Sexual harassment in the DEA
Seventeen DEA employees from one office filed a reprisal and sexual discrimination complaint against a senior manger in December 1992. The EEO office documented its receipt in February 1993. More than ten calls were made to EEO counselor in February, March, and April, seeking investigation of the complaint. Orally in April, and by letter in May complainants were informed;
"The counselor's report was procedurally defective."
The letter stated that the complaint had procedural problems in that a group complaint was not feasible. They were informed each individual should file separate complaints. Employees declined to continue the process citing inaccurate depictions of the employees' problem with management in the counselors report, erroneous information given to them by the counselor, and a lack of responsiveness by EEO staff when employees sought assistance.
A DEA female employee who alleged sexual assault sought assistance from the EEO staff. The staff promised to provide the complainant with an EEO counselor. Only after five follow up phone call over a two month period did her superiors provide the name of a counselor. Although Federal law requires a notice of final interview within 30 days after a matter is brought to the counselors attention, the condition was never met.
Another female DEA employee contacted an EEO counselor to complain of sexual harassment from a male agent who had been previously accused of sexually harassing another female agent.
The employee was told; "He (the male agent) has already been punished enough".
Four employees in another DEA office contacted a counselor to complain of actions they felt constituted unlawful sexual discrimination by an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC). The EEO counselor informed the group that she never had problems with that particular ASAC. After this discussion two of the employees withdrew their complaint because they believed the counselor had not acted appropriately.
In three offices GAO investigators received complaints about EEO officials who allegedly had made inappropriate comments to accused complainants. In one case a EEO staff member accused male coworkers of soliciting a female complainant to file a sexual harassment complaint. He was questioned as to whether he was having a 'personal relationship with the female complainant.