The United States Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) recently developed and approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan for fiscal years 2013-2016. The purpose of this plan is to focus and coordinate the EEOC’s programs so as to have the greatest, most sustainable impact in reducing and deterring discriminatory practices in the workplace.
In this Plan, the EEOC has decided to make the following its national priorities:
- Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring. The EEOC will target class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities.
- Protecting Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers. The EEOC will target disparate pay, job segregation, harassment, trafficking and discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under the equal employment laws, or reluctant or unable to exercise them.
- Addressing Emerging and Developing Issues. The EEOC will target emerging issues in equal employment law, including issues associated with significant events, demographic changes, developing theories, new legislation, judicial decisions and administrative interpretations.
- Enforcing Equal Pay Laws. The EEOC will target compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender.
- Preserving Access to the Legal System. The EEOC will target policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the EEOC’s investigative or enforcement efforts.
- Preventing Harassment Through Systemic Enforcement and Targeted Outreach. The EEOC will pursue systemic investigations and litigation and conduct a targeted outreach campaign to deter harassment in the workplace.
Notwithstanding this four (4) year plan, the EEOC stressed that its local district offices will have the ability to prioritize particular issues which are most important to their local communities.