Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), as amended, and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), mandate that all personnel decisions be made free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, reprisal, or disability and also require that Federal agencies establish a program of equal employment opportunity for all Federal employees and job applicants.
29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1614 codifies the policy of the United States Government to provide equal opportunity in employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of the prohibited factors identified in Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act, and to promote the realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuing affirmative program in each agency.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has oversight responsibility for the Federal programs required by Section 717 of Title VII and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. EEOC Management Directive (MD) 715 provides guidance on the elements of a legally compliant Title VII and Rehabilitation Act programs. This directive requires agencies to take appropriate steps to ensure that all employment decisions are free from discrimination. It also sets forth the standards by which EEOC will review the sufficiency of agency Title VII and Rehabilitation Act programs, which include periodic agency self-assessments and the removal of barriers to free and open workplace competition.