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
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.