A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
From: E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity
Subject: Settlement Agreements
All Settlement Agreements made in connection with EEO matters must be in writing. Effective immediately, Bureaus must use the approved Departmental standard language for Settlement Agreements as provided in the Handbook on Complaints Processing (Appendix 8, 373 DM 5). Additional guidance on settlement agreements can be found in Chapter 5.15 of the Handbook. Any deviation from the approved standard language contained in Appendix 8, must be approved by the Director, OEO, in conjunction with the Office of the Solicitor, prior to presentation to the Complainant, Counsel for the Complainant, Bureau Officials, and/or Union Representatives.
A Settlement Agreement cannot exceed relief that an aggrieved individual would otherwise receive in the U.S. District Court. You are reminded that any agreement for a monetary award exceeding $20,000 in back pay, interest, or damages, or $20,000 in attorney's fees or any combination of the two in excess of $40,000 must be approved by the Director, Office for Equal Opportunity, prior to agreement. Bureau's may seek advice from the Office of the Solicitor in negotiating settlement agreement, and all attorney's fees claims must be reviewed by the Office of the Solicitor prior to payment. Please keep in mind the statutory caps on compensatory damages when drafting Settlement Agreements.
Distribution: All Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Officers
Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity, (202) 208-6120