​Bureau of Equal Opportunity

About the ​Bureau of Equal Opportunity

The Bureau of Equal Opportunity (BEO) works to ensure the citizens and employees of the Commonwealth have equal access to state employment, public services and contracts issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS). BEO develops, implements and monitors policies and programs as directed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Titles VI and VII and Commonwealth policy.

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation with regards to employment or any departmental program or activity which receives federal financial assistance on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (includes Persons With Limited English Proficiency), please contact our offices immediately.

Crystal B. Welsh, Director
Bureau of Equal Opportunity
Email: RA-pwbeoao@pa.gov
Tel: (717) 787-1127
Fax: (717) 772-4366

Core Responsibilities

  • Civil Rights Compliance Reviews: BEO works to ensure that any program which receives federal financial assistance prohibits discrimination, and periodically visits facilities such as county assistance offices, youth development facilities, hospitals for persons with mental illness, centers for persons with developmental disabilities, and secure intensive treatment units.

  • Contract Compliance: BEO monitors contracts awarded by DHS for over $50,000 to ensure the companies with which DHS does business are committed to non-discriminatory practices, and ensures compliance by conducting on-site reviews. DHS conducts outreach by hosting various networking and informational events in order to recruit Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses interested in contracting with DHS.

  • Licensing: BEO distributes Civil Rights Compliance Questionnaires to any child day care, personal care home, assisted living, developmental programs, mental/behavioral health, and children and youth facilities seeking licensure to ensure those businesses are committed to non-discriminatory practices in employment and the provision of services.

  • Complaint Investigations: BEO conducts complaint investigations when an employee or recipient of DHS services alleges unlawful or unequal treatment based on their race, color, religious creed, ancestry, union membership, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, disability, or sexual harassment. BEO reviews the allegations and supporting documents, interviews parties, and makes a determination.

  • Limited English Proficiency: A Limited English Proficient person is someone who does not speak English as his or her primary language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. BEO provides two types of language assistance: oral interpretation and written translation in the following five languages: Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Russian.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Americans with Disabilities Act (28 CFR Part 35, Title II, Subtitle A) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the public by state and local governments, except public transportation services.