LANE COUNTY EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PLAN
EFFECTIVE DATES AND POLICY STATEMENT
- Equal Employment Opportunity Plan Effective Date: Summer, 1999
- Equal Employment Opportunity Plan Duration: Summer, 2004
- Annual updates of the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan will be conducted throughout its duration.
It is the policy of Lane County to provide fair and equal employment opportunity to all qualified men and women within its workforce, and to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, socio-economic, or marital status.
Lane County is committed to ensuring an inclusive, diverse workforce that is reflective of the community it serves. The County’s Diversity Implementation Plan enacted in 1995 and this Equal Employment Opportunity Plan provide the foundation for this commitment.
Lane County’s fair and equal employment opportunity policy includes, but is not limited to:
1) nondiscriminatory recruitment, screening, testing, hiring, training, promoting of persons in all job categories; 2) employment decisions that are based on Lane County’s commitment to equal employment opportunity; 3) ensuring that promotion decisions are in accord with the principles of equal employment opportunity by imposing only valid requirements for promotional opportunity; 4) ensuring that all personnel actions such as; compensation, benefits, transfers, work assignments, layoffs, return from layoff, disciplinary actions, terminations, training, and education are administered in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner; and 5) ensuring affirmative steps are taken to correct under-representation of any protected group within the County’s workforce.
William A. Van Vactor, County Administrator Date
LANE COUNTY DIVERSITY VISION STATEMENT
As part of its Diversity Implementation Plan, Lane County has developed a vision statement that reflects its beliefs and commitment to diversity:
LANE COUNTY IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT:
- REFLECTS diverse cultures in its mission, operations, products, and services;
- COMMITS to eliminating racism and oppression within its organization;
- INCLUDES members of diverse cultures in decisions that affect them;
- VALUES diversity as a strength;
- EMPHASIZES empowerment of all people in the organization;
- CREATES environments that value people for what they do, not what they are; and
- EDUCATES its employees in multi-cultural perspectives.
LANE COUNTY DIVERSITY POLICY
Lane County’s Diversity Policy contained within its’ Diversity Implementation Plan, clearly expresses its intent to provide fair and equal employment, services, and representation. It is contained in the official Lane Manual (LM) as policy number LM 2.385. The Policy states:
Diversity is a key to the future success of Lane County. We are charged with providing effective government services in an increasingly competitive and diverse environment. If we are to succeed, each of us must embrace the value of diversity as being critical to the achievement of our mission. The more successfully we are able to conduct our business in a diverse community, the more diverse our presence must be in that community.
Diversity transcends race and gender, affirmative action, and Equal Employment Opportunity. It means respecting and valuing differences such as those based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, race, and socio-economic status, as well as respecting each individual’s right to privacy in areas such as religious faith, political beliefs, and sexual orientation. In order to collaborate successfully with the diverse communities we serve, the County must be cognizant and respectful of our differences both in the community and the worksite. Most importantly, all in the County must rethink our approach to diversity. No longer are such issues just matters of social policy or historical reciprocity. Diversity, and the respect and understanding of the integrity and worth of all cultures, peoples, and lifestyles is today and will continue to be simply good business.
- Policy : Lane County will demonstrate its commitment to diversity through the way in which it provides County services, through its employment practices, through its funding decisions, and through its appointments to County boards, commissions, and committees by:
- Ensuring that all County services, programs, and activities are provided to its diverse communities in ways that are sensitive and responsive to cultural differences, including accessibility for persons with disabilities;
- Ensuring that all County funded services are provided, and funding decisions are made, in a manner that recognizes, addresses, and is reflective of the cultural diversity of the communities served;
- Demonstrating a commitment to workplace diversity through implementation of affirmative actions plans and development of cultural sensitivity and cultural competency among employees; and,
- Ensuring that all County boards, commissions, and committees are reflective of the diversity of the Lane County population.
The diversity policy contained in LM 2.385 is intended to be an expression of intent and aspiration on the part of the Lane County Board. It is to be used to guide the County government in benefiting from and being responsive to the changing population that provides both the County’s workforce and its customer base. It is not intended to be, nor shall it be used as, a basis for anyone demanding a right or making a claim against Lane County or its employees.
POPULATION TRENDS AND MINORITY POPULATIONS
IN LANE COUNTY
Of Oregon’s 36 counties, 13 counties lost population between 1980 and 1990, with the remaining 23 counties showing increases between 1% and 26.7%. Lane County’s growth during this period was at the low end at 2.8%. 1998 data shows Lane County’s percent of population growth as having increased between 1990 and 1998, with a 10.6% increase during this period. This growth, large as it was, dropped Lane County in rank from third to fourth as Oregon’s most populated county, due to even more rapid growth in Portland area counties. However, with 1998’s population at 313,000, Lane County still contains Oregon’s second largest city, Eugene. 2
As of the 1990 census, Lane County was still predominantly homogeneous with 95% of its population White, compared to 93% of the State population and 80.3% of the Nation. However, during the period between 1980 and 1990, its minority population grew by 41%, and this growth trend continues to the present day. The percentage of total population for minorities in Lane County breaks down as follows:
- African-American = 0.7%
- Native American = 1.1%
- Asian/Pacific Islander = 2.0%
- Hispanic = 2.4%
The fastest growing ethnic groups within Lane County between 1980 and 1990 were Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islanders, followed by Native Americans. The slowest growth in Lane County during this period was that of African-Americans. The city of Eugene is the most racially and ethnically mixed city in Lane County, with an 8.3% minority population. The percentage of total population for minorities in the city of Eugene breaks down as follows:
- African American = 1.3%
- Native American = 0.9%
- Asian/Pacific Islander = 3.5%
- Hispanic = 2.6%
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CHARTS AND GRAPHS
UTILIZATION ANALYSIS NARRATIVE STATEMENT
(Refer to Utilization Analysis Chart)
The Utilization Analysis compares Lane County’s current workforce with the available, qualified labor force residing within the boundaries of Lane County broken down by gender, ethnicity, and the eight EEO-4 job categories. The comparison was made using the standard "80% Rule." This Rule states that if the County’s workforce, when broken down by gender, ethnicity, and job category is within 80%, or more, of the available labor force, then the County is not underutilized for that particular group. Conversely, if the County’s workforce is not within 80% of the available labor force, then it is underutilized for that particular group.
As indicated on the Utilization Analysis Table (previous page), by applying the "80% Rule," the groups currently underutilized by Lane County are those that are shaded. The Utilization Analysis Summary Table on the following page, summarizes Lane County’s utilization of women and minorities across job categories.
In applying the 80% Rule to the analysis of Lane County’s data across gender, ethnicity, and job category, slightly over half of the areas indicate underutilization, to greater or lesser degrees, of the represented groups. Broken down by job category, the most significant areas to be addressed, in order of degree of under-representation, are as follows:
- Protective Service Officials - Minority men and women are under-represented by a total of 8.4%, and non-minority women by 18.5% as Officials within Protective Services.
- Officials and Administrators - Minority men and women are under-represented as Officials and Administrators by a total of 8.4%, though it can be noted that with the exception of two, the available workforce in each ethnic group is less than one percent in this job category.
- Technicians - Minority men are under-represented by a total of 3.4% and some minority women (African American and Hispanic) by .9% as Technicians.
- Service/Maintenance - All women, minority and non-minority, are under-represented by a total of 2.5% and 19.7%, respectively, in the Service/Maintenance field. The under-representation of women in this field is significant to note.
- Skilled Craft - All minority men are under-represented by a total of 4.8%, and some minority women (Hispanic and Asian) by a total of .4% in the area of Skilled Crafts.
- Protective Service Patrol Officers – Some minority men (Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian) are under-represented by a total of 6.2%, and Asian women by .6% in the Patrol Officers category. (This category also includes corrections deputy sheriffs, as well as adult parole/probation officers.)
- Para-Professional – The figure for non-minority women in this category reflects an under-representation of 24.7%. However, in examining the county workforce, a large percentage of its para-professionals are women. Therefore, this group is not considered under-represented. This difference may in part be due to the fact that only 6% of the County’s workforce are para-professionals. African American women and American Indian men are under-represented in this category by .8% and .1%, respectively.
- Office/Clerical – Some minority men (African American, Hispanic, and American Indian) are under-represented by a total of .5%, non-minority men by 16.3%, and American Indian women by .4% in the area of Office/Clerical work. The relatively significant under-representation of men may in part be due to the high numbers of women in this field.
- Professionals – African American and Asian men are under-represented by a total of .7% in the Professionals area, with the larger under-representation that of Asian men.
While the above analysis examines all areas of under-representation regardless of percentage amount, the County exceeds representation of minorities and women in the following areas:
- African American, Hispanic, and American Indian Professionals (1.5% total);
- African American and Hispanic Office/Clerical employees (1.1% total);
- Asian and American Indian Technicians (.9% total);
- Hispanic Para-Professionals (.2%); and
- Non-minority women Technicians (.4%).
- African American and Hispanic Para-Professionals (3.7% total);
- African American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian Service Maintenance employees (3.4% total);
- American Indian Professionals (.3%); and
- Hispanic Office/Clerical employees (.2%).
WORKFORCE DIVERSITY GOALS
The Action Items listed in the Implementation Priorities section (see end of Part One) of the Diversity Implementation Plan outline the goals that the County has established to address diversity and employment disparity, as well as customer service. In addition to these, the following goals have been established to specifically address under-representation of people of color and women indicated in the Tables on the preceding pages. Goals generally should address all minorities as a group. However, where data indicates a particular group is significantly under-represented, a separate goal may be established for that group.
In analyzing the areas in which people of color and women are under-represented, it is striking to note that they are often inadequately represented among applicant pools. Therefore, an area of primary focus in addressing under-representation in all job categories is recruitment. Broad in scope, recruitment involves everything from outreach to communities of color at the grass roots level, establishing programs with local educational institutions, to widening searches across geographic areas.
Another area of focus is to examine ways in which the County can expand programs such as internships, mentoring/apprenticeship, and continuing education and training. This might also include increasing the number of entry-level positions.
To address its under-representation of minorities and women within its workforce, Lane County established the following goals as priorities:
- In addressing the under-representation of minority men and women as officials and deputies, and non-minority women as officials, the Sheriff’s Office will continue its outreach and active recruitment of qualified individuals within local communities of color and examine other methods of attracting qualified minorities and women, such as expanding its search area. Additionally, it will be beneficial to re-examine its screening procedures and promotional practices.
- Due to the under-representation of minority men and women as officials and administrators, a broadened and active search and recruitment of qualified individuals in these groups will be made to fill vacancies as they occur. In addition, the County’s continuing education and training programs, and promotional practices will be evaluated.
- To address the under-representation of minority men and women in technical positions, increased accessibility to additional training and education will be made available to current employees, and active, targeted recruitment of qualified minorities will be conducted as vacancies occur.
- To address the significant under-representation of women across all groups in the service/maintenance field, recruitment efforts aimed specifically at women of all races will be made.
- Due to the under-representation of minority men and women in the skilled crafts, para-professional, and office/clerical positions, recruitment will be expanded to specifically target these groups of individuals. Current practices regarding mentorship/apprenticeship programs in skilled crafts will also be evaluated.
- To address the under-representation of minority men, specifically African American and Asian, in professional positions, recruitment efforts will target these specific groups, and promotional practices leading to these positions will be evaluated.
These goals, together with the County’s comprehensive Diversity Implementation Plan and the strategies outlined in the following section, form the framework of the County’s approach to workforce diversity.
WORKFORCE DIVERSITY STRATEGIES
Effective diversity and equal employment opportunity programs necessitate a positive and planned approach to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining qualified ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities. Lane County endeavors to employ individuals in all protected classes such that its workforce is proportionately representative of the community it serves. One of the most important factors in achieving workforce diversity is a balanced and representative applicant pool. The County will continue to put forth comprehensive, good-faith efforts in reaching this balance through expanded and targeted recruitment of people of color, women, and disabled individuals.
Lane County strongly encourages its departments to consider the direct and indirect benefits that a diverse workforce brings, such as; the added value of diversity in the workplace, and increased responsiveness and improved relations with the Lane County community. Effective and periodic training is seen as a critical component of enhancing the County’s efforts towards workforce inclusiveness. To this end, the County has provided, and continues to provide, diversity training at all levels, from heightened awareness and sensitivity of diversity, to increased diversity skills and competencies.
The County strives to achieve its workforce diversity goals through specific strategies developed by its departments. Several of Lane County’s largest departments have established their own diversity committees, and Lane County is in the process of re- establishing a countywide diversity team. One of the key roles of these committees and teams is to identify needs and goals, and to assess the County’s progress towards workforce inclusiveness.
The County’s goals and action plans are seen as methods to address broader inclusiveness in its employee workforce, and should not be mislabeled as quota systems. The County sees the diversity of its workforce as a crucial aspect in the larger picture of its overall effectiveness in responding to community needs and providing critical services.
Long-term (full utilization) goals have not been established due to the County’s inability to adequately predict expansion, contraction, and turnover on a long-term basis. However, the County will continue to put forth every good-faith effort to address its underutilization of minorities and women across job categories, and to assess and update its workforce diversity goals on an annual basis.
Lane County has made progress in increasing representation of people of color, women, and people with disabilities over the past ten years. To continue this progress, strategies have been developed to address workforce diversity. The strategies below follow from the areas indicating under-representation of minorities and women and the goals outlined above, and reflect a variety of approaches in addressing workforce diversity. They may be revised and updated as progress is evaluated.
1. Further develop and expand recruitment strategies for all job positions, to include:
- Working in conjunction with local educational institutions and organizations within communities of color to develop internship and mentorship/apprenticeship programs that allow for minority individuals to gain work skills and experience specific to county employment areas;
- Advertising and distributing announcements through targeted professional associations;
- Distributing job announcements to local and non-local educational institutions and organizations within communities of color;
- Expanding outreach efforts through personal contacts to communities of color to enhance relationships and information sharing about county employment;
- Continuing outreach to people of color and women through tabling at community cultural events and career fairs;
- Developing relationships and presenting information on employment opportunities and job requirements to students involved in multi-cultural groups at local high schools;
- Continuing internal efforts to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all people.
2. Refine screening, interviewing, and selection procedures, to include:
- Establishing the "essential functions" criteria (outlined in the Diversity Implementation Plan) in evaluating all job classifications, and screening, interviewing, and selecting applicants; give preference for bi-lingual skills;
- Incorporating one or more diversity-related questions on all supplemental questionnaires and as part of interviews;
- Giving credit in screening applicants for language skills and multi-cultural experience when relevant to position;
- Ensuring that interview panels include diverse evaluators;
- Ensuring a consistent approach in screening and interviewing applicants within the same job category.
- Complete the updating and developing of the computerized personnel system to provide for better applicant and employee tracking, and analysis of trends and patterns related to personnel actions.
- Ensure that exit interviews are conducted to help in improving the retention of minorities and women.
- Further develop the County’s training program in diversity and related topics.
- Complete the revision of the County’s sexual harassment policy to an expanded discrimination and harassment policy. Conduct training for management on the revised policy.
- Complete the re-establishment of a countywide diversity team to devise creative strategies for increasing workforce diversity.
- Complete the incorporation of the diversity factor into the performance evaluation for directors, managers, and supervisors, to evaluate what they do to contribute to an environment that is respectful, supportive, and productive for all employees. Work on establishing a diversity-related performance evaluation factor for all county employees.
- Examine methods of developing a promotional growth opportunity program that provides the support and assistance necessary to move employees up through a promotional track.
- Expand information sharing with county employees in the areas of discrimination laws, diversity-related topics, and multi-cultural community events through articles and announcements in county and departmental publications.