Government Printing Office Says Workplace Complaints on Decline

Posted November 1, 2012 at 4:44pm

The Office of Compliance recently released new statistics for the number of workplace complaints it has processed on behalf of employees against their supervisors in several legislative branch agencies.

On Thursday, the Government Printing Office shared its own statistics for workplace complaints. The agency handles its own dispute resolution program in-house rather than through the OOC.

The number of complaints filed with the GPO Equal Employment Opportunity Office has declined each of the last three years, according to the GPO. There were 27 formal complaints waged with the EEO in fiscal 2012, compared with 34 in fiscal 2011 and 84 in fiscal 2009.

“I am committed to making GPO a welcome work environment … and I’m proud of the progress we have made in decreasing EEO complaints,” Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks said in a statement.

The GPO EEO facilitates diversity programs and initiatives as well as education programs, which the GPO says its declining volume of workplace complaints can be attributed to.

The OOC, established 17 years ago to enforce a litany of workplace rights and safety laws across the legislative branch, two weeks ago released its State of the Congressional Workplace report for fiscal 2011. It shows a steady increase in formal requests for counseling between fiscal 2007 and fiscal 2011.

Among the handful of agencies covered by the OOC’s dispute resolution process, the Capitol Police had the highest number of complaints in fiscal 2011 — a total of 89.

OOC Executive Director Tamara Chrisler said a few things could explain the uptick.

In addition to a lack of education and communication, budget cuts could be a factor, Chrisler said, particularly in offices where “practices and policies have to change to incorporate these cuts … and that may result in a perspective of things being unfair.”