Fedweek

Newly offered legislation (S-4374) would require the development and implementation of a government-wide initiative to promote, expand, and retain diverse talent across the federal workforce.

The bill would require OPM, OMB and EEOC to jointly develop a diversity and inclusion initiative and strategic plan with a focus on workforce diversity, workplace inclusion, agency accountability and leadership, and strategies to identify and remove barriers to equal employment at each agency

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It also would require agencies to develop and update their own plans; publicly report data on workforce demographics, professional development program participation and outreach efforts; and report on their compliance with a 2011 executive order telling them remove barriers to equal employment opportunity and to increase efforts to recruit, hire, promote, retain, develop, and train a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Also recently introduced was HR-7798, designed to ensure that Foreign Service officers up for promotion are not passed over because of gaps in their service records related to a disability. Such gaps can occur when officers need to return to the United States to receive specialized, necessary medical care, sponsors said.

The bill would allow them to submit a so-called “gap memo”—commonly used to explain interruptions due to health, family and other emergencies—so that an absence due to disability is not penalized, they said.

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2020 Federal Employees Handbook