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: Retention of Records
EEOC recently issued a finding of an adverse inference in a Department of the Interior EEO case in which Agency officials failed to retain records relevant to the EEO complaint.
Federal regulations require a Federal Agency to maintain all records relevant to an EEO complaint until after final resolution of that complaint. See GSA Federal Property Management Regulations, 101.11.4, General Records Schedule I, Item 26. The EEOC's regulations at 29 C.F.R. 1602.14(a) also make clear that the Agency must maintain all pertinent information relevant to an EEO complaint.
In the instant case, the Administrative Judge was not persuaded by the argument that the adverse inference should not be imposed because personnel officials were not aware of the complaint when the records were destroyed. The Administrative Judge found that the Complainant was affected by the destruction of the records, and, because the records no longer existed, the Complainant was denied a full and fair opportunity to demonstrate that the Agency's reasons for not filling the position was retaliatory.
Effective immediately, all bureaus and offices are to notify all offices with a "need to know" of their responsibilities to retain all records that are pertinent to an EEO complaint. We have provided you with a form notification letter to be used to inform offices that records must be retained until the resolution or disposition of an EEO complaint.
Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity, (202) 208-6120