My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

The Census Bureau’s Equal Employment Opportunity Data: Complaints yes, resolutions no

With hundreds of thousands of Americans working for the 2010 Census, there are sure to be some individuals who feel as if they were improperly treated by their employer. Ttoday, MyTwoCensus.com will take a look at the Equal Employment Opportunity Data provided by the Census Bureau.

(Note: We only have data available for the first quarter of 2010, and NRFU operations didn’t begin until the second quarter. As the second quarter ended yesterday, we hope that this information will soon be available.)

During the past few months, MyTwoCensus.com has received dozens hundreds of e-mails from individuals who feel that they have been mistreated or discriminated against during their time as Census Bureau employees.

(Please feel free to share your stories in the comments section.)

MyTwoCensus has also heard from multiple sources that LCOs (local census offices) have done everything in their power to suppress individuals who wish to file complaints with the EEO and prevent them from filing such complaints, thus skewing the data. Given the large number of people who participated in Address Canvassing operations in 2009, MyTwoCensus is actually surprised how few complaints there have been. What disturbs me most is how few claims are actually found to be valid:

Check the data out for yourself here.

MyTwoCensus.com is now working to obtain more detailed information about the nature of complaints and what regions/municipalities they comes from.

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36 Responses to “The Census Bureau’s Equal Employment Opportunity Data: Complaints yes, resolutions no”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    How many people were interviewed for jobs?
    How many people were hired for NRFU?
    How many EEO claims were there in 2000?

    “Given the large number of people who participated in Address Canvassing operations in 2009, MyTwoCensus is actually surprised how few complaints there have been.”

    Ever consider that there isn’t really a problem? Just a thought.

  2. anonymous2010 Says:

    The NRFU operation is on a very much larger scale than Address Canvassing. During Address Canvassing, the LCO’s were on schedule. NRFU fell behind schedule and chaos ensued as LCO’s scrambled to meet production goals under pressure from Headquarters. It is during NRFU, for the most part, that the arbitrary and illegal personnel practices mushroomed.

  3. Former CL Says:

    I can agree with the story here. I was a CL with the Census… I started in recruiting in 2008 and was a CL in most every field operation from AC to NRFU… That is until a new AMFO came along. With my group a solid week ahead of all the other CLD`s I was suddenly fired for the claim of “falsification”. During the hearing… and I use that term losely ( more like Kangaroo Court the new AMFO couldnt provide a single shread of evidence proving that I ….. or anyone in my CLD falsified anything as much as our names on anything we turned in. I learned later why I was fired and my group disected and some dismissed. Our LCO was way behind schedule… and I mean way behind. Apparently my group made the LCO look bad by being so far ahead while everyone else lagged. Someone had this bright idea to ensure nobody was causing the office uncessary grief and fired me under the charge of “falsification” to take the heat off the LCO. My hearing results …. in exchange for agreeing to drop the charges I got back pay ( 3 weeks ) and my SF-50 and records changed to say Terminated due to ” lack of work” and uncontested unemployment… I wonder how may more instances like this “never happend” ?

  4. Al Forteni Says:

    Did these stats come from the Census Bureau or EEOC? Keep in mind, the Census Bureau decides which complaints they will accept for investigation thus, those they don’t accept never show up in the stats. These stats are not valid. The Census Bureau OCR looks for ways to not accept complaints. The true picture is being covered up. Typically about 10% (per EEOC stats) of the workforce files EEO complaints. I know one Area Manager in the LA Region who has at least 10 filed against her. You multiply that by the number of others who don’t adhere to laws, policies and regulations and the number is far greater than 1 complaint.

  5. PsudoMan Says:

    “What disturbs me most is how few claims are actually found to be valid:”

    What disturbs me is that you consider this some type of journalism or something like that.

    “MyTwoCensus has also heard from multiple sources that LCOs (local census offices) have done everything in their power to suppress individuals”

    So did you interview and follow up to verify the claims? Doubt it give the discourse you use. I think this website is more of an area for people to cry and whine.

  6. anonymous2010 Says:

    FormerCL- Congratulations on getting your termination status changed and sorry you had to go through that. I would like to know, the hearing you refer to, was that a hearing through unemployment or a hearing at the LCO. If you wish to give me details, you can contact me directly at:
    privateetavirp@peoplepc.com

  7. Aristotle Says:

    I am a manager in the LARCC region and I can verify that this is a HUGE problem. The M.O. for all complaints is to drag them out as long as possible and then offer no resolution no matter how heinous the violation. This drags out the process allowing upper management to maintain their positions ensuring that the operations don’t suffer. I’m sure the long term goal is to make it to the end of operations hoping that after all of the employees are dispersed it will be much more difficult to access the parties after the Decennial is over. Where will the LCOM be? Where will the AM and RT’s be? Try to find them next year…good luck. I am not one for inflammatory statements but the Census Bureau’s EEO program is a joke.

  8. AMA Says:

    Clearly you don’t do much of the investigating that a “legitimate journalist” would do. As you say in the link to the report, I checked the data for myself. Right at the top of the page it says: “The report excludes decennial Census data.” That means it only takes into consideration permanent staff at the Census Bureau, not the temporary staff working the Decennial. I would think a “legitimate journalist” would have picked up on that – the journalists I know from my prior career would have.

  9. JAG Says:

    Being a mean or tough supervisor isn’t necessarily discrimination. If they only treat people of a certain race, sex, over 40, etc, then it’s discrimination. Treating everybody poorly isn’t discrimination.

  10. Senseless Says:

    I agree with Aristotle. It is a huge problem that they are trying to ignore until operations end and they can make it go away. People who face discrimination are not just whining it is a legitimate problem that needs to be corrected. It is a federal law. The census is a federal agency that believes it is above the law.

  11. anonymous Says:

    Thank you MyTwoCensus for bringing this story to light. Those who were discriminated against know the truth.

  12. unforgiving in NYC Says:

    This is a joke– the numbers can’t be real in any way!!!The process for submitting a claim is bogus (the intake people are barely literate- but that must be a prerequisite!!) and delayed at every opportunity. I worked as a CL for AdCan, a CL for AdCan QA and then was a Manager for the Decennial. I left through frustration in March because I was smarter and swifter than the local ARCM and she was terribly threatened- especially when I showed no fear in contacting the highest public official in our immediate region. She wasn’t bright to begin with and the RCC is filled with people who couldn’t hold a position in ANY private sector office as an intern!! They couldn’t write coherent e-mails or explain/execute a policy clearly. This does not even include the daily about-faces- because they had NO policy other than “save my ass” by writing all the nonsense!! Never mind that English seemed their second language.

    As a professional, I hate being mind-played and that was daily life dealing with NYRCC- with no formal reason or any details/proof/analysis to back it up!! Ask for facts, ask real questions (for which leadership SHOULD have answers) a skill all good managers should have for meeting challenges, and watch what happens…. They can’t answer, because what they are laying on you is a lie.

    Never once in all the time prior or during training back in October (or through today) did the RCC head show his face to “welcome” or strategize with the managers or set the tone for the years’ operations. Remember, in private sector, they say that management principles flow from the top- that said enough to me….. experienced with Fortune 500′s etc…. He is a person whose respect will never be earned by anyone with intelligence or business savvy to achieve goals. He deserves to be exposed publicly and punished financially for failing to lead, and ultimately terminated for it. She shouldn’t be far behind…nor should any of their team lackeys…

    Our region(NYC)has been a subject of controversy on this site more times than anyone could count on a dozen hands. I submitted multiple claims- EEO (which they advise that they have till August to answer to– Are there SO many that they cannot handle it?) and others to headquarters (not to mention that I cc’d all correspondence to Mr. Groves as advised by my lawyers) about management and policy and procedure. The RCC management staff in NYC deserves all the grief they get….and they should pay dearly for their ineptitude and their attitude that nothing can touch them.

    I know these numbers are way off because I personally know of at least 15 other EEO claims that were submitted in this region alone and most of these were PRIOR to my departure. The specific breakdown of types of complaints are also inaccurate because there is a goose egg in the category where mine should be reflected…….. For shame the lies.

  13. Insider Says:

    I agree with Aristotle and several others on this post. A friend of mine was wrongfully prevented from returning to work after Address Canvassing by a now defunct AMFO and a weak LCOM. The employee was off work for 4 months before the RCC’s hand was forced and the employee was rehired in another office. Hardcopy email evidence exists from the AMFO to the Area Manager of the discrimination. A clown from Commerce Dept EEO has the case (and the email) but he has been communicating and stalling since April. He asked for a settlement offer up front, but now it’s all about “I’ll get back with you”, “We’re investigating”, etc., etc… My suggestion would be to call the Congressperson (Hoekstra).

    ANYBODY FROM THE IG LISTENING???

  14. UBoreMe Says:

    “ANYBODY FROM THE IG LISTENING???”

    I hope not–buch of whiners. Probably fired bacause you were lazy. Not the CBs fault if you can’t figure out how to call the EEO hotline. Hey, why not get off your sandbagging butt and just call DOC EEO themselves, or find the EEO staff at Suitland.

    Most of the people on this website are like SM–clueless and lack the gumption to get things done right.

  15. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Al Fortini – These stats are from the EEO web site

  16. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Psudo – I have been trying to get more detailed data about the complaints. Maybe you know of a good way to follow up to do this? This isn’t exactly whining and complaining, it’s searching for some answers that are hard to come by.

  17. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @AMA – I have already inquired to see who is included/excluded from this data and I am awaiting a response. – SRM

  18. Insider Says:

    UBoreMe –

    Actually, the incriminating email from the AMFO to the Area Manager states that the discriminated employee was a very good, hard-working employee.

    Not like you, the likes of which I probably get to fire on a regular basis.

  19. insidescoop Says:

    I am one of the people who filed a claim back in 2009. My case is still not resolved. I’m certainly not impressed with the system. The filing process and investigation process is very suspect. I know that many of the people who actually have relevant evidence in my case have not been contacted, so I wonder who actually has been contacted and how the investigations are conducted. My biggest concern when I filed was that the EEO complaint was filed with the EEO counselor AT the Dept of Commerce. It seems that it would be very hard for that EEO counselor to be objective. It also seems to be another case of a lack of checks and balances by other agencies, of the Census Bureau and maybe even the Dept of Commerce regulating themselves with no other agencies to answer to; however, that’s been a continual issues as far as I’ve seen. It’s a flawed system any way you look at it.

  20. JAG Says:

    AMA makes a point that is overlooked by everybody. Follow the link provided and it clearly states on the website “The report excludes decennial Census data.”. SRM has succeeded in ignoring the facts and getting folks riled up. SRM could just as easily provided a link to mlb.com and look at last nights box scores…..they have nothing to do with decennial EEO complaints either.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks, JAG. I don’t know if it is much of a defense, but I missed it too.

  22. Solong Census Says:

    @UBoreMe – You bite man. There is a group of former managers, at least 12, in the LARCC who have filed with the Census EEO Office, with the internal HR process, with the Office of Inspector General and with the Office of Special Counsel and have not had no resolution. This is not about being lazy and not being able to contact the DOC EEO Office. It is about the Census, Commerce and Regional Office “sandbagging” the complaints. I think the clueless one is you.

  23. Former CL Says:

    anonymous2010: It was a census hearing. It took place at a meeting room of a public facility away from the LCO. It was facilitated by the RCC and was more of a “fact finding” hearing. It came down to the fact that I had been working for the Census for just under 2 years and had several supervisors either come and say my work either met or exceeded standards or signed affidavits that it was. The only argument was an statement by an AMFO that had been on the job 3 days before terminating me for “suspected” falsification. No warnings, no coaching, no write ups…. it was I “suspect” you are falsifying things… You`re fired.

  24. anonymous Says:

    Former CL, I’m sorry this happened to you and glad to hear your paperwork was changed to “lack of work”. I’ve heard similar stories in my LCO, too.

  25. Aristotle Says:

    I know of several valid EEO complaints. I will refer to one specific case. The counselor assigned to the case did no counseling at all. Zero – including not mailing the require informational paperwork to the person with the complaint. The counseling consisted of probably a total of two minutes on the phone over a couple of calls. No advice or counsel was given – they asked the person to fill out a lengthy questionnaire reporting the events and requested resolution. The counselor called and left a message saying that they were going to the AM and the person above the AM to see if they were willing to resolve the issue. The affected employee had not even returned the form yet and had in no way stated what they wanted in resolution. A call to the Washington EEO office put that back on hold for a day or so, but after returning the form, the reply came back that they were not even willing to talk and that there would not be a resolution and the employee could move on to the next step in the process. Mind you, this is a clear cut EEO violation with stuff that would make your toes curl if I could post details…but no attempt at resolving, no attempt to discipline the managers involved. Just the standard delay tactics – everybody keeps their jobs so operational goals are not in danger…the one casualty was the employee filing the complaint who was terminated as soon as legally possible. The only way to get any resolution in these matters is to try to get a labor attorney. The EEO department is an absolute disgrace. There is ample evidence that the EEO counselor was not in any way working with employees but is mainly feeding all the information to the senior managers. I’m not arguing that there aren’t some frivolous complaints. Probably more than valid complaints actually…but the system is supposed to attempt to work to protect employees from discrimination – and I have seen several cases where it did no such thing – and the management that committed the violations and the EEO staff did not even do a decent job of faking that they cared. The bureaucracy protected the violators much more than the violated.

  26. anonymous2010 Says:

    Former CL – Thanks for the information. I didn’t know they had such a thing. You were so lucky that it was resolved. For an in-house body of arbiters, anything could have happened.

  27. pranita veeria Says:

    @unforgiving in NYC…..

    What do you expect from an ARCM who is more concerened with talking about what happened in Census 2000 then the issues at hand in 2010..look at the Area Management under the ARCM…no wonder the EEO complaints run rampant with no resoloution….employees suddenly transferred to other departments or fired suddenly… those are the resolutions

  28. Julie Says:

    I was hired in late April 2010 as an enumerator and subjected to discriminatory practices in what I suspect was a moldy building. Our 4-day training was held in an old church annex, where another enumerator almost immediately complained of the facility’s smell, and even developed a rash. As a person w/allergies and having almost died from a toxic mold exposure a few years ago, I complained to the Crew Leader and tried to endure the potentially health-hazardous conditions by sitting near the exit w/the door propped open. I had listed myself as having a respiratory disability.

    During the 1st live enumeration on day 3, I completed 17 surveys, one live interview and 16 other surveys that were part of a vacated public housing site. With my extensive community activism, I was able to quickly find an Atlanta Development Authority contact to serve as a proxy. The only reason I didn’t complete more forms was because we’d been warned NOT to work more than 1.5 hours for fear of racking up overtime for the week. We’d been told the accepted average was 1 survey/hr/enumerator. I was one of the few trainees w/any forms completed, and 17 was many more than anyone else got done.

    On the final day, I advised the CL I’d be taking a longer than scheduled lunch, as I felt badly due to the training facility’s poor air quality. When I returned, the enumerators had taken a test, and the CL informed me that since I’d missed the test, I was fired. As I continued to complain about her poor treatment, she later offered to have me repeat the training, w/o even acknowledging or addressing my discrimination allegation. I consequentially declined the offer.

    I think this EEO mishap has to do w/CLs receiving little to no HR training. My CL seemed to be under severe pressure to get forms completed, even though we didn’t even have enough binders for each of the enumerators being trained; we’d had to share them. The CL also told me I didn’t REALLY need to read the No FEAR Act documentation before signing it.

    I’ve filed a formal EEO complaint w/the Census Bureau, having completed the informal process. I’ve also created a petition I would encourage you and others concerned about the Bureau’s HR issues to sign at http://tinyurl.com/2010CensusPetition.

  29. Wanda Witherspoon Says:

    I was an enumerator from late May until mid June. I received a total of 40 cases. Some enumerators received 300 new cases on a daily basis. My crew leader was allowed to pick an assistant who was willing to lie for her. They both lied on me and created hardships for me. Upon complaining to the Census bureau I was allowed to file a suit and was told that I could not because I was not a full time Census worker. I was also severely punished for complaining. As the treatment received was horrendous (being ridiculed, fired for no reason and denied equal opportunities) I quickly discovered there was no one to speak to about the horrors and madness management was allowed to dish out. Following, I received a letter stating it is against the law to to write about my experiences.

  30. arpadthemagyar Says:

    I got a 95 on the test. The proctor seemed excited by this. They wanted me to be a supervisor. Then they told me I had a criminal record when I do not. They would not tell me what I did, or when or where I did it, just that I had to prove to them that I didn’t do it. Like the guy in the Trial by Kafka. Then I heard about about a class action suit vs. the census bureau by lots of people who had the same thing happen to them. I emailed the law firm that was handling it and sent them all the documentation in support of my story. A barely intelligible black woman called me back and asked me if I was a white man. I said yes. She said I could not be part of the suit because I was a white man and hung up. What happened to this country?

  31. Anon 23 Says:

    Its no secret if you complain, file an EEO against a manager, ask questions or attempt to follow documented protocol in New York you are reprimanded. If you don’t have documented instructions from a supervisor its your word against theres and YOU will very often lose that battle. The permanent people are promoted for the decennial and most don’t have management skills, people skills or education past high school. In the rest of world (corporate) NONE OF THE NYRCC MANAGERS could lead nor considered for a position leading a workforce of thousands of people. Most of these managers wouldn’t get an interview.

  32. Donald Poe Says:

    I know that there are serious, very legitimate complaints and problems that have occurred out there, but please let’s acknowledge that there are also plenty of bogus, indefensible, and even fraudulent complaints that are being documented in the system as well. Some of the stuff that has crossed my desk is absolutely ridiculous.

    For example, one CL blamed their FOS for inadequate training on overtime policy after getting terminated for exceeding their 5hr pool allowance with no prior authorization nor good explanation of the need to do so. This is in spite of the fact that the OT policy is repeated endlessly in verbatim training and every employee signs a contract on the matter. And it’s in a SELF-study job-aid. Anyway, the CL got terminated according to policy, but after complaining directly to the AMA that he had a “different learning style”, pinning responsibility on his supervisor for inadequate training, and ultimately, by initiating EEO paperwork, he managed to prevent termination, regain his CL rank in NRFU, and immunize himself against all criticism. His supervisor was forced by the LCO admins to retain him. The claims of discrimination and the criticism of the supervisor’s integrity were elevated out of fear, and the result of it was that a less-than-mediocre CL was being granted job security.

    The fact is, there are people who know how to manipulate the HR mechanisms to more or less blackmail their supervisors into making concessions that other, less “litigious” employees don’t enjoy.

  33. Kesha Gordon Says:

    I am “ex” census worker as of today. I was terminated due to “lack of work” but this was after I made a complaint about my crew leader. I was promised by my CL that I would be moving on to the next phase but when the time came to move on me and 3 others including one of our cla’s were let go with out any word or notice no one even bothered to tell me that we would not be moving forward… bt us four were replaced by 4 more so i dont understand how this was due to a lack of work. My CL informed us to do all kind of illegal things at the time I thought he was just giving us short cuts but after inverstigating i found out that in all actually what he wanted us to do was illegal. He was a coward and so was his buddy the other cla, that both were cowards and acted unethical and unprofessional. They had no reservation for there action and how they screwed over us. Its like if you didn’t kiss but to him or her than you were marked with an “x”… the 4 that were let go had a problem with a few things that they did because they went against what we were trained on. Kind of like a buddy system almost. After reading what everyone else said it almost seems as if filing a complaint with the EEO will do any good so maybe I should go directly to the media and make a huge deal of it….

  34. Admin OOS Says:

    “This is a report of No FEAR ACT data. The report excludes decennial Census data”

    Says that pretty clearly at top of page. Reading is not one of your strong suits is it SRM?

  35. Joshua Zambrano Says:

    This is very interesting. I personally filed an EEOC complaint as a Crew Leader in 2009 against a female Supervisor named Munoz. After I confronted her about lying to an employee while firing them, I was demoted, as were a number of other male employees. The Census EEOC did not even reply to my complaint for over a month, and by the time they did, I had other issues ongoing and the issue was no longer current. I sure hope that’s not the one issue they’ve called ‘Resolved’ because my case was never resolved in any way.

  36. Joshua Zambrano Says:

    I found out in the process of my complaint that the Census Bureau is not subject to the normal EEOC, but has its own department which, as I found out, does not respond in a timely fashion to complaints. As a Crew Leader at the time, I assisted in training Enumerators both in Oswego, IL and Rockford, IL, and there were other Crew Leaders growing critical of Munoz as well. I was very disgusted at the time in the Census’ handling, or lack thereof, of the issue.