadership, EEOC has allowed the EEOC's San Antonio District Office to conduct telephonic hearings, which can only harm complainants and agencies since it is impossible for EEOC Administrative Judges to make credible determinations over the telephone.  Finally, during the spring of 2004, without allowing federal agencies the opportunity to review and/or comment, Dominguez hastily issued the Instructions to Federal Agencies for Equal Employment Opportunity Directive 715 (MD-715).  These Instructions have placed the data-collection activities by federal agencies at odds with those of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Census Bureau, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Dominguez tries to justify her proposals by using sayings such as "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied."  Civil rights stakeholders are against this philosophy and any reform that will expedite the processing of discrimination complaints while decreasing important complainants' rights, i.e., the ability to get a thorough report of investigation from federal agencies, the right to augment the report of investigation through the discovery process, and the right to get an EEOC hearing. 


It is ironic that, in a year when the Nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic decision on Brown v. Board of Education and is about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Dominguez has engaged herself on a full-time campaign to decrease the civil rights of federal employees.   


The NAACP Federal Sector Task Force is prepared to conduct protest demonstrations against the policies of the EEOC Chair, starting within the next few days.  We believe the Chair is on the wrong track and we are prepared to oppose insane policies, unilaterally implemented by her and her aides.   The Task Force will responses appropriately in the days and months ahead. 


We believe the EEOC Chair’s actions and policies are an embarrassment to the other EEOC Commissioners, who probably have not voted to approve many of her actions. 


Someone should remind Dominguez of the famous saying from John Donne, the English poet: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of a continent, a part of the main.  While John Donne made this famous saying during the XVII century, it is still applicable to men and women nowadays.  We understand that the basis for much Dominguez's thinking may be native to the Caribbean island where she was born and bred; however, we urge, through this communiqué, that she should set aside her parochial views and join the civil rights struggle in America.  A leadership style patterned after Fidel Castro’s one-person dictatorship is unacceptable in America.  Leadership in America is a shared responsibility, with the four EEOC Commissioners and stakeholders.

Leroy W. Warren, Jr.
Leroy W. Warren, Jr.
NAACP Federal Sector Task Force