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Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Programs

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO/Agency) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) maintains an on-going program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. In pursuit of this objective, OCR provides training to managers and executives, monitors adherence to laws and procedures and prepares statistics on agency performance in this area, operates Special Emphasis Programs, partners with civil rights focused employee organizations, and promotes cultural understanding.

By operation of Federal regulation, the Agency’s EEO Director, EEO Officer, and Assistant Director in charge of Affirmative Employment oversee the following Special Emphasis Programs: (1) People with Disabilities Program; (2) Federal Women's Program; and (3) Hispanic Employment Program. The aim of these Special Emphasis Programs is to ensure equal employment opportunity in the areas of hiring, retention, and career development.

OCR also operates a partnership program with civil rights focused employee groups. The goal of the OCR’s Partnership Program is to create a structured vehicle for dialogue between the Agency and employee groups that identifies employment barriers and promotes equal employment opportunity.

OCR further participates in a number of other affirmative employment activities: civil rights related observances linked to Presidential Proclamations; Community Day, a celebration of the Agency’s commitment to a diverse workforce; outreach activities to encourage participation at the community level; and recruitment and retention support, such as the Post-Secondary Internship Program.

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