An IG report on gender equity at the Justice Department found that “staff of all genders, positions, supervisory status, and across agencies had negative perceptions about the EEO process” which “may contribute to underreporting of discrimination and harassment to the EEO office.”
It said those perceptions are so strong that many employees who said they had experienced discrimination said they had not reported it, and less than half of respondents to the survey said they would report it if it happened to them.
“These perceptions included the stigma of filing an EEO complaint, fear of retaliation, lack of confidence or trust in an EEO office or the EEO process, and the significant time commitment involved in the EEO process. The stigma associated with filing an EEO complaint included being labeled as a “troublemaker” or a belief that some people file to cover up poor performance,” it said.
“Underreporting could hinder the components’ ability to address individual instances of discrimination and harassment and the conditions that allow such behavior to occur. Further, it could obscure the extent of the problem,” it added.