Division of Equal Employment Opportunity
2016 Year in Review
The County of Erie, Division of Equal Employment Opportunity (Division of EEO) is, in part charged with developing and administering Equal Employment and Affirmative Action Programs pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and in accordance with the laws of New York State and the County of Erie. Services and programs are provided for the benefit of all County residents without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or reprisal in any employment action including recruitment, hiring, advancement, promotion, compensation or termination.
The mission of the Division of EEO is to help build an inclusive workforce in an environment that fosters dignity and respect for the individual through a diverse workforce that reflects a changing world and marketplace. The Division of EEO monitors business and economic development opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
There are two major EEO services: (1) complaint counseling and investigation; (2) affirmative action administration.
Complaint Counseling and Investigation
Informal and formal procedures have been developed to insure fairness and consistency in the County of Erie’s employment program with its employees.
Program and Service Objective #I: Effectively implement informal and formal procedures to insure fairness and consistency in EEO counseling and complaint processing. These procedures are designed for the opportunity to resolve complaints internally. In no way duplicates or circumvent other options available to claimants.
Outcome of Service Objective #I: The Division of EEO has provided information to all Departments on updated complaint procedures and has delivered an Affirmative Action Plan to all Departments (hard copy) plus has the most current updated Affirmative Action Plan posted on the County of Erie, Department of EEO website: https://www2.erie.gov/eeo/.
Program and Service Objective #II: Counsel and investigate harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaints and those arising out of personnel problems that relate to equal employment opportunity. Support and encourage departments to utilize Labor Relations, union complaint processes and training of managers/supervisors. Maintain confidential, efficient case files and electronic documentation.
Outcome of Service Objective #II: The Division of EEO provides effective and timely processing of EEO informal complaints and when needed effective and timely investigation of EEO formal complaints. The number of informal complaints processed within the 30 to 60 day time frame for the year 2016 equal 13. The number of formal complaints timely accepted and processed equal 4. The Division of EEO issued 4 Agency Decisions – Dismissals. The Division of EEO has assisted the County Attorney’s office with supporting documentation when an EEO complaint is received from outside organizations (i.e. New York State Division of Human Rights and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Feedback from County Attorney’s office has been favorable and appreciative. The Division of EEO maintains confidential, efficient case files and electronic documentation.
Program and Service Objective #III: Collect, compile and record data, provide information and file required reports to federal, state and local authorities pertaining to the statistical profile of Erie County Workforce and when needed EEO complaints.
Outcome of Service Objective #III: The County of Erie, New York is due to submit its EEO4 report in September 2017. The County of Erie can report the following statistics relative to its workforce as of December 31, 2016: (Note: the full-time workforce total is 4235 and Males = 2105/49.7% and Females = 2130/50.3%)
Total Full- Time Workforce: 4235/100%
Males: White = 1915/ 45.2%; Black = 119 / 2.8%; Hispanic = 55/1.3%; Asian = 11/0.25% and Native American = 5/0.12%.
Females: White = 1764/41.7%; Black = 264/6.2%; Hispanic = 83/2.0%; Asian = 13/0.30% and Native American = 6/0.14%.
Other than Full Time Employees (Including Temporary Employees): 1041/100%
Males: White = 402/38.6%; Black = 67/6.4%; Hispanic = 17/1.6%; Asian = 5/0.5%; and Native American = 4/0.4%.
Females: White = 457/43.9%; Black = 59/5.6%; Hispanic = 16/1.5%; Asian = 9/0.9%; Native American = 5/0.5%.
New Hires during Fiscal Year (Permanent full time only as of June 30): 329/100%
Males: White = 136/41.3%; Black = 14/4.3%; Hispanic = 8/2.4%; Asian = 0/0%; and Native American = 0/0%.
Females: White = 139/42.2%; Black = 25/7.6%; Hispanic = 6/1.8%; Asian = 0/0% and Native American = 1/0.3%
The Statistical Profile of Erie County EEO complaints are:
County employees submitted a total of 17/100% complaints (13 informal and 4 formal) in 2016.
13/76.5% complaints ended at the informal-complaint stage and of that number:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->9/69.2% informal-complainants received a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint but did not take any action with the County or outside agency as of this report.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->4/30.7% informal-complainants received a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint and did so with the County of Erie, Division of EEO.
4/23.5% formal complaints were received and of that number:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->4/100% Agency Decisions (Dismissals) were issued.
Agency Decisions on Past Complaints:
The County has an extensive internal EEO complaint process, which is in compliance with the guidelines and spirit of current regulations. The Affirmative Action Plan promulgated by the County not only illustrates compliance with federal and state law, but it also reflects the process of how the County will deal with its legal obligation to promptly and thoroughly investigate issues of harassment and discrimination. The County will prepare and issue agency decisions regarding any outstanding EEO complaint albeit even after an extended period of time. Issuing determinations and properly closing out the files ensures that the County is investigating and taking actions with every complaint, a situation that would be helpful in case of an audit by any auditing agency.
Key Performance Indicator Measures
Number of informal complaints processed within the 30 – 60 day timeframe compared to the number received. Performance goal of 95% was met and exceeded.
Number of formal complaints timely accepted and processed compared to the number received. Performance goal of 100% was met.
Agency decision issued within the 180 – 210 day timeframe. Performance goal of 100% was met and exceeded.
Provide EEO and diversity briefings to department supervisors and managers. Performance goal of 100% was partially met*. *(Partially met: indicates that at least half the activities targeted for completion were achieved and we are still working on scheduling the remainder for completion.)
Priorities for 2017 are:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Provide information to all Departments on updated procedures to include a new chapter Number IX subject Title VI Policy; provide effective and timely processing of EEO informal complaints; provide effective and timely investigation of EEO formal complaints; prepare and issue the EEO-4 report in a timely fashion and provide required refresher training for investigators.
These priorities are being addressed and are on schedule to be achieved for calendar year 2017.
Affirmative Action Administration
It is the County of Erie’s commitment to provide and assure that equal opportunity is extended to all persons in employment and contracting matters without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or reprisal. The Affirmative Action Plan for Equal Employment Opportunity is established to affirm, strengthen and reinforce the County of Erie’s commitment to equal opportunity. Each County department which lets contracts for supplies, services or construction shall take affirmative steps to provide minority and women business enterprises every feasible opportunity to bid on county contracts. The Division of EEO has the responsibility of administering the monitoring program for the County of Erie and its Affirmative Action Plan. During the monitoring of an organization, the Division of EEO shall receive the full cooperation of the Contracting Agency in dealing with organizations needing improvements.
Program and Service Objectives
Program and Service Objective #I: Implement and monitor the Erie County Affirmative Action Plan. Assure that County of Erie residents receive equal treatment when seeking employment or attempting to do business with the County.
Outcome of Service Objective #I: The County of Erie’s Affirmative Action Plan is being received and implemented at the Department levels. The Director of EEO continues to hold meetings with Department supervisors and managers to discuss the AAP goals and objectives. The Division of EEO provides assistance to Departments in their efforts to cast the wide net when seeking applicants for employment and provide assistance when Erie County residents are attempting to do business with Erie County.
Program and Service Objective #II: Assist minority and women owned business enterprises in acquiring County construction, purchase and service contracts and expand their business participation in County contracts. Monitor the utilization of bona fide minority and women owned businesses on County contracts for professional, technical and other consultant services.
Outcome of Service Objective #II: The Division of EEO issues notices of bid opportunities to minority and women owned businesses identified in the County of Erie data base. Business owners are reminded that their efforts to seek out opportunities are critical and should be a recurring step in their business plan. The Division of EEO conducted over 70 job site visits during the 2016 construction season to monitor the utilization of minority and women owned businesses and apprentices on County contracts. We monitor the use of minority and women businesses on professional, technical and consultant services contracts too.
Program and Service Objective #III: Monitor the County of Erie hiring and promotional activities for the purpose of maintaining a workforce in all job group categories which generally reflect the demographic characteristics of the County’s population.
Outcome of Service Objective #III: The Director of EEO makes every effort to address this matter with department heads and make recommendations for casting a wide net when searching for job candidates and making decisions based on legal job qualifications and an opportunity for diversity. Individual department reviews are conducted using the EEO-4 statistics to identify and document areas of conspicuous absences.
Priorities for 2017 include:
• Enhance procedure for equal pay compliance monitoring.
• Conduct periodic auditing of contractors’ pay records for equal pay compliance.
• Take proactive steps to create a model EEO program within the County of Erie.
• Continue to hold meetings with Minority and Women Business Enterprise Utilization Advisory Board, and monitor their development of the required annual report.
• Design, improve and provide continuous updates to EEO website for effective service and current information.
• Work to increase the rate of monthly certification applications received and increase MWBE certifications.
• Ensure timely preparation and dissemination of quarterly compliance reports required by NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for Erie County Division of Sewerage Management and/or transfer from manual to automatic computer generated reports with commentary from Sewerage Management Division.
• Serve as the Equitable Business Opportunities (EBO) Administrator for the New York State Department of Transportation’s new web based civil rights reporting system called Equitable Business Opportunities (EBO).
• Monitor the EBO System and provide access for DPW and DEP employees when requested.
• Monitor the utilization of bona fide minority and women owned businesses on County contracts for professional, technical and/or other consultant services.
• Research, develop and send the EEO-4 Report to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the County of Erie in a timely fashion.
Key Performance Indicator Measures:
Number of meetings to monitor good faith compliance of County Affirmative Action Plan and EEO related matters. The goal of 70 meetings was exceeded and the DEEO continues to keep the County’s message on MWBE goals and participation of Apprentices on County contracts out front for community awareness.
Number of new MWBE businesses certified by the County of Erie and City of Buffalo Joint Certification Committee. There was a 5.31% increase in the number of MWBEs during the year 2016. We started with 264 certified MWBEs and ended at 278 certified MWBEs.
Percentage of County contracts received by Minority and Women Business Enterprises:
• The Department of Purchase reports 2016 Minority and Women vendor usage as: Minority vendors total $828,864.00 or 2.70% and Women vendors total $2,622,910.00 or 8.52%; there is a value of $63,949.00 or 0.21% for Veteran vendors. Total Purchase Department POs for 2016 equals $30,784,046.00.
• The Department of Public Works reports 2016 Capital Projects for Highways as follows, projects underway total five projects priced at $5,147,173.00 with 7.9% minority participation and 3.7% women business participation for combined total of 11.6% MWBE. The County goals are 12% total. The Highways Division also reports a total of five Federal Aid projects priced at $4,708,782.00 with a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) participation of 9.0%. There are five Architecture and Planning projects that were priced at $420,445.00 but there were no MWBE reported.
• The Department of Public Works reports 2016 Buildings and Grounds projects totaling 59 and priced at $35,926,002.00 with 13% minority participation and 12% women business participation for a combined total of 25% MWBE. Contracts with values at or above $250,000.00 require that there be 10% apprenticeship participation in the project workforce. This requirement is being achieved.
• The New Era (Ralph Wilson) Stadium Annual Capital Improvement Allowance Year 3, 2016 projects total five projects priced at $3,916,429.00 with 12% minority participation and 18% women business participation for a combined total of 30% MWBE. The New York State goals apply and the overall goal was achieved.
• The Erie Community College (ECC) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building project is underway. The project construction costs are priced at $18,848,270.00 with seven prime contractors. MWBE participation goals are set at 32%. Minority participation is 17.05% and Women business participation is 16.23% for combined total of 33.28% participation on this New York State, Erie County and Erie Community College funded project. Workforce participation goals and apprenticeship participation goals are being tracked and are being achieved. The ECC STEM Executive Committee meets at least once a month and a status report is provided. Any issues are discussed and tracked for resolution.
• The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning reports utilization of minority and women-owned businesses for professional, technical and consultant services totaled $3,900,639.77 with a minority business enterprise participation of $384,717.00 or 9.86% and women-owned business participation of $96,872.00 or 2.53%. This report is a summary and includes 36 projects underway in 2016.
The County of Erie continues its efforts to achieve a Model EEO Program. A program that
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Demonstrated commitment from its leadership
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Management and program accountability
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Integration of EEO into its Strategic Plan
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Efficiency
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Responsive and meets legal compliance
Affirmative action on County contracts is still a goal stipulated by the laws in Erie County. The MWBE Advisory Board continues to work and identify avenues for greater MWBE participation.
The Division of EEO will continue to work to assure compliance with the County’s Affirmative Action Plan and the laws of Erie County.