The purpose of the program is to provide GLBT awareness and education to NRCS employees and partners while focusing on such issues as employment, retention, promotion, training, career development, and advancement opportunities affecting GLBT applicants and employees at NRCS.
It is NRCS policy to conduct a positive and continuing GLBT Emphasis Program that provides equal employment opportunity for GLBT persons in all personnel management policies, practices, and in NRCS-sponsored programs and activities
The GLBT Emphasis Program is an integral part of the overall equal employment opportunity (EEO) program and is designed to—
Ensure that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.
Increase the number of GLBT people employed in all professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and other categories, series, and grade levels.
Provide opportunities to participate in training, career development, and leadership programs.
Encourage the participation of GLBT populations in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities.
Provide a network of professional support for GLBT.
Provide mentoring support to GLBT in the workforce.
Educate all NRCS employees by raising the level of awareness of GLBT workplace issues and concerns.
In April 1993, USDA Secretary Mike Espy issued the Department’s EEO and Civil Rights Policy Statement, which specifically prohibited discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.
Executive Order 13087, amending Executive Order 11478, provides that, as a matter of Federal policy, an individual’s sexual orientation may not be the basis for the denial of an employment or promotional opportunity.
In Fall 2000, USDA established a Secretary’s Advisory Council on sexual orientation: Gay & Lesbian Employee Advisory Council (GLEAC).
In June 2009, Secretary Tom Vilsack signed Departmental Regulation 4230-002 creating a special emphasis program for GLBT employees.