Executive Order 11478—Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government
It has long been the policy of the United States Government to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment on the basis of merit and fitness and without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. All recent Presidents have fully supported this policy, and have directed department and agency heads to adopt measures to make it a reality.
As a result, much has been accomplished through positive agency programs to assure equality of opportunity. Additional steps, however, are called for in order to strengthen and assure fully equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government.
Now, THEREFORE, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. It is the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuing affirmative program in each executive department and agency. This policy of equal opportunity applies to and must be an integral part of every aspect of personnel policy and practice in the employment, development, advancement, and treatment of civilian employees of the Federal Government.
SEC. 2. The head of each executive department and agency shall establish and maintain an affirmative program of equal employment opportunity for all civilian employees and applicants for employment within his jurisdiction in accordance with the policy set forth in section 1. It is the responsibility of each department and agency head, to the maximum extent possible, to provide sufficient resources to administer such a program in a positive and effective manner; assure that recruitment activities reach all sources of job candidates; utilize to the fullest extent the present skills of each employee; provide the maximum feasible opportunity to employees to enhance their skills so they may perform at their highest potential and advance in accordance with their abilities; provide training and advice to managers and supervisors to assure their understanding and implementation of the policy expressed in this Order; assure participation at the local level with other employers, schools, and public or private groups in cooperative efforts to improve community conditions which affect employability; and provide for a system within the department or agency for periodically evaluating the effectiveness with which the policy of this Order is being carried out.
SEC. 3. The Civil Service Commission shall provide leadership and guidance to departments and agencies in the conduct of equal. employment opportunity programs for the civilian employees of and applicants for employment within the executive departments and agencies in order to assure that personnel operations in Government departments and agencies carry out the objective of equal opportunity for all persons. The Commission shall review and evaluate agency program operations periodically, obtain such reports from departments and agencies as it deems necessary, and report to the President as appropriate on overall progress. The Commission will consult from time to time with such individuals, groups, or organizations as may be of assistance in improving the Federal program and realizing the objectives of this Order.
SEC. 4. The Civil Service Commission shall provide for the prompt, fair, and impartial consideration of all complaints of discrimination in Federal employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Agency systems shall provide access to counseling for employees who feel aggrieved and shall encourage the resolution of employee problems on an informal basis. Procedures for the consideration of complaints shall include at least one impartial review within the executive department or agency and shall provide for appeal to the Civil Service Commission.
SEC. 5. The Civil Service Commission shall issue such regulations, orders, and instructions as it deems necessary and appropriate to carry out this Order and assure that the executive branch of the Government leads the way as an equal opportunity employer, and the head of each executive department and agency shall comply with the regulations, orders, and instructions issued by the Commission under this Order.
SEC. 6. This Order applies (a) to military departments as defined in section 102 of title 5, United States Code, and executive agencies (other than the General Accounting Office) as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and to the employees thereof (including employees paid from nonappropriated funds), and (b) to those portions of the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government and of the Government of the District of Columbia having positions in the competitive service and to the employees in those positions. This Order does not apply to aliens employed outside the limits of the United States.
SEC. 7. Part I of Executive Order No. 11246 of September 24, 1965, and those parts of Executive Order No. 11375 of October 13, 1967, which apply to Federal employment, are hereby superseded.
The White House
August 8, 1969
NOTE: For a memorandum from the President to heads of departments and agencies, see the preceding item. For the report to the President by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, see the following item.
Richard Nixon, Executive Order 11478—Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/256661