The EEOC has made no secret of its general agenda over the next two years as the Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2013 ? 2016, released in January of 2013, establishes its priorities as investigation, enforcement and litigation, with an emphasis on attacking ?systemic discrimination.? The Commission stated that the guiding principle for the Strategic Enforcement Plan is the agency?s belief that ?targeted enforcement efforts will have the broadest impact to prevent and remedy discriminatory practices in the workplace.?
Because a meaningful discussion of these targeted enforcement efforts is too long for a single blawg, we will begin in this Blawg by providing an overview or outline of what the Commission?s stated priorities are. In subsequent blawgs we will separately address aspects of each of these priorities more specifically. Accordingly, to begin, take careful note of what the Commission has articulated as being of concern and consider what, if any implications might lie in wait for your HR practices:
1.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.
2.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.
3.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.
4.Enforcing Equal Pay Laws.? The EEOC will target compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender.
5.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.
6.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.
In our next Blawg, we will address how the Commission is going about eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring in more detail.