EEOC Charges of Discrimination and the Strategic Enforcement Plan

I have been a little distracted lately writing some articles for publications other than the blog (oh, and enjoying two root canals). Therefore, I figured that – even if it’s Saturday night – I needed to give the blog a minute or two of my time.

The EEOC recently released its Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2013-2016. Its priorities were spelled out pretty clearly. For those who are wondering how the EEOC will be focusing its time and money this upcoming year **drum roll please**

  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.

I don’t think anything was much of a shocker, but the transparency is always nice. The emerging and developing issues it noted in item 3 include: ADA issues related to accommodation, coverage, undue hardship, etc.; accommodating pregnancy-related limitations; and coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions.

In addition to diving into the “hot topics,” the new year is a good time to refresh and get back to the basics. I figured this video would be appropriate for those who want to learn more about handling EEOC Charges of Discrimination:

The EEOC has already been off to a busy start in 2013 — with nine press releases to date for settlements reached in lawsuits ranging from sex harassment to disability discrimination. With its focus on systemic discrimination, I anticipate there will be more discussion-worthy cases this year than ever before.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

**Drawing by Janet Trotta

About Ashley Kasarjian

Attorney at Snell and Wilmer in Phoenix, Arizona, and publisher of the blog, Employment and the Law.
This entry was posted in EEOC and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to EEOC Charges of Discrimination and the Strategic Enforcement Plan

  1. Pingback: Phoenix Adds Sexual Orientation as a Protected Class – Ordinance G-5780 | Employment and the Law: A legal blog from the perspective of an employment attorney

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