EEOC to Reduce Number of Directors as It Revamps Field Organization

By Stephen Barr
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced yesterday that she plans to overhaul the agency's field structure and will cut the number of district directors by a third.

But no employees will lose their jobs and no offices will be closed, the agency said.

Inside the EEOC, there have been discussions of reorganization plans for three years, but the agency's field officers got the official word yesterday at a meeting called by Cari M. Dominguez , the EEOC chairman.

Dominguez, in her announcement, said she has called a commission meeting for Monday to debate and vote on the reorganization plan. The commission has four members -- three Republicans and one Democrat -- and one vacancy.

The EEOC estimated that the reorganization will save several million dollars over time. Nick Inzeo , the agency's director of field programs, said the agency will reap some of the savings by abolishing some positions and filling others deemed critical to the agency's primary work.

He noted that the agency, going into the reorganization, has eight vacant Senior Executive Service positions and an empty position at the top General Schedule pay grade.

The proposal calls for redeploying staff, including some managers, to enforcement, litigation, mediation and customer service positions. The EEOC's announcement noted that the workload has been declining in some cities and that it no longer justifies large offices in those locations.

The plan will reduce from 25 to 16 the number of district directors reporting to headquarters and will put the remaining directors and regional attorneys in charge of larger geographic zones and workloads.

Nine district offices will be recast as field offices, Inzeo said. Under the proposal, the EEOC will operate with a four-tiered structure: district offices, field offices, area offices and local offices. The reorganization will permit the EEOC to open two new area offices, in Las Vegas and Mobile, Ala.

The plan also reduces the number of regional attorneys from 21 to 15. Some will continue as agency lawyers, and some may become field office directors, Inzeo said.

If the reorganization is adopted, EEOC will have one frontline supervisor for every 10 employees, the agency said. Currently, the agency has about one supervisor for every seven or eight employees. The EEOC has about 2,400 employees.

Dominguez cited changes in demographics, business practices and technology, along with budgetary considerations, as reasons for the reorganization.

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