Office of Equal Rights

What We Do

The Office of Equal Rights serves the Agency and the Nation by supporting a discrimination-free work place and equal access to FEMA programs and services, for all disaster survivors.

OER manages the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) administrative process, affirmative employment program, reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, and enforcement of Federal civil rights laws.

OER Vision:  A trusted partner, ensuring civil rights for all.

OER Mission: OER leads FEMA’s efforts to promote fairness, integrity, compassion and respect. We hold ourselves and the entire FEMA community accountable for doing the right thing. We are committed to inspiring equality and inclusive diversity every day.

Contact Us

Office of Equal Rights
500 C Street, SW
4th Floor – 4SW-0915
Washington, D.C. 20472-3535

833-285-7448
FEMA TTY: 800-462-7585
FEMA-EqualRights@FEMA.dhs.gov

Divisions and Resources

External Civil Rights Division

Under Federal civil rights laws and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act (Stafford Act), FEMA, State, local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) partners, and non-governmental relief and disaster assistance organizations engaged in the “distribution of supplies, the processing of applications, and other relief and assistance activities shall [accomplish these activities] in an equitable and impartial manner, without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, [national origin], sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status.”  Civil rights laws and legal authorities remain in effect, and cannot be waived, during emergencies. 

External Civil Rights Division

Civil Rights Summit 3.0 After Action Report

FEMA is publishing an After-Action Report on the FEMA Civil Rights Summit 3.0. This was a virtual engagement where more than 700 participants from different government and Civil Rights organizations came together to discuss civil rights themes and theories as they relate to emergency management.

The report highlights three key areas for FEMA to focus on going forward:

  1. Use of analytical frameworks to identify and eliminate barriers to FEMA’s resources and funding for marginalized communities;
  2. Implementation of a survivor centric approach in operations;
  3. And barriers and recommendations when prioritizing underserved communities in emergency management.

Filing an EEO Complaint

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination. Federal statutes protect employees and applicants from discrimination involving:

  • Unfair treatment because of protected EEO bases
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of protected EEO bases
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation because of religious beliefs or disability
  • Retaliation due to opposition to discrimination or participation in EEO process.

Learn About Filing an EEO Complaint

Reasonable Accommodation

It is the policy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to comply fully with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791 et seq. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 1630 implementing the provisions of the law for federal agencies.

Learn How to Make a Reasonable Accommodation Request

Leadership

View the FEMA Offices & Leadership page to learn about this program's key staff.

Last updated May 25, 2023