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MBTA EEO Compliance Review

Location: Boston, MA    
Date of Final Report: July, 2008

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Transmittal Letter

August 14, 2008

Daniel A. Grabauskas
General Manager
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116

Re: EEO Compliance Review

Dear Mr. Grabauskas:

Thank you for your response to the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) letter and preliminary report of findings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program (EEO) compliance review conducted at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in September 2007. Enclosed is the final report that incorporates MBTA’s official response. As of the date of this letter the final report became a public document and is subject to dissemination under the Freedom of Information Act of 1974.

We have also enclosed a progress table listing FTA’s understanding of the corrective actions either planned or taken by MBTA in response to the preliminary findings contained in the draft report. If you feel that our summarization of corrective actions is inconsistent with your response, please inform us in writing as soon as possible.

Please use the enclosed table as the format to report progress to FTA on the corrective actions MBTA has completed or intends to implement as a result of our findings. Please identify each response by item number. The requested documentation, along with updates on the status of implementation of proposed corrective actions, should be provided in quarterly reports to FTA. Each report should include the planned and actual completion date of the corrective action; the current status and contact person information for each corrective action; and specific reporting requests cited in this letter and on the enclosed table. The first report will be due on November 15, 2008, and should include data for the months of August, September, and October 2008. The report should include any actions completed prior to that date that have not already been addressed. Additional reports will be due on February 15, 2009; May 15, 2009; August 15, 2009, and each calendar quarter thereafter until FTA releases MBTA from this reporting requirement.

We request that your first progress report more fully respond to the following findings, which are also addressed in the progress table.

Compliance Findings: MBTA’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program

Item 3. Dissemination (Advisory Comment):

Requirement: Formal communication mechanisms should be established to publicize and disseminate the recipient’s EEO policy, as well as appropriate elements of the program, to its employees, applicants and the general public.

Finding: MBTA is advised to enhance the dissemination of its EEO/AA Policy to local minority and women’s organizations, community agencies, and community leaders.

Corrective Action: MBTA will distribute its 2008 EEO/AA Policy to a sampling of local women and minority groups.

This advisory comment has been accepted.

Item 4. Designation of Personnel Responsibility:

Requirement: The importance of an EEO program is indicated by the individual the agency has named to manage the program and the authority this individual possesses. An executive should be appointed as Manager/Director of EEO who reports and is directly responsible to the agency’s CEO. 
Finding: Manager/Director of EEO lacks sufficient authority; does not concur in all hires and promotions.
Corrective Action: Within 120 days, MBTA must submit to the FTA Office of Civil Rights documentation that it has revised its Human Resources Personnel Policies and Procedures and the duties of MBTA’s EEO/AA Officer conform the requirements of FTA Circular 4704.1, specifically ensuring that the AGM ODCR has sufficient authority to concur in all hires and promotions and have sufficient input in all aspects of the employment procedures to identify and work with management to eliminate employment barriers that may be obstructing the achievement of EEO goals and objectives.

Response: MBTA requests further clarification from FTA on the definition of “concurring in all hires and promotions” referenced in FTA Circular 4704.1, Ch.III, Sec.2(c)(8) so that the process developed meets the Circular’s intent. MBTA will set up a meeting with appropriate FTA representatives for such clarification.

On May 6, 2008, FTA and MBTA met to discuss the request for clarification of the definition of concurring on all hires and promotions. MBTA was advised that the EEO Officer should concur, before personnel actions are complete because it is the EEO Officer’s responsibility to ensure that EEO policies, practices and goals are reviewed prior to personnel actions being finalized. The EEO Officer is not the final decision-maker in personnel actions as any discrepancies and disagreements regarding these decisions should be addressed by the General Manager for final resolution.

This proposal and the agreed upon schedule to satisfy this deficiency has been accepted.

Item 5. Utilization Analysis (Advisory Comment):

Requirement: The purpose of the utilization analysis is to identify those job categories where there is an underutilization and/or concentration of minorities and women in relation to their availability in the relevant labor market.

Finding: MBTA is advised to submit its next workforce utilization analysis as part of its EEO Program Update submittal to FTA without the “80 percent” factor.

Corrective Action: MBTA will submit its next utilization analysis to FTA without the “80 percent” factor.
This advisory comment has been accepted.

Item 6. Goals and Timetables (Advisory Comment):

Requirement: Specific and detailed percentage and numerical goals with timetables must be set to correct any underutilization of specific affected classes of persons identified in the utilization analysis.
Finding: MBTA is advised to submit its next goal setting as part of its EEO Program Update submittal to FTA without the “less than one person” factor. MBTA is advised to monitor goal attainment more closely and be prepared to justify the failure to meet goals in its next EEO Program Update submittal to FTA.

Corrective Action: MBTA will submit its next goal setting to FTA without the “less than one person” factor. MBTA will monitor goal attainment more closely and be prepared to justify the failure to meet goals in its next EEO Program Update submittal to FTA.
This advisory comment has been accepted.

Item 8: Monitoring and Reporting System:

Requirement: The reporting system should provide documentation to support actions that affect minority and women job applicants or employees. Management should be kept informed of program effectiveness.
Finding: MBTA’s monitoring and reporting system for outside contractors is inadequate. Corrective Action: Within 120 days, MBTA must submit to the FTA Office of Civil Rights:

Copies of the EEO Programs for each of the applicable contractors.

Procedures that MBTA will utilize to monitor the contractors to assure that there are no discriminatory practices or outcomes in employment matters.

This proposal and the agreed upon schedule to satisfy this deficiency has been accepted.

Item 9: Title I of the ADA (Advisory Comment):

Requirement: All recipients of federal financial assistance are required to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of disability, and whenever a complaint is made, to have a process to make a prompt investigation whenever a Compliance Review, report, complaint, or any other information indicates a possible failure to comply with the ADA.
Finding: MBTA is advised to refine its ADA reasonable accommodations process to more accurately track “ADA” reasonable accommodations requests.

Corrective Action: MBTA is currently reviewing its ADA process to ensure the most effective system.
This advisory comment has been accepted.

We recognize the efforts MBTA has already made to correct the deficiencies identified in the draft report, and we anticipate its continued endeavors to take further corrective actions as noted in this letter. We appreciate the cooperation and assistance that you and your staff have provided us during this review. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Margaret Griffin, Regional Civil Rights Officer, at (617) 494-2397 or at the following address:

Ms. Margaret Griffin
FTA Region I
Transportation Systems Center
Kendall Square
55 Broadway, Suite 920
Cambridge, MA 02142-1093
Margaret.Griffin@fta.dot.gov.


Sincerely,

Cheryl L. Hershey
Acting Director

Enclosures (2)

cc: Richard H. Doyle, FTA Region I Administrator
Margaret Griffin, FTA Region I Civil Rights Officer
Matthew P. Keamy, FTA Region I Director of Program Management & Oversight

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