The evening of July 2, 2019, I spoke before Toastmasters International members. I delivered a specialty occasion speech from Toastmasters’ Advanced Communication Silver manual. I entitled my speech — “A Tribute to A Civil Rights Whistleblower.” With a therapeutic gladness, I stood on the University Maryland University College (UMUC) campus in Largo, Maryland before the Power Speakers’ club. I was so lifted! For it gave me, a public servant who had suffered harm from federal workplace inequalities, an occasion to use the Toastmasters’ platform to salute a civil rights champion, Joyce E. Megginson.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is to explain and enforce federal laws barring discrimination in the American workplace. However, the federal agency may often ignore the unlawful discriminatory acts of “federal” officials. The latest Annual Report on the Federal Workforce on the EEOC’s website shows federal workplace discrimination statistics for the fiscal year 2015. The report expressly shows how seldom federal agencies, including the EEOC, rule in favor of complainants. Out of the 6,009 merit complaints closed, the federal government found discrimination (against itself) in only 168 cases (2.7%). Several factors contribute to the low rate of discrimination findings in the federal workplace. The EEOC report is silent on such factors, including the two, which are covered in this article.