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Civil Rights

Pennsylvania NRCS Civil Rights Advisory Committee


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Titles VI and VII) requires all programs and employment practices to be
administered without regard to race, color, sex, national origin and religion. Sections 501 and 505 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the Federal sector. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made great strides over the past years in the areas of equal employment and program outreach.

What is Civil Rights?

It is the law of the land. It is the right that all people are protected from discrimination in employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or mental or physical disability.

Civil Rights and EEO

Equal opportunity is the law of the land that applies to employment activities in both the Federal and private sectors.

It is fair to say that EEO and civil rights began with the Constitution and Bill of Rights; however, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not mention employment discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had the greatest impact on employment by providing protection and enforcement under the law against discrimination.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for any employer to deny anyone a job because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII also prohibited discrimination in firing, promoting, training, salary, and all other privileges of employment.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC was given the responsibility to investigate EEO complaints and to attempt to resolve those complaints through conciliation and mediation.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States shall, on the "grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."


                             EEO is a right, not a privilege in employment, development, and advancement.

Special Emphasis Programs

Special emphasis activities and support are an integral part of the civil rights program at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Within their respective programs, special emphasis program managers assist the State Conservationist, to ensure that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of NRCS programs and services. This
includes assisting the State Conservationist to provide leadership to identify under representation and ensure positive actions are being taken to address any such problem areas. Special emphasis program managers assist the State Conservationist to provide advice and assistance to management officials in order to help them meet civil rights program goals and objectives. They also assist the State Conservationist to ensure effective communications among all persons and areas dealing with, or affected by, agency civil rights responsibilities.

Pennsylvania Civil Rights Committee Members

 The National Civil Rights Advisory Committee to the Chief (NCRACC) is designed to provide management officials and employees with counsel and advice to enhance and ensure compliance with their equal employment opportunity and program delivery responsibilities. Obtain more information on Civil Rights at the National NRCS web site.

USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.


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Last Updated:  February 22, 2021