EEOC Outlines Enforcement Priorities in Approved Plan
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) aimed at establishing national enforcement priorities and more effectively integrating enforcement responsibilities across the Commission’s 54 offices.
As part of the plan, the EEOC has identified six national priorities:
- Eliminating barriers in recruiting and hiring;
- Protecting vulnerable workers (such as immigrant workers);
- Addressing emerging and developing employment discrimination issues;
- Enforcing equal pay laws;
- Preserving access to the legal system; and
- Preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach.
The SEP notes that the EEOC will continue its focus on systemic discrimination, using individual discrimination charges as a vehicle to investigate all of the employment practices of employers. The EEOC will also pay particular attention to use of criminal background checks during the hiring process, an issue we have discussed in other newsletters and on radio, to LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination and to pregnancy discrimination claims.
The SEP lays out an aggressive agenda for the EEOC. Employers are well advised to take precautionary steps now to insulate against a possible EEOC “pandemic”.